Justin & Meredith Winokur's Kitchen Cooking Notebook

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Italian Style Brussel Sprouts Stir Fry


I needed something quick and we had a lot of brussel sprouts. I quartered them and stir fried them really hot until they were mostly cooked. I then added chicken sausage and finally Delallo Vodka Sauce (as we use for vodka sauce)

There wasn't much to it. It was certainly not the most amazing meal in the world but it was filling and, while heavy, wasn't too unhealthy.

French Onion Soup with Sous Vide Chicken


I had planned to make French Onion Soup a few days ago but didn't get to it until now. I caramelized onions a the night before I was supposed to make it but they ended up sitting in the fridge for a bit.

I heated them up but decided not to do the flour. I did however save the liquid from the 72-hour brisket. I used this as my beef broth, though it was less. The rest was chicken broth plus the wine.

And I let it simmer for about an hour and a half since the chicken was going.

On the chicken, I followed 2016-06-28 and did the chicken with a bit of butter, garlic, salt, pepper, roasted garlic powder, and Mural of Flavor. I let that sous-vide for 90ish minutes (probably more). I finally seared it on the pan for about 60 seconds per side.

I then made a bit of a pan-sauce from the liquid in the sous-vide bags. I liked the chicken a lot. A nice amount of flavor and (obviously) not overcooked.

The soup was fine. I thought it was maybe a bit too salty but that is pretty typical of soups.

Brussel Sprout Tofu (a la Broccoli Beef)


I made Broccoli Beef except without broccoli and without beef. I had a bag of brussel sprouts I needed to use up and some tofu (Trader Joes Super Firm) we bought last week but didn't get to eat.

I followed the recipe except used rice-wine vinegar instead of just rice-wine. I also briefly marinated to cubed tofu but without the corn starch (no need to velvet the brussel sprouts).

I quartered the brussel sprouts and super-hot stir-fried them. Then I separated sautéed the tofu and added it together. I had a bit too much sauce so it came out salty but otherwise really good. Lots of flavor from the brussel sprouts with high heat.

Salsa Chicken Salad


I made salsa chicken salad as Meredith and I had done a bunch during Whole30. Meredith was kind of tired of it, but I liked it and she was out of town.

I baked a thinned piece of chicken, covered with Salsa, for about 23 minutes at 375°F. I then sliced it up and made a dressing like Meredith had done on 2017-02-09 (now Recipe Book). I think I used too much mayo but it was fine otherwise.

I also topped it with an egg and some chopped peppers. Again, too much mayo but I really liked it otherwise!

Enchilada Casserole / Lasagna


I prepped ahead last night an Enchilada Casserole / Lasagna. Did the same basic idea of 2016-10-12. I sautéed up some onions and mini-bell peppers. I used a lot of seasonings such as garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, salt, pepper, etc. I then did something new: I added some Laughing Cow. I added a ton of Santa Fe Ole red sauce.

I also steamed 4 (small) chicken breast after putting some salt on them and then shredded them in the mixer.

But, I was assembling the casserole and was thinking it was rather thin. That's when I noticed I completely forgot the chicken! I never mixed it with the onions, etc. So I just topped the middle layer with the chicken and more red sauce and then mixed the rest of the chicken in with the other half.

It was pretty good and worked well as a prepped ahead meal. I did bake it for about 25 minutes at 350°F.

Kangaroo Green-Chile Jerky and Cilantro Beef Jerky


Left: Kangaroo (not sure why it was so white at the lines), Right: Beef

Green Chile

This was part one of what we made for a Mad Science Party. I made green chile kangaroo jerky. Yes, kangaroo! We had bought frozen kangaroo at the supermarket a while ago and used it for this.

I made green chile flavor with:

I did it in the food processor (better for not a lot of liquids). The only problem was that I aimed for about 2300 mg of sodium from the salt, but forgot about salt in the chile.

It started off very wet but oddly seemed to dry faster. I think the wetter the start, the dryer the finish. And in less time. (5 hours @ 160°F)

This came out pretty good. A bit salty and had some kick from the chile. A bit gamey but that is to be expected (I'm told).

I think I would try green chile like this again. Maybe also paint some on later.


We use our cilantro-chile dip on everything so why not also in jerky? I was a bit hesitant because it has some oil, but I have it a shot. All I did 5 Tbsp of the green chile dip and 3/4 tsp salt. It was about as easy as it can get.

It needed more time than the green chile (6.5 hours @ 160°F). It came out pretty good. Tasted strongly of a dip. Maybe a bit too much so next time I would use less so you also taste the beef. But easy!

Orange Cornmeal Cake


Part two of our Mad Science Party entry was an Orange Cornmeal Cake 1 (That is the local copy since the original is behind a login-wall). It was a cool idea but we struggled a bit. You have to make a carmel of sorts and we burned it the first time and gave it another shot. I think the second time was a bit better but, as you can see below, it got pretty burned looking in the oven. It tasted a bit burned but not too bad. I think we did it for about 10-20 minutes too long.

We used Blood oranges for the topping which was theory and before cooking it. I think we would try it again but cook it for less time and maybe a bit lower (could be due to convention?)

It did taste pretty good. Not very sweet but still very good.

  1. U: guest, P: name of my Boston Terrier 

Asian Lettuce Wraps


I prepped Asian Lettuce Wraps for dinner but we ended up saving it for lunch. We followed the recipe except used only half the noodles and did the rest with zucchini. I think it worked well with that and I would try it again. Maybe even replace all of the noodles.

Pi Day Pies: Shoo Fly and Apricot Buttermilk Pie


We both wanted to make pies for Pi Day and we were both craving pie's from where we grew up so I went with Shoo Fly Pie and Meredith made Buttermilk Pie.

Apricot Buttermilk Pie

Meredith grew up with buttermilk pie and decided to try a twist on it with this Joy The Baker (local1). She followed the recipe pretty closely. Making the brown butter was a bit of an adventure and got butter everywhere. But otherwise worked pretty well. We did use store-bought crusts.

The recipe was good, but Meredith said it was not quite what she remembered. It was more about the apricot than the buttermilk so we would probably do a different recipe next time.

Shoo Fly Pie

I followed the NY Times recipe (local1). I didn't have time for making the crust but we went with a store bought one.

The NY Times recipe was interesting. I've never heard of making a pie like this, but essentially you have a liquid in the pie and then add the crumb mixture on top. I was really unsure of what to expect from it, though I think it turned out ok. I do not remember what it is supposed to taste like, but this was kind of very heavy on the molasses. The texture was good though.

  1. U: guest, P: name of my Boston Terrier 

Green Chile Cilantro Shrimp


Not a very pretty or complex meal, but I steamed shrimp from frozen and then made a quick sauce with some butter, green chile, and Cilantro Chili Dip.

It was actually pretty good, even if it wasn't particularly pretty...

Huevos Rancheros


We made the typical huevos rancheros with green chile and rotisserie chicken. I used feta on one and some Mexican cheese blend on the others.

It has been a while since I've made them and I think I burned the tortillas a little. Also, I used too much chicken. But, still good! And easy!

Chicken Skewers and Grilled Bacon Mushrooms



My friends Wes and Katie were visiting ABQ and come over for dinner. We made two types of chicken skewers and also teriyaki mushrooms.

The chicken skewers were from Zahav (scanned here). It was part of their "Pargiyot Three Ways" though we only did two. For the "onion marinade" (they both have the same amount of onion but whatever), we followed the recipe pretty directly. For the harissa one, we did follow the recipe but used a tomato-based harissa (see below).

I tried to do a more Japanese style of skewering. I butterflied the chicken and then also pounded it thin. I cut it into smallish pieces and basically folded every piece as I put it on and packed it tight. According to Serious Eats, this helps to keep them from drying out. I also just think it looked good and gave some more texture.

Anyway, the chicken was marinated for a few hours and was really flavorful. I put on more sauce at the end before the last turn. They came out really good. The onion one was a bit lemony but not bad. I liked the harissa one a lot too! And the onions in both smelled really good while it was cooking.

Finally, I also made yakitori mushrooms as we did last time. Except I used regular mushrooms with 4 per skewer and a total of 1 slice of [center cut] bacon per skewer (basically a third). Like the chicken, I tried to also fold them up as I put them on. It worked really well. I was a bit unsure about the teriyaki (which I also made myself with some ginger an garlic) because it came out too thick. But heating it a bit helped. And it did end up giving it enough flavor. The bacon again gave a lot of flavor to the mushrooms.


Meredith and I used to really like the Harissa at Cava in Northern Virginia. She was working on it at one at one time but it was complicated and a lot of work.

Well, she found this article and recipe (LOCAL recipe1 -- now My Recipe Book). It seemed too good to be true. Especially since the ingredients on the package are:

Stewed tomatoes / Non-GMO canola oil / Spices / Extra- virgin olive oil / Fresh parsley / Kosher salt / Fresh garlic

and this one just calls for tomato paste instead of stewed tomatoes. And it just seemed too easy. But it actually worked really well. It had some crunchiness from the not-fully-ground crushed red pepper but was pretty spot least to our memory. I think we would make this and keep it around. Especially it was so easy! (and the recipe does seem to come right from them!). Maybe next time, I will grind up the crushed red pepper in a spice grinder first.


Salad and Dessert

When Meredith was in Durham at Burger Bach, she had a very flavorful, herb-centric salad and decided to make something like it.

She was inspired by Good House Keeping's recipe (LOCAL1) but added a ton of thyme and oregano. We basically did most of it by eye adding more oil, and then some water, as needed.

Our friends made dessert of a strawberry short cake. It was home made whipped cream with macerated strawberries and some Angel's Food Cake

  1. U: guest, P: name of my boston terrier, all lower case 

Harissa and Cilantro Dip


I really liked the harissa (now in my recipe book) from yesterday so I made a full batch. The only real changes I made was to pre-grind the crushed red pepper and I used about 1/3 cup oil instead of half. Grinding the crushed red pepper worked well enough, but it did get very, very hard to breathe in the kitchen! And, of course, it came out pretty spicy. I think it was fine with the lesser oil amount.

I also made our (now staple) Cilantro Chili Dip but used way too many peppers and didn't deseed them enough. It was spicy. I need to be more careful about the spice levels!

Turkey K(o/e)ftas and Teriyaki Mushrooms


We were originally going to make half keftas and half koftas but somewhere in the process of making them, I got mixed up and started to mix the ingredients so I just made a big batch of both. Also, we decided to go with turkey instead since it was a great price, a good fat content (7%) and we thought it was a good change. The only problem was that it was a big thing of it (3.35 lbs). So I also eyeballed upping the spices.

I struggled to place it on 6 double-skewers. It was a lot and it was also very droopy. But, I managed to do it! I thought I'd have to grill it for a long time, but it ended up getting sufficiently cooked in time. I ended up keeping the heat on low while I worked on the mushrooms.

Anyway, they came out really good. I was worried that they would be too cooked but I think they held up really well. And, the flavors were a bit strange but they did worked. I mean, the koftas and keftas have very similar recipe (and origin?) so I think it worked pretty well!

Besides combining the recipes, I made a few small changes:

Again, these came together really well. Kind of surprisingly well!

We made the same mushrooms as yesterday since they were (a) really good, and (b) we had leftover teriyaki (though it was a bit too thick). They came out really good too. I think I figured out why: it is because it basically makes candies bacon!

Meredith also made fattoush though she basically just eyeballed everything. And, unfortunately the flatbread we bought went moldy (way too quickly!) so we also didn’t

Pita Pizzas


Pretty simple meal of pita pizzas (and also some salad with leftover dressing). I made

And Meredith made: (both with fresh-from-the-garden oregano)

On both of them, we used some roasted garlic powder which was really good.

We baked them for 350°F for 15-20 minutes

Curry Chicken Salad and Broccoli


Meredith made a big batch of curry chicken salad with rotisserie chicken and made it about 6x the amount it calls for.

She followed the recipe pretty generally but accidentally used too much turmeric. It still worked pretty well. It had some spice from the cayenne and she used walnuts instead of cashews. Also, as usual used non-fat Greek Yogurt for the mayo.

Not too much else, but it was good as usual. And we have a ton of food for lunch for the next few days!

We also made broccoli with leftover tahini sauce from 2017-02-26. The broccoli was a bit overcooked and the sauce was old but it was fine.

Harissa Salad Dressing


Not much to say about this except that I am continuing to use Cava Style Harissa (Which I just moved to my recipe book). I mixed it with some greek yogurt and then some almond milk to thin it.

It was pretty good. I did like it but not as much as the salsa with the cilantro stuff (which I should try with greek yogurt)...



I discovered a little bit ago that falafel freezes well so when I made it on 2016-11-16 I made a double batch and froze it.

We had it today with some (store bought) hummus and Cava Style Harissa (which was spicy but awesome)

Koftas and Mushrooms


This is largely a repeat of last Sunday except we just made koftas and I used Soyaki1 for the teriyaki sauce.

Meredith made the regular kofta recipe2 with turkey. She followed the (now updated) recipe pretty closely. I assembled them and figured out a trick to shaping them onto skewers: do it on a greased plate rather than trying to form it into a log in the air.

I made more harissa (yes, I am obsessed) and also assembled the mushrooms. I grilled everything as per the directions.

It all came out pretty good. The mushrooms were good (as usual) and we liked the koftas, though I think I liked the accidental mixing of koftas and keftas last week more.

I couldn't really tell the different teriyaki sauce but I also didn't really have enough of the Soyaki left either so it is really hard to tell.

  1. Trader Joes version of SoyVay 

  2. Updated 2017-03-27 to better reflect what we actually do. 

Chicken Fajitas


This was a pretty straightforward meal. I sliced up an onion and a half and sauteed it with three bell peppers. I added salt, Penzey's Mural of Flavor, and some cumin as I went.

I pounded out about 1.4 lbs of chicken and topped it with the same seasonings and did it in the grill pa (It wasn't very nice outside, otherwise I would have done it on the grill itself).

We served it wit some low-fat sour cream. Nothing super fancy or complex (our tortillas went bad) but it worked fine. The flavor was pretty good and we got lunch out of it too!

Turkey Taco Skillets


I made the standard(ish) turkey taco skillets except I went heavy on the spices and used extra pepper and about 1.4 lbs of turkey. I kind of just winged it anyway. And then topped it with cilantro and cheese.

Not much else to say but it was pretty good as usual and gave us lunches too!

Caramelized Onions


We bought a really big bag of onions since they were cheap, but they were starting to go bad so I made a huge batch of caramelized onions with about 10 onions (and used the mandoline to make it doable).

I caramelized it on low temp for about 1.25 hours (it takes longer with a big batch)