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A novice cooks plates for the week, w/ pics.

r
RPMcMurphy Jan 15, 2008 04:15 PM

Background: I'm a fine dining guy, last year I probably spent enough for a nice sports car on dinning out. Heck, in November I probably spent 2k alone. New years resolution was to spend less on going out to eat (without sacrificing good food!). So I figured I'd give this cooking thing a try. Also helps out with the winter depression I get in the not-so-warm-although-globally-getting-there NJ. My girlfriend is my co-chef. I'm 25, and like long walks on the beach and getting caught in the rain. I have no cats.

Eggs Benny with Hollandaise, My favorite breakfast. First time poaching eggs....don't laugh

(not sure how this uploading pictures thing works, so bear with me, I might just end up linking to photobucket or flickr)

 
  1. scuzzo Mar 8, 2008 05:45 PM

    What a fun post to read!!! Thanks so much for sharing. It was a pleasure to vicariously experience your cooking explorations! I'll look forward to more.

    1. free sample addict aka Tracy L Mar 8, 2008 04:20 PM

      Great pics. Did the bowls have any residual taste of latex? I am planning on making chocolate bowls for an upcoming dinner party and I like how easy they are to make but have reservations about using balloons because of the taste.

      1. r
        RPMcMurphy Feb 23, 2008 02:59 PM

        Been updating my blog http://randallpmcmurphy.blogspot.com

        Today was perfect weather for Turkey Chili and I'm still trying to perfect NJ style cornbread.....

        http://www.smugmug.com/photos/2579255...

        1. lynnlato Feb 18, 2008 09:22 AM

          Nicely done, McMurphy! I am a HUGE egg fan, w/ eggs bene being my personal fave too. Looks delicious.

          Now I'm totally craving eggs. Guess I know what I'm having for lunch!

          1. r
            RPMcMurphy Feb 18, 2008 07:29 AM

            OK 2 updates in 1.....

            Valentines day I made 2 desserts for my valentine to choose from....(she had a little of both!)

            homemade Strawberry shortcake, with some kickbutt whipped cream I "whipped" up. (nothing special, I just like homemade cream)

            http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/254713398_LHMyz-M.jpg

            and chocolate lava cake (couldnt believe how easy it was!) with vanilla ice cream and chocolate covered strawberry

            http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/254713528_rm5xX-M.jpg

            last night i had my parents over for dinner, partly moms birthday and my father is laying his mother to rest today so I didn't want them cooking.

            I made a caprese salad again

            appitizer of pesto shrimp

            http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/255944207_j33dQ-M.jpg

            http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/255944700_yHdqB-M.jpg

            main course of veal with a marsala cream sauce with white truffle oil and capers over linguini and a side of roasted garlic parm asparagus.

            http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/255946124_qeGh7-M.jpg

            and for dessert.....

            "Bill Gates Peanut Butter Chocolate Mud" (because its too damn rich!

            )

            http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/255942453_b37bk-M.jpg

            http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/255942874_hK7Pd-M.jpg

            http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/2559...

            1 Reply
            1. re: RPMcMurphy
              lynnlato Feb 18, 2008 09:26 AM

              Okay, my blood sugar just went up several points just lookin' at those pics of that Bill Gates mud thing. Man, I just love pb & chocolate... mmmmmm.

            2. r
              RPMcMurphy Feb 6, 2008 06:39 AM

              so, when dad dropped off the filets the other day, he dropped off 2 strip steaks....and since i was home alone yesterday, I figured Id give another shot at the cast iron grill pan.

              a little less smoke, due to coating the bottom with salt, but still smoked the house up....ive tried all the seasoning, etc. etc. etc....i guess I'll just keep cooking on it and it will get better.....eventually.

              the steak still cooked good.

              No pics...for that plate. too hungry.

              1. r
                RPMcMurphy Feb 4, 2008 05:22 AM

                Made filet mignon last night as dad dropped off some half decent cuts from a new butcher.....

                made some roasted baby potatoes with some rosemary and a little garlic.

                girlfriend whipped up some horseradish sauce with fresh horseradish, sour cream, and i think she put a little worchestershire sauce in there.

                1. r
                  RPMcMurphy Feb 3, 2008 08:56 AM

                  OK, recovering from a dinner party last night....

                  We made:

                  A caprese salad
                  French Onion Soup
                  Homemade filet mignon raviolis
                  garlic and parm Roasted asparagus
                  Kickbut garlic bread
                  Tiramisu in chocolate bowls w/ choc. covered strawberries

                  a couple of bottles of wine

                  http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/250398944-M.jpg

                  http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/250398213-M.jpg

                  http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/250397938-M.jpg

                  http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/250397235-M.jpg

                  http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/250397329-M.jpg

                  http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/250396805-M.jpg

                  we were VERY surprised that the chocolate bowls came out good.....VERY, we had even went to the store to buy dishes to plate the tiramisu as after looking at the balloons, we figured they would just break.

                  well...1 of them kind of broke, but we plated anyways. but the rest.....I guess because we spent the time to temper and what not.....REALLY held up...i mean..you couldnt break it with a fork. (i'm a metal shaping/welding/etc. enthusiast, so I compare the tempering to the same as forging and tempering metal/steel, makes it stronger haha

                  )

                  the tiramisu, we added a little vanilla extract to, and came out great. for the lady fingers, we just made a dip with espresso, fresh (from starbucks) and amaretto, and some sugar. perfect. although next time I may plate with something nutted, maybe toasted almonds to compliment the amaretto.

                  Oh yeah and I made chocolate martini's in chocolate rimmed glasses, with chocolate chips on the bottom of the frozen glasses too.

                  http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/2503...

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: RPMcMurphy
                    a
                    anzu Feb 5, 2008 12:27 PM

                    I know it has probably gotten old to express disbelief over the notion that you're a "novice" chef, but damnit, your presentation is amazing! You couldn't *possibly* be a novice chef. I mean, I'm hardly a veteran chef, but I've been cooking for longer than one month (I'm assuming from the original post that you just started this??) and I would never think to do those swirly chocolate designs on the plate that you put your tiramisu, or those sprinkles of (breadcrumbs? Cheese?) on the plate that you have the ravioli and roasted asparagus. Gosh, you could start a restaurant.

                    Is the asparagus with garlic and parmesan pretty easy to improvise? Like maybe sprinkling the asparagus w/ olive oil, then tossing w/ grated parmesan and minced garlic mixture and roasting at 350 oor 400 sort of thing? Asparagus is not in season, but I'd like to try that in the spring.

                    1. re: anzu
                      r
                      RPMcMurphy Feb 6, 2008 06:37 AM

                      Thanks for the compliments. I'm sure too much fine dining at great restaurants has helped a little.

                      and yep....asparagus is exactly like you said....400 is fine. if you want, towards the end, even broil them for a few minutes, but watch them.....depending on how you like them.

                    2. re: RPMcMurphy
                      g
                      getcyped Feb 7, 2008 06:40 AM

                      how were the ravioli? they look great- what is in them besides the filet?

                    3. g
                      getcyped Feb 2, 2008 05:55 PM

                      i know you and your girlfriend are trying to cut back on dinner expenses but I was wondering- have you ever been to Restaurant Nicholas in Middletown?

                      It is one of my favorite restaurants... you should try if u haven't already. Valentine's day is just around the corner....

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: getcyped
                        r
                        RPMcMurphy Feb 3, 2008 08:49 AM

                        we haven't, surprisingly, but it's on the list....actually we talked about going last weekend...they have a chefs table there, which I'm interested in....as well as a new "truffle" menu.

                        1. re: RPMcMurphy
                          g
                          getcyped Feb 7, 2008 06:38 AM

                          get on their mailing list- they have alot of special dinners and wine tastings!!

                      2. r
                        RPMcMurphy Jan 27, 2008 02:30 PM

                        Ok - After a week of being sick, the only cooking that was done last week was that off my various nurses homemade chicken soup, girlfriend cooked some amazing chicken soup on Wed., although I couldn't move enough to take pictures...and not to be outdone in the nurturing dept. Mom brought over some chicken soup...so with 2 healthy doses, I am better.

                        Friday was a still recovering out-to-eat night....

                        Saturday, in a deal never to go to Olive Garden (aka Hell) again, we made Pasta Fagioli Soup and I also "attempted" to make some breadsticks.

                        here are some pictures....
                        http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/247998050-M.jpg
                        http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/248013570-M-0.jpg

                        the breadsticks
                        http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/2479...

                        The soup, which was supposed to be an olive garden copy cat, was a homerun, amazing. Although, since we are getting brave with soup, (and without gloating, getting "good" with soup) we modified it quite a bit, making it not so think and a little more flavorful. A few extra cans of v8 and some good beef broth that weren't called for, and a little of this and that (hey it IS soup isn't it?

                        )

                        Now....the breadsticks.....Oi....Simple right?

                        Here is the recipe I tried to follow
                        1 1/3 cups of water
                        4 tsp soft butter
                        4 cups of flour
                        2 Tbsp sugar
                        2 tsp salt
                        2 tsp yeast

                        mix, knead, roll out into shape, let rise for 45 minutes (covered)

                        brush with butter, a little salt sprinkle

                        bake in pre-heated 400 oven for 15 or so minutes

                        brush with butter and sprinkle with some garlic powder.

                        Well, to quote the girlfriend...."Ugh they taste like flour"

                        what did I do wrong? I added the yeast into the mix last, and hand kneaded for the better of 10 minutes...let rise for 45 minutes, although they didnt rise much. They just tasted not fluffy at all, but more "biscuit" like......HELP!!!! I used regular (i think) yeast in a jar (they were out of the packets)

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: RPMcMurphy
                          k
                          Kelli2006 Jan 27, 2008 04:48 PM

                          If the total rise was 45 minutes, then you need to double or quad that time if you hope to develop a yeasty flavor with proper structure.

                          I am assuming that you did bloom the yeast to confirm that it was still viable.

                          You might need a bit more salt.

                          1. re: Kelli2006
                            r
                            RPMcMurphy Jan 28, 2008 04:51 AM

                            "I am assuming that you did bloom the yeast to confirm that it was still viable."

                            ummmm..............yeahh...uh suree.......sure did ....maybe?

                            whats the proper way to activate the yeast? is there? or do I just mix it in as I would the salt, etc.

                            1. re: RPMcMurphy
                              k
                              Kelli2006 Jan 28, 2008 12:12 PM

                              I add the yeast to the warm(80+/-) water and stir to dissolve. You should see bubbles forming in approx. 4-5 minutes. I would not add the salt directly into the water with that yeast, as the salt will negatively affect the yeast growth.

                              You can mix it in with the dry ingredients, if you know for a fact that your yeast is fresh and viable, but it is safer to bloom it first. Adding the dry yeast into the dry ingredients, w/o blooming, will impede the fermentation of the bread by a few minutes.

                              You might also want to substitute the same amount of instant(rapid rise) yeast, as it starts to work faster.

                              The time that you allow the bread to ferment will also effect the taste of the finished product. 45 minutes seems amazing shot time to allow for fermentation, as I would suggest that you add a additional 90-120 minutes.

                              I would also let the shaped bread sticks proof another 30-45 minutes, but you can use this time to preheat the oven/baking stone.

                        2. LindaWhit Jan 22, 2008 10:16 AM

                          Thoroughly impressed, RPMcM! Novice indeed. Pheh. Not much, I don't think! Beautiful plating skills, even with something like eggs bennie!

                          I cannot believe you took 9 hours on that apple-pear syrup. You're a better person than me. :-)

                          Re: the pork tenderloin - I always like a mixture of mustard, apricot preserves, and a bit of cider vinegar for some tang.

                          1. Gio Jan 22, 2008 06:01 AM

                            Bravo, RPMcM!! I'm thinking you graduated Summa from the CIA and are just joshing us. You're a natural chef....everything looks perfect. Lucky GF.
                            Just remember, napkin and fork on the left, knife(blade facing dish) and spoon on the right. (I'm a detail person, it's in the genes.... ; )

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Gio
                              r
                              RPMcMurphy Jan 22, 2008 07:35 AM

                              check and check!

                            2. hollyd Jan 22, 2008 05:53 AM

                              you should totally make a blog about this...you learning to cook, working out kinks, etc. It could help out a lot of novice cooks, and for more experienced cooks like me, it's still really fun to read!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: hollyd
                                r
                                RPMcMurphy Jan 22, 2008 07:34 AM

                                I kind of do, but didn't want to spam it on here.

                                http://randallpmcmurphy.blogspot.com

                                I figured I'd just find a site like this that's geared towards like minded people and just keep on with 1 continuously updated thread.

                              2. r
                                RPMcMurphy Jan 21, 2008 04:14 PM

                                Whipped up some boneless "Ah-So" ribs tonight on whim with some brown rice and a couple of asian veggies.

                                If you don't know what Ah-So is check out this post.

                                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/472993

                                some pictures (of course)

                                http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/245940408-M.jpg

                                http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/245940634-M.jpg

                                http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/2459...

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: RPMcMurphy
                                  g
                                  GSDlove Jan 21, 2008 05:24 PM

                                  I'm in SoCal and have never heard of the stuff, but have a friend who lives in Boston who is coming out to visit soon and will see if he will bring me a bottle. Your ribs look good - how did you prepare them?

                                  1. re: GSDlove
                                    r
                                    RPMcMurphy Jan 22, 2008 05:03 AM

                                    "how did you prepare them"

                                    - probably the wrong way! haha.

                                    I got a cheap cut of pork ribs, ~4.99...got rid of the tough tissue, then like I was fileting a fish, I took a cut off the top. cut in half lengthwise,julienned that (if you can still call it that for meat?) and then for a little more meat, I sliced the meat out in between the ribs and did the same.

                                    put it in a bowl and poured about 1/4-1/3 bottle of Ah-So sauce in until it looked like it was glowing (as soon as you see it....you'll know what I'm talking about) and hand mixed with a little soy and pepper.....a tiny bit of oil in the pan (next time I'll use sesame oil) and just kept it on medium until the ah-so was caramelizing or burning just a little (hey, I wanted it to taste just like the chinese place!)

                                    you really can't cook anything else in the pan as the ah-so is gooey and just takes over.

                                  2. re: RPMcMurphy
                                    k
                                    Kelli2006 Jan 21, 2008 06:56 PM

                                    You are either a genius student or your novice status is a ploy. Those plates are very impressive.

                                    Are you sure that you don't have any male friends/coworkers who love to cook?

                                    1. re: RPMcMurphy
                                      g
                                      getcyped Jan 22, 2008 10:45 AM

                                      where do you get the sauce in the SJ/Philly area? any Asian market I guess?

                                      1. re: getcyped
                                        r
                                        RPMcMurphy Jan 22, 2008 11:37 AM

                                        Any supermarket has it near me, i happened to get it at Wegmans in freehold area.

                                        I used to live near Pemberton, and dad used to get it in that area all the time....might have to hunt for it now that they have special "world" food aisles and what not.

                                    2. r
                                      RPMcMurphy Jan 20, 2008 03:21 PM

                                      Tonights dinner, since it was the coldest day of the year so far in NJ....

                                      Homemade cream of tomater soup (ok....I used canned tomatoes) with sourdough grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches.

                                      I'm not a big tomato soup fan, but it came out better than cambells select (my only comparison) haha. Girlfriend, who would be first to say how it sucked (like her cut of meat the night before) said it was best soup she has ever had, maybe even beating the french onion we made.

                                      She made the grilled cheese, and I have to say...maybe it was the bottle of Merryvale Merlot, or just the cold weather..but they were certainly the best grilled cheese I've ever had. haha.

                                      Nothing special, just fresh white american and bacon (I cooked the chopped bacon in the soup stock pot, scooped it out leaving the "good stuff" in there for the soup, saving the bacon for the sandwiches)

                                      http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/245493837-L.jpg

                                      http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/245494001-L.jpg

                                      http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/2454...

                                      Tomorrows a day off, I'm thinking about something in these little mini cast iron casserole pots I bought.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: RPMcMurphy
                                        chef chicklet Jan 22, 2008 07:31 AM

                                        Okay, tell us the recipe for the canned tomato soup, with a little more details.
                                        I'm guessing there is dairy in there, how much and is it cream? Any alchohol, basil... please? Beautiful pictures. A rainy day here and tomato soup and cheese sandwiches grilled to the likeness of yours, seems mighty fine right now.

                                        1. re: chef chicklet
                                          r
                                          RPMcMurphy Jan 22, 2008 07:40 AM

                                          I admit that most of my recipes are a botching together of something I saw at 2am on the food network or the like.....this one's base was an Emeril recipe, however, I saw on another show that since they were going to use bacon, to cook the bacon in the same pot as the soup was going it....take the bacon out and leave the ...."good stuff" in the pot. then continue with the carrots, onion, celery.

                                          Canned whole tomatoes crushed by hand....honestly, the tomatoes at wegmans looked horrible so I opted to just go with canned...next time I'll do it with jersey fresh tomatoes in season.

                                          all fresh herbs, added at the end with the cream (heavy cream, 1 cup)

                                          I used a portable hand blender while it was in the pot before adding the creme and basil last.

                                          I made (girlfriend made) sandwiches with the left over sliced bacon and used the rest for garnish in the soup.

                                          I used organic chicken stock.

                                          no alcohol. Unless you count the bottle of wine we had while cooking....

                                          no fancy cheese either, didn't want to experiment this round....just white american...next time I'll try something a little richer.

                                          1. re: RPMcMurphy
                                            g
                                            getcyped Jan 22, 2008 10:44 AM

                                            hey everyone- i was reading up on canned tomatoes yesterday- supposedly the best of the best is San Marzano tomatoes- Cento sells them-....I think I am going to try your soup- it looked tasty. Did it have any kick to it, any Essence? It was Emeril's recipe after all... maybe we should start a couples cooking club- anyone up for it? Once a month?

                                            1. re: getcyped
                                              r
                                              RPMcMurphy Jan 22, 2008 11:37 AM

                                              No essence....the way I see it, tomato soup should taste like tomato soup, BUT, I want it to be like "I don't know what it is....but this tomato soup tastes great" if you know what I mean. I think the bacon helped, good stock helped. (homemade stock would have been better) and maybe some better tomatoes (which I'd have to research) would have helped, but those are the only areas I see for "improvement" on this recipe.

                                              change it around any more and its "kinda like a tomato soup"

                                      2. jfood Jan 20, 2008 01:13 PM

                                        Do you hear the paws clapping. Very nicely done.

                                        Three egg Benney on one English, nice idea and well executed. The raviolis looked great (please tell us you do not separate eggs with that little gadget though. you seem waaaay better than that), steak looked great (nice touch placing the garlic bread under the broiler, omelette looked yummy.

                                        So, other than the meatballs, everything looks like it came out perfect.

                                        So from one NJ guy to another, go get 'em. With all the calories, hopefully you exercise a bunch. :-)))

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: jfood
                                          r
                                          RPMcMurphy Jan 20, 2008 03:12 PM

                                          Hey!!!! if it wasn't for me wowing everyone with YOUR recipe for french onion soup at a dinner party, this whole interest in pots and pans might not be so successful!!

                                          Thanks again for that french onion soup recipe you posted, really really good.

                                          as far as separating the eggs....my souschef (girlfriend) bought that little egg separated from crate and barrel so I sometimes humor her. But she did get quite the ribbing for that...haha.

                                          1. re: RPMcMurphy
                                            jfood Jan 20, 2008 03:26 PM

                                            now teach her two methods jfood learned years ago.

                                            1 - Place allthe cracked eggs in a bowl, then reach in with clean hands and scoop the yolks out
                                            2 - Crack the eggs into your hand, which is over the bowl and the yolks will slide through your fingers.

                                            Neither is pretty, but very effective

                                            Glad you liked the onion soup. Could you send jfood a NJ Sloppy Joe please. What a deli wasteland up here in CT.

                                            PS - Giants look good.

                                        2. r
                                          RPMcMurphy Jan 19, 2008 04:45 PM

                                          Tonights Dinner

                                          Filet with twice baked potato

                                          I tried my hand with a new cast iron grill pan...outside of making my house a smoke machine, it came out well. the cut of meat is "eh", but it was Wegmans so I didnt have high expectations. I am also a steak brat...

                                          I don't think i'll use the cast iron grill pan again, I just like my Weber so much better.

                                          http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/2451...

                                          Made some garlic bread

                                          I've been trying to use all fresh foods, so the chives the parsley the garlic parm cheese, were all fresh chopped/grated

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: RPMcMurphy
                                            k
                                            Kelli2006 Jan 19, 2008 05:35 PM

                                            Your meals are very impressive, and your techniques suggest that you are far from a culinary novice.

                                            I'm quite jealous of your girlfriend. Would you happen to have a brother or friends with a taste for cooking?

                                            1. re: Kelli2006
                                              r
                                              RPMcMurphy Jan 20, 2008 06:38 AM

                                              haha, girlfriend is cooking breakfast now.....and unfortunately no friends or brothers...

                                              thanks for the compliments.

                                              1. re: Kelli2006
                                                foxy fairy Jan 22, 2008 05:34 AM

                                                good one, Kelli! LOL!

                                                RPM, bravo on your experiment. You might want to check out our Cookbook of the Month, (see the sticky at the top of the Home Cooking site). I have so much fun exploring new recipes each month, and trading tips/ideas. I started making my own stocks from scratch as a result, and I find that it's a great way for me to delve into different kinds of cooking that might not jump out at me initially.

                                                For your bruschetta bar, think about a toasty pumpkin seed dip. Toast up some pumpkin seeds in a sautee pan (with just a touch of olive oil) and blend with some red onion, tomatoes, a little hot pepper for kick (Aleppo is great here, if you have it), a little garlic. I made this for Christmas Eve after discovering it from Martha Stewart (!!!) and everyone RAVED. Quite unusual as a spread, I think - hearty, just a little smoky, delightful.

                                                1. re: foxy fairy
                                                  LindaWhit Jan 22, 2008 03:52 PM

                                                  Foxy Fairy, could you link this recipe (the toasted pumpkin seed dip)? Sounds wonderful, and I'd love to have the ingredients and measurements!

                                            2. r
                                              RPMcMurphy Jan 19, 2008 08:04 AM

                                              Made crepes this morning. Since another resolution this year was to not waste....i used some left over apples and pears I had for filling and put the apple pear syrup I made over it.

                                              Made in an omlette pan, they came out GREAT. real thin and delicate. I cheated a little and flipped using the go from a the pan to the plate then back on the pan method...worked like a charm.
                                              here is a picture.

                                              http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/2449...

                                              7 Replies
                                              1. re: RPMcMurphy
                                                r
                                                RPMcMurphy Jan 19, 2008 08:34 AM

                                                a close up shot.

                                                http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/2449...

                                                1. re: RPMcMurphy
                                                  c
                                                  cookingschool Jan 19, 2008 02:46 PM

                                                  I would love your recipe for the apples and pears crepes and the syrup. I have a box of apples and pears from Harry and Davids (Christmas gift). The photos are gorgeous!

                                                  1. re: cookingschool
                                                    r
                                                    RPMcMurphy Jan 19, 2008 04:41 PM

                                                    I searched on here for a recipe for crepes,

                                                    2 eggs
                                                    1 cup milk
                                                    1/2 cup water
                                                    1/2 tsp salt
                                                    1 cup all-purpose flour
                                                    3 tablespoons melted butter or oil
                                                    mixed real well, blended even and then let sit for an hour in the fridge.

                                                    for the filling, just diced some fruit and sauteed in a pan with sugar and cinnimon...nothing special at all although next time Ill use yogurt, or whipped cream, but since i just kind of threw it together...

                                                    For the apple pear syrup, check out this post

                                                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/477003

                                                    1. re: RPMcMurphy
                                                      r
                                                      Rick Jan 19, 2008 07:46 PM

                                                      Thanks for the crepe recipe. What size pan did you use, roughly how much did you pour into the pan? Mine always come out more like pancakes!

                                                      1. re: Rick
                                                        c
                                                        cookingschool Jan 20, 2008 05:19 AM

                                                        Hey, Rick...maybe I can help. My crepe pan is about 6". I pour maybe a tablespoon of crepe batter in and start swirling it around immediately. Doesn't take very long before they're done.

                                                        1. re: Rick
                                                          r
                                                          RPMcMurphy Jan 20, 2008 06:31 AM

                                                          small omlette pan, and about 1/3 a cup, maybe even 1/4 cup...just enough to coat the bottom and JUST fan out to the edge.

                                                          1. re: RPMcMurphy
                                                            r
                                                            Rick Jan 28, 2008 06:36 PM

                                                            Thanks all, after a few failed crepes I have the technique down solid. I use a 6" smooth surfaced non stick pan that I first buttered. I use about 1/4 cup per crepe. I've done ham, egg and chesse, brown sugar and banana, and various jams, excellent!

                                                  2. r
                                                    RPMcMurphy Jan 16, 2008 06:27 AM

                                                    I dig on german food too. My family (grandparents and great greandparents) is Belorussian but grew up in Germany, so I get a taste of that food a lot. My grandfather was polish, my fathers side all Slovak.

                                                    I made this a little while back from a recipe my great aunt who lives in Munchen gave me...she said this is like steak and potatoes over there.

                                                    http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/1894...

                                                    schweinebraten which is pork with gravy and knodel which are potato dumplings. Sauerkraut, cabbage and kielbasa.

                                                    I live in a very polish/belorussian small town and I'm lucky enough to have I think 3 now...european provisions markets with fresh perogies, kielbasa and the like.

                                                    if anyone has any Bavarian/Belorussian recipes, I'll take em! Grandma is getting picky in her old age, and with no teef, even more pickier.

                                                    1. HungryRubia Jan 16, 2008 05:08 AM

                                                      Ok..please tell me that you sat down to brekafast like that on a weekend! Because if you have the time to sit to nice meal like that on a weekday, I am very jealous!
                                                      Your food looks very tasty. I too have recently been bitten by the homemade pasta bug and made Marcella's bolognese with homemase taglitatelle over the weekend...but we ate it before I could take a picture.
                                                      Keep cooking! You're doing great!

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: HungryRubia
                                                        r
                                                        RPMcMurphy Jan 16, 2008 06:07 AM

                                                        yes, Saturdays breakfast! Unfortunately I work an 8-5 but the commute isn't bad so I can cook on the weekdays.

                                                      2. g
                                                        gabby29 Jan 16, 2008 01:55 AM

                                                        Congratulations on your success. The dishes look very nice and I really like your presentation. What are you hoping to conquer next?

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: gabby29
                                                          r
                                                          RPMcMurphy Jan 16, 2008 03:49 AM

                                                          Not sure, I'm a big steak guy, so something simple and steaky.

                                                          I also have some friends coming over for dinner soon, I plan on a make your own brushetta bar type appetizer with some different toppings.

                                                          Ravioli for main course, a salad, havent figured out a veggie yet....and maybe since ill be making the raviolis te day before, concetrate on some desserts.

                                                          I had some people over for dinner a couple of weeks ago after I felt I mastered french onion soup and that came out GREAT. THe stuffed chicken main course was OK, butnothing to tell mom about.

                                                        2. r
                                                          RPMcMurphy Jan 15, 2008 04:28 PM

                                                          And tonight I made a pork tenderloin (medallions) with a balsamic honey sauce. Marinaded the tenderloin all day, game out real tender, but the sauce was "eh", but only took a few minutes to whip up.

                                                          http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/2438...

                                                          That's it for now....Any advice on a better glaze or sauce for the tenderloins would be appreciated! i was going to use the apple/pear reduction, but wanted to try something new....maybe next time.

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: RPMcMurphy
                                                            onefineleo Jan 15, 2008 04:32 PM

                                                            Novice, shmovice, Go To The Head of The Class!

                                                            1. re: RPMcMurphy
                                                              l
                                                              lexpatti Jan 16, 2008 05:11 AM

                                                              my favorite sauce for a pork tenderloin is a balsamic (2TB) and very good berry jam (3/4 cup) warmed on the stove, carefully stir in 1 cup of the berries (matching the jam). I did blueberry and it was excellent. I haven't tried this and want to: apricot jam and orange juice.

                                                              1. re: lexpatti
                                                                r
                                                                RPMcMurphy Jan 16, 2008 05:47 AM

                                                                Hmm sounds like it would have a similiar taste to the apple/pear reduction I made....I'll definitely give something like that a try.

                                                              2. re: RPMcMurphy
                                                                vickib Jan 27, 2008 03:30 PM

                                                                When I'm making a fruit based sauce with pork loin, I find that I need something acid and pungent to cut through the sweet mildness. One thing I do is to add about a cup of dry white wine to the braising liquid. Another flavor that works very well with pork and fruit is mustard. And your photos all look great. Looks to me like you're a damn fine cook.

                                                                1. re: RPMcMurphy
                                                                  Foodnerds Feb 18, 2008 09:08 AM

                                                                  Our favorite way to make pork tenderloin is to brine it whole overnight in 1-ground up granny smith, 1 or 2 c unfiltered apple cider, 1/8-1/4 c chili powder, peppercorns, 1/4 c salt, 1/4 c sugar, water to cover. Grill over charcoal, slice and serve with chunky applesauce. Delicious!

                                                                2. r
                                                                  RPMcMurphy Jan 15, 2008 04:25 PM

                                                                  Then, last night I tried my hand at homemade pasta...raviolis.

                                                                  I made 2 different fillings...a meat with some left over meatload chop meat, and a recipe I forget where I got it.

                                                                  and wolfgang puck.com recipe for a cheese filling with farmers, goat, and marscapone cheese and potato.

                                                                  rolling out the dough was the toughest part, and I've since ordered a pasta roller. but it came out GREAT with a brown butter balsamic sauce...with some toasted walnuts!
                                                                  http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/243537445-M.jpg

                                                                  http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/243537801-M.jpg

                                                                  http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/243537933-M.jpg

                                                                  http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/2435...
                                                                  yum.

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: RPMcMurphy
                                                                    g
                                                                    getcyped Jan 18, 2008 07:21 AM

                                                                    do you use a pasta maker or roll by hand? I have been meaning to try,but have not gotten around to it. Jamie Oliver and Giada have some good ravioli stuffing recipes.

                                                                    1. re: getcyped
                                                                      r
                                                                      RPMcMurphy Jan 18, 2008 02:23 PM

                                                                      I did by hand, however, it would have been much easier with a 30$ pasta roller....that I plan to pickup this weekend. not exremely difficult, but it does take some time and strength, and when you think its thin enough, make it thinner haha.

                                                                      1. re: getcyped
                                                                        t
                                                                        The Old Broad Feb 18, 2008 10:32 AM

                                                                        Use won-ton wrappers. I'm going to do it next week to make a proscuitto ravioli.

                                                                        1. re: The Old Broad
                                                                          d
                                                                          Deborah Feb 18, 2008 03:32 PM

                                                                          Old Broad I agree. For years I have made homemade pasta....one recipe I roll by hand, another I use a pasta roller. But once I started using wont-ton wrappers and no one seems to notice the difference....i say why not?

                                                                    2. r
                                                                      RPMcMurphy Jan 15, 2008 04:22 PM

                                                                      Then I made some homemade apple/pear syrup....I tried to replicate a dish I had in Brussels at a place called the Belga Queen. It was meatballs with "sirop de liege" over it. Well the sauce took 9 hours, and 20lbs of fruit, but it came out great!

                                                                      http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/243328005-M.jpg

                                                                      my kitchen
                                                                      http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/243328017-M.jpg

                                                                      to pass the time...
                                                                      http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/243328023-M.jpg

                                                                      halfway through
                                                                      http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/243328043-M.jpg

                                                                      had to strain that and reduce it....

                                                                      http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/2433...
                                                                      not so good presentation, and while the sauce duplicated perfectly, I think I should have mixed it with the meatball stock to make it not as "hit you so sweet"...all in all success in reproducing the dish, from a recipe that I had to translate from french...and hope it was an accurate recipe!

                                                                      1. r
                                                                        RPMcMurphy Jan 15, 2008 04:17 PM

                                                                        OK so uploading a picture pretty much sucks. Here is the link.

                                                                        http://rtimko.smugmug.com/photos/2433...

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: RPMcMurphy
                                                                          purple goddess Jan 15, 2008 04:21 PM

                                                                          Noice. Very noice!

                                                                          What's under the eggs? tomatoes? bacon?

                                                                          What's next?

                                                                          1. re: purple goddess
                                                                            r
                                                                            RPMcMurphy Jan 15, 2008 04:31 PM

                                                                            just some simple canadian bacon. Nothing to crazy here, its my favorite breakfast dish and i wanted to get the basics down first, then I can experiment. I'm going to try a steak eggs Benedict next.

                                                                          2. re: RPMcMurphy
                                                                            MMRuth Jan 16, 2008 04:57 AM

                                                                            Congratulations - all looks wonderful. BTW - I wonder if your trouble w/ uploading photos was that they are too big - happens to me sometimes.

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