Justin & Meredith Winokur's Kitchen Cooking Notebook

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Peruvian Sweet Potato Salad


**Photo to follow later**

Meredith made a Peruvian Sweet Potato Salad. Like the cauliflower last week, it is in the syle of Tamar Adler" (who wrote "An Everlasting Meal") and was just:

I liked it a lot. It was pretty spicy too!

Note: The salad from the book is supposed to have lime-marinated shallots but there wasn't time this morning

Sausage and Asparagus


I made chicken sausage for dinner but decided to do it the sous vide so I could be 100% sure it was fully cooked but also not super tough.

I followed the Serious Eats (Local) at 150°F for about 1.5 hours and then finished them with some oil and butter.

I had a hot Italian link and green chile. Meredith had spinach feta. All chicken.

I really liked this method. Besides being a lot easier, it was also really juicy and tasted really good!

I also made asparagus by roasting it at 400°F for 6 minutes

Seared Salmon and Cauliflower


Seared Salmon with some salt, pepper, and cumin. Meredith made roasted cauliflower with salt and Mural of Flavor.



I made a batch of my Dad's Biscotti for two work-related Christmas parties. Fundamentally, I made very few changes/notes. The biggest was that I used the zest of about 5/6ths of a lemon instead of measuring. Other than that, I followed the ingredients pretty closely. I did it with pistatios and Fruit Cake mix to give it more christmas color.

But, despite staying pretty true to the recipe (including not making altitude-related changes), I struggled a bit. It all came together pretty well (though it is sticky; I nearly broke two spatulas before getting the wooden spoon). I shaped it and put it in for the first bake at 325°F (w/ convection) for about 33 minutes. They came out white as a ghost!!! And, they stuck to the silpat and the first one tore.

I put them back in for another 10 min or so with the temp kicked up to 350°F and that seemed to work better.

I let them cool and then tried to cut them. My sharpened my knives while they cooled (They needed it) and still, my (junky) serrated knife was tearing them apart. I ended up using the freshly sharped chef's knife to get through it ok.

I did my dad's water trick for the large loaf but forgot to do it on the first piece of the broken one. MISTAKE. The tricks does a good job at keeping it together.

Anyway, I put them back in the oven at 350°F for 20 minutes but when I went to flip, they still seemed a bit like they weren't crisping. I flipped them and turned it up to 325°F. Of course, I forgot to change the change the time so then they got a bit overdone. Certainly not bad (mostly, there were a few) but not as I would have liked

I cooled them with a fan since we were already late for the first party.

Overall, they were fine. Not as good as when my dad does it but this was my first time! I liked it with the fruit mix, though Meredith wants to do candies cherries next time. And I want to make sure they do not get as crispy.

Next time:

Meatball Marsala


I made meatball Marsala with butternut squash noodles. I used the Smitten Kitchen "Every Day" (book) via Shutterbean (LOCAL) recipe with only minor changes as noted below.

I was a bit worried about making an alcohol-based meal, but the very first step is simmering down all of the Marsala which I read actually cooks out the alcohol. I looked up other "traditional" marsalas and they have you degalze the pan after mushrooms and cook down so this wasn't to far off.

I followed the recipe pretty closely except I doubled it. Some minor changes were for the meatballs. It was:

For the sauce, I used whole milk instead of cream and I cooked down the Marsala in the same pan as I used for the onions so there were some flakes in there but other than that, I stayed pretty true to the recipe.

I also used a mix of butternut squash noodles and pasta. I took the top of the butternut squash and microwaved it for 1 min (as per 2017-10-23). I also used the rest of Zucchette from 2017-10-04.

Overall, we really liked it. I felt fine about how cooked down the marsala was but you could still really taste it. And, while there is a lot of butter, MyFitnessPal estimates it at about 450 cal/serving (with 3 servings in the recipe) without pasta. Not amazing, but not too bad either.

The meatballs were also pretty good. Surprisingly moist but we also know they are 100% cooked since I did it in the oven.

Roasted Broccoli Soup


Meredith and I made a double batch of roasted broccoli soup. We followed the basic recipe and used the vitamix to blend it.

It was initially not flavorful enough until I realized that it does call for about 4 oz of cheese and I used about 2 for a double batch. When I upped it to 5 (all we had) there was much more flavor.

We got aout 7 servings out of it! (2.5 of which we froze)

Patatas Bravas


I made patatas bravas thought it was actually half rutabaga. I again did it with some whole milk and anchovy paste. It started out way too wet, but I think I actually let it cook down a bit too much. Also, too much smoked paprika in the sauce. It was almost a bit gritty.



I made a simple meal of Huevos Rancheros. Nothing too special except I used Great Northern Beans. I liked the extra creaminess.

I also made some leftover butternut squash.



I made two more batches of biscotti. I stayed pretty true to the recipe but adjusted the temps (though not the same as I suggested last time). For the first batch (2017-12-16) I again used fruit cake mix but for the second, I used cherries.

For the first I did:

They came out pretty good. Maybe a bit too cooked from the toasting. But I still struggled to get them off the pan after the first. I used non-stick aluminum foil and I had to get the spatula under them to separate. The problem was, maybe they still weren't cooked enough because it broke trying to move it to the drying rack. For the second loaf, I slid it. I do think they needed more time!

For the second I did cherries instead of the other fruit and soy 350° for about 33 min. The outside was more cooked but still super soft inside. I think it’s fine since it gets cooked again but it was still hard to work with.

Dumpling Soup


We made chicken and dumpling soup. For the broth, we sauteed:

to soften them and give them more flavor. We then used Chicken Better Than Boulloin and a little bit of anchovy paste. We let that simmer until the veggies were soft enough.

We used the (halved) My Name is Yeh dumpling recipe (LOCAL). That worked surprisingly well. I was a bit weary since it has you make a dough and then try to beat in the egg but it worked. The only thing is that next time, I would mix all of the dry ingredients to add at once! Also, the recipe didn't state to do it, but we simmered with the lid off since I know that is how you do matzah balls.

For chicken, we used about a quarter of a Costco package of rotisserie chicken. We had half a package frozen so, after working really hard to break it up, we put some in from frozen.

It was pretty good. We liked the dumplings and the soup had lots of flavor. I am sure i used way too much Better Than Boullon but it added a lot of flavor.

Egg Boats


Meredith made Egg Boats inspired by The Kitchn (LOCAL). She mostly was just inspired by the recipe and procedures but made the eggs with:

She used some crème fraise since we didn't have sour cream (and used less of it). The bread was a parcooked frozen bread from Costco that worked well too!

The only real issue was that it took way longer to cook them. Not sure why.

They were really good. They needed salt but other than that, it was like a fancy egg sandwich.

Pizza Beans


Meredith saw this recipe in the book at the store and we decided to give it a shot. We followed the basic idea but did 3 cans of canellini beans. And we used 2x14 oz cans of tomatoes (one of which was fire roasted). Also, instead of kale, we used leftover salad green. And added mushrooms.

But the basic idea was the same. Honestly, it sounded much better than it was. Not bad, but also not really amazing.

We got 6 large servings though!

Roasted Veggies


This is about as simple as it comes. We were packing to head out of town and this was easy. We bough pre-chopped butternut squash and broccoli. I then added chopped potatoes and sliced onions. Tossed with salt, olive oil, and lots of Penzeys Mural of Flavor

Roasted at 400°F for about 45 minutes and then added chopped jalapeno chicken sausage.



I taught Ann how to make my Dad's Biscotti. Our goal was to follow the recipe pretty closely, but we ended up straying from it.

First, we struggled to grate the lemon peel so to make up for it, we used the juice of a whole lemon. It gave it a stronger lemon flavor.

The bigger issue was that I was helping to assemble and accidentally added a Tbsp of salt instead of tsp. To help counter it, we tried to add a bit more sugar. (1 1/2 instead of 1 1/3 cups)

It was not a dense of a dough as usual. I think it is because we did not use weight for the measures so it may have been a bit low. Either way, not too much different.

They did spread a bit while baking and also burned a bit (this is my first time making them at sea-level and it was a dark colored pan). But not too bad, We used a good knife to cut so that also helped a lot!

I think it came out pretty good overall! And it was fun to make.