Justin & Meredith Winokur's Kitchen Cooking Notebook

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Turkey Taco Skillets


We made what has become our pretty standard Turkey Taco Skillets. Nothing particulalry special but still really good, as usual. It made a lot of food and we have lunch too!

Really no changes other than our usual dicing the peppers instead of spiralizing them!

Hot and Sour Tumeric Chicken Soup


I made Hot and Sour Tumeric Chicken Soup1 from Simple Thai Food. I actually followed the recipe pretty closely except I used Better Than Boullon for the stock and, even though they say it is not the same, I used ginger for the galengal. I also used the powdered tumeric and I used chicken breasts. Oh, and we sliced the (fresh from the garden) peppers to increase the heat.

Despite following the recipe, we didn't love it. The tumeric flavor was just too overpowering. You could really taste the kaffir lime and the lemongrass though. It kind of reminded me of Tom Yum but not as good, or as sweet. Meredith really didn’t like it and didn't even end up eating hers.

So, it was a fun and new experiment, but it is not going to be into our normal rotation.

ALso, I do not think I was supposed to strain it but eating around the lemongrass and ginger was a bit odd.

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

Tenderloin Sous Vide


I made sous vide tenderloin using the same temps (and roughly the same times) as our anniversary -- 133.5°F for about 2-3 hours.

The only real chane I made was to heat the cast iron on the grill to keep the mess out there! It worked well, though left a sticky residue but that may have happened either way.

Meredith also made brocolinni with tahini sauce. Good as usual

Pesto Eggs Benedict


I made Meredith eggs benedict for lunch. I used the NYTimes Recipe (Local). I used the recipe as a general guide, but really only used it for the hollandaise. I followed their recipe and then added a nice chunk of some frozen home-made pesto Meredith made last November to make pesto-hollandaise.

I used deli ham (since Meredith doesn't like the thick canadian bacon) and I just, on Meredith's suggestion, used a fried egg instead of poached (though I overcooked them a bit). I just assembled it by myself (and didn't do the herbs).

It was pretty good. You could really taste the pesto. There is a good chance I used a bit too much too but it was good.

Corned Beef Hash


Meredith and I were making different dinners so I went with Corned Beef Hash. I basically followed the recipe but only one potato and about 1/3 lbs of corned beef (cut as a single 1/2" slice in the deli). I still did it with a poblano pepper (and it was really hot).

I also tried to fry the egg seperatly but in the same pan. Next time, back to poaching inside the corned beef hash. I also think I overcooked the hash a little bit but it was still good!

Sous Vide Duck Breast + Skin


I've always been a bit strange about duck but Meredith and I had it a few different times at some restaurants so Meredith and I decided to try making some with sous vide. I followed this Serious Eats Recipe (Local1)

I followed it pretty closely including letting it dry-brine overnight in the fridge. I sous-vide cooked it for about 1.5 hours. I then seared it on the cast-iron on the grill (cleaner) but at lower heat as per the recipe. As you can see from the photos below, the skin looked to crisp nicely:

We also served it with Artichoke Cream with Truffle (given as a gift). I do not think I loved the truffle too much... or the duck. It was not dry, but it was a bit chewy and the skin was super fatty! Both Meredith and I didn't like the skin and really weren't crazy about the duck.

But, I took the skin and then pan-fried it (without adding any more oil. It was mostly leftover duck fat) to make something like chicharones but duck skin. It was also just...ok. We didn't eat much of that either. It is pictured below

What was really good is Meredith sautéed up a bunch of sliced mini bell peppers with crushed red pepper and insaporitore per patate fritte (french frie seasoning) from Italy. They were really good, but had a few spicy bites!

Next Time

Next time, we will likely just, well, not make duck! Or, if we do, try some other sauces and/or recipes and/or preparations.

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

Japanese Curry


We make Japanese Curry. While we didn't make it from scratch, we used roux blocks which are very common in Japanese home cooking. They are really easy. You sauté the vegetables and then add 3 cups of water and half the package (or adjust as needed). Once they dissolve, it thickens a good bit.

We used:

And "superfirm" tofu for the protein...which worked well.

We actually ended up letting it simmer for longer since we wanted to soften the potatoes (and the carrots to a lesser extent).

We decided not to serve it on rice, but there was more than enough food. We could probably do it on rice (maybe cauliflower?) to bulk it up and make luches1. It was really good!

The curry we used:

  1. The whole package is 12 "servings" so 3 each (~330 cal) is not too bad considering the other veggies. 

Pesto Eggs Benedict


This is nearly a 100% copy from earlier in the week using the same recipe. Again, we just fried the eggs and used Tavern (deli) ham instead of Canadian bacon

Milk Punch Cocktail


Meredith made a Milk Punch Cocktail following NYTimes (Local). She followed the recipe doing half half-and-half and half milk. She also used lavender simple syrup (and less of it).

She liked it and would make it again.

Chicken Marsala (Meredith Style)


Meredith and I made her "Meredith Style Chicken Marsala". It is based on the veggies from here and done with the chicken here

I do not think we really did anything differently. We sautéed the chicken separately in a little bit of butter and then added them later. We should have cooked the onions a bit longer before adding the mushrooms. That caused them to steam a little.

Making the chicken:



I made the usual falafel except I accidentally doubled the Za'atar which worked out really well. I am actually going to add that change.

I also made Harissa. Spicy as usual but really good. I went heavy on the garlic and black pepper which worked well too! (I probably used the right amount of pepper and usually go light).

The real star of the meal was actually Meredith's usual tzatziki. Except they were done with home-grown cucumbers! They were extra cucumbery (is that a word?). You could actually taste the extra flavor in the tzatziki!

Salsa Chicken Salad


Meredith and I made Salsa Chicken for lunch with Salsa Salad Dressing. I flattened the chicken and then topped it with some salt and salsa then baked it for about 20-25 min at 375°F.

We also had some tomatoes and avocados in there.

I really like this dressing. I think I would call it "Creamy Salsa Cilantro"!



I made Oyakodon, a Japanese chicken and egg bowl. I used the Serious Eats recipe (local). I followed the recipe except with chicken breast. I also only had about 1 cup of rice total. (I pre-made the rice on the weekend).

It was actually pretty easy and not bad. I smelled really good and the taste wasn't bad though it was also not amazing. We liked it and would do it again, but it also didn't feel like anything special. I do think we could do it with tofu and make it mostly vegetarian.

Finished Simmering:

Sous Vide Fajitas


I made fajitas with the sous-vide cooker. I used this Homesick Texan recipe (local) for the marinate. I actually pre-made the marinade this weekend and then started it this morning. I threw it right in the sous vide cooker when I got home and did it at 131°F for about 2 hours and then semi-seared it as on the grill for 2 minutes per side.

I also pre-chopped all of the veggies except the mushrooms and got them started right away. All of this made it pretty easy! I also reduced the extra marinade to make a sauce. And Meredith made a quick version of guac.

With all that said, I was pretty disappointed with the meat. I got that temperature from a few websites, but I think it would have been much better if it were firmer and cooked hotter. It also would have been less chewy!

I do not know if I would rush to use this marinade again either. But the veggies were really good (I just used salt and Adobo seasoning)

Turkey and Pork Larb


Meredith and I made Pork and Turkey larb. We used the Simple Thai Cooking Recipe for both the larb and the rice powder. It was pretty easy but we made a bunch of minor changes

We also served it with arborio rice.

I really liked it. The lime did well to cover the fish sauce and was otherwise very flavorful. The rice also helped cover some of the fish sauce. It was also pretty easy to make. Especially now that we have some extra toasted rice powder (stored it in the freezer this time)

The toasted rice powder:

Japanese Curry


We made Japanese Curry again. Like last time we used the same brand curry but we made a lot more of it. We used a lot of:

We also made rice for this meal. I did it with 5/8ths a pack of curry (that is supposedly 7.5 servings). I used 4 blocks (1/2 package) of "super hot"1 and the other 1/8th was just "hot" like last time.

While I did like the spice, I thought it was less flavorful this time. Meredith thinks it's because we served it on rice, but I think we diluted it a bit too much with the veggies.

It was still good though! We planned to make only 4 servings, but decided to make 6 so we have extra lunches!

I would still do this again, but probably with a bit more curry blocks.

  1. It' wasn't 

Sloppy Joes


I made Turkey Sloppy Joes using My Recipe Book version. I basically followed the recipe pretty closely except I doubled it. And, as it suggested, I did it with sriracha and balsamic.

I think it is time to look for a new recipe since this one has a distgusting amount of ketchup (which is especially obvious when you double it and do 1-1/2 cups of it!). But it was still pretty good.

I also made roasted broccoli by tossing it with smoked paprika, garlic powder, and salt. I roasted it at 425°F for 25 minutes.



This was a simple camping meal. We used the grill pan to grill the halloumi and served it on some bread with our green sauce. And we had some pre-bagged salad. It was BBQ ranch from Sprouts.

Nice (enough) meal and nice eating with the fire.



Meredith premade Fattoush for camping. She used home grown cucumbers to make it with gave them a really strong but good flavor. She also added a can of chickpeas to increase the protien and make it more of a meal.

We were a bit worried about it having gotten too warm (some milk we had soured) but I think it was fine (not that you could tell with buttermilk)

Eggs and Bacon with Green Sauce


Camping breakfast. Scrambled eggs with green sauce and cheese pieces of bacon



I made myself a reuben for dinner. I had thinly sliced corned beef1 and fat free thousand island dressing and Lacey Swiss. I tried a trick I had read about which is to use some mayo on the bread to toast it on the pan. It actually worked pretty well, though I made have slightly overcooked it (but the rye was marble rye so it may also just have been dark). Pretty good as usual! And easy too!

  1. I ask for "Thin but not shaven" 

Zucchini Fritters


I made zucchinni fritters with fresh zucchini from Meredith's garden. They were pretty big but were also very flavorful. You could see that I got a lot of water out of them (and gave the water to the dog, who really liked it).

I used an extra egg which I think was a mistake. It was still pretty wet inside but cooked all of the way through still.