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May 4, 2014 07:04 AM

What's for Dinner #296- The Ah,Ah, Ah, Ahchoo! Edition! [through May 9, 2014]

Whole lot of sneezing going on in these parts as the spring really kicks into high gear. For those who have spring allergies, it's supposed to be a tough season this year.

What's for dinner at your house as spring begins to show its stuff?

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  1. It's spot prawn season. I looked at recipes but as none appealed I just decided to eat the tails raw with sashimi style dipping sauce (tsuke joyu). I reserved the large head sections for stock.

    Long story short, raw prawn is substantially more filling than their cooked counterparts. The flavor is not unlike an oyster in some regards, but instead of the briny oyster liquor, the outer layer of the shrimp tail has an unctuous and buttery stick to the inside of your mouth texture. It's really nice but a little goes a long way.

    Very nice strawberries were to be had at the farmers market yesterday so sorbet also made the menu.

    Question: I made shrimp stock with the heads, shells, garlic, shallot, and parsley. What should I do with it?

    15 Replies
        1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

          Wow, those berries look amazing.

          For the stock:

          How about a risotto? Gumbo? Or something Asian-inspired? You could use the stock for an Asiany soup, or to loosen a sauce for a noodle dish, or to cook rice in..?

              1. re: nothingswrong

                Oh paella sounds like a good idea, and I've never made one before!

              2. re: nothingswrong

                The berries are fantastic, which surprised me as it is very early in the season. Last week was hot, almost to 90°, but otherwise has been a cool spring.

                I'm sure the farmers would like to sell berries nationally, but they are soft and easily damaged. They're also high in sugar and spoil quickly at room temperature. Lebovitz's sorbet is too sweet with these berries I think. I'll need to cut the sugar next time which is the reason it's such a small portion, and with pepper and balsamic.

                1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                  I know exactly what you mean--fresh ripe berries are almost TOO sweet and difficult here in the summer. I like to pick them up fresh from the farmer's market, then as soon as I get home turn them into a granita spiked with lime. No sugar necessary, (and you can add booze if desired :) ).

                  1. re: nothingswrong

                    I have only had the ice cream maker for six months or so and I'm still getting the hang of it. I thought about reducing the amount of sugar but I know it inhibits ice crystals. This was a problem in the last seat of my pants sorbet. Lebovitz has a berry and rosé sorbet that seems like it might be ideal with really ripe berries. Maybe next time.

              3. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                For the shrimp stock, tom yum goong starter.

                1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                  The first time I had raw prawns was in Toronto, oddly, and they were delicious! Yours sound equally so.

                  1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                    As tcamp says, make tom yam goong!

                    How long before you took that pic did you off the spotties, Chris? I find the texture goes way off if they are dead for long.

                    1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                      Strawberry sorbet! I might have to make something like that soon (I have strawberries aging quickly in the fridge). Thanks for the idea!

                      1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                        Great lookin spots. I picked up some live ones the other day as well. They're amazing raw, both texture and taste are exquisite I've always been curious as to why they seem to be more filling raw as well. Thing about spots, is that no matter what, I always wish I had more.

                        1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                          So did you ever end up making anything with that shrimp stock??

                        2. Another item I picked up at Wegmans was a duck breast. That's WFD tonight, with a red wine-raspberry sauce.

                          Duck breast will be scored in a cross-hatch, seasoned with salt and pepper, and seared on a low heat until the fat is rendered and the skin is nice and crispy brown - maybe 10 or so minutes? Flip it over, cook for 1 minute, then into a pan in a 350° oven to finish cooking. Rest for 5 minutes.

                          Meanwhile, I'll make a pan sauce. A smidge of the duck fat will help to sauté some minced shallots. About 1/3 of a cup of red wine will be added and reduced. Some mashed/strained raspberries are added towards the end, stirred until thickened a bit, and some butter and seasoning will be whisked in at the very end.

                          Duck sliced on the bias and layered on top of a schmear of the raspberry sauce.

                          Sides will be roasted baby Yukon potatoes and steamed green beans and carrots with thyme. Probably some wine. :-P

                          24 Replies
                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            Damn - I thought I had gotten that edit in in time, but when the wheel just kept spinning, I knew I probably hadn't done so. Luckily, I copied what I wanted to add/change...

                            I have to change it to red wine-blackberry sauce, as the raspberry puree I had in the freezer tasted 'off' when I defrosted it. So....I'll try it with a couple of Tbsp. of blackberry puree. And if that tastes off? Well, I have some fresh mangoes I could always puree.... :-)

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              OMG OMG OMG, I outdid myself with this dinner. Simply superb, if I do say so myself. :-) Granted, the sauce broke before the SOD (Slicing Of the Duck), but I rescued it with a smidge of half-and-half whisked in off the heat, and it worked out very nicely.

                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      gorgeous! simply ducky!!
                                      that meat looks succulent.

                                      very nice plating, too!

                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                        I took extra-special care with the plating, mc. Not as lovely as rjbh20 does for roxlet and the boy, but I was pleased with it. I even wiped the edge of the plate where some duck juice had dripped. All I could think of was Chef Ramsay or Chef Colicchio dinging me for a messy plate. :-P

                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                          love it. I am haphazard at best. whenever I wipe, I feel like I smudge things even more!

                                      2. re: LindaWhit

                                        Don't you love it when you outdo yourself and pull off a restaurant-quality meal? Which is what you did here, I would gladly fork over $30 for that!

                                        1. re: GretchenS

                                          Bonus! I would have made money on the deal, Gretchen! LOL

                                        2. re: LindaWhit

                                          Lovely presentation. Not personally a fan of fruit sauce on duck (or anything else savory), but it's a classic. Well done

                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                              Nope. Sauternes with it is perfectly acceptable, however

                                            2. re: rjbh20

                                              Thanks very much, rjbh. What is your preference for cooking duck - just roasting it and slicing it? Do you use any type of a sauce or a "schmear" on the plate?

                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                If it's a breast, i sear it, slice & usually do some variety of demi -- red wine, green peppercorn, wild mushroom. Sometimes an Asian twist -- soy, sesame oil, hoisin, etc.

                                                Whole does well on a spit if you have a good rotisserie & are careful to have a drip pan underneath. No sauce with this one, the skin is its own reward.

                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                    The duck discovered it was a nude beach, but removed the suit too late.

                                                  2. re: rjbh20

                                                    No rotisserie, no grill allowed, I'm afraid. And I've never made a demi-glace, but I will have to remedy that, especially since it can be frozen in an ice cube tray for later use.

                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                      LindaWhit - I have made demi-glace and it is very time consuming. It was worth it for the volume, but there's a good product "Demi Glace Gourmet" that works well. A 20 part reduction. You may already know about it, and I didn't search to see if it has been discussed previously, but I consider it a good product. Last time I cooked duck, I used that and macerated cherries with stock. They make it so easy for you.

                                                      Now I need some duck after looking over those pix.

                                                      1. re: rudeboy

                                                        I have seen and have used that, rudeboy. That would be my go-to if I never get around to making the homemade. :-)

                                                    2. re: rjbh20

                                                      Where do you get the demi? Or do you make it?

                                              2. oh my LORD does it already smell good here! carnitas are simmering away.

                                                i'm going to make my own kimchi today.

                                                i also have to make a bfast casserole-type dish for work on Monday. i was going to do a tortilla de papa with Spanish chorizo, but that's a lot more work than i want to do. . . we'll see. maybe a tortilla de papa casserole.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. WFD? Mooooo!

                                                  My husband got back from MD last night with 175lbs of beef. Instead of steak and cheese we opted to have friends over for burgers. I have dough rising for rolls, I'll toss together a salad and there will be Utz crab chip too. Berger cookies for dessert. Let the grilling commence!

                                                  Gratuitous photo of the haul! Our son named him Morty. I think it's important he sees where his food comes from and how it's processed.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: foodieX2

                                                    Room for 1 more? I hope you enjoy the delights of Maryland. Where did the wonderful beef come from?

                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                      Come on over!

                                                      We love MD! My husband grew up in Monkton. His sister and her husband have a farm in White Hall so we get the cow thru them. Organic, grass fed and we get to see and meet them!!

                                                    2. My husband spent all of yesterday cooking. He made gallons and gallons of chili to take to my son's crew regatta on Long Island. As soon as they got there, they learned that the races had been cancelled due to high winds and threatened thunderstorms. Although they went back to the school and my husband served brunch (he also had the fixings for egg sandwiches), we still have a ton of chili left, so that's what's for dinner. There is also a lot of raw eggs that he prescrambled, so tomorrow I will probably make a quiche with the leftover eggs. Otherwise, WFD will likely be chili again!

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                        Winds were brutal today. Good call on the quiche.

                                                        Nothing wrong with chili.

                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                          what a pain! at least the chili will freeze well...