Justin & Meredith Winokur's Kitchen Cooking Notebook

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Pasta Salad

Friday, June 07, 2019, 08:40 AM

Meredith made pasta salad from The Kitchn (LOCAL)

I liked it a lot. At first I thought it was a bit different but then I started to really like it. It’s definitely drier than traditional pasta salad but I think that’s fine!


Thursday, June 06, 2019, 08:06 PM

We made simple, easy, ground-beef tacos. We used 90/10 lean ground beef with a sauteed onion and a packet of taco seasoning. Served with fresh avocado, sour-cream, and cheese

Chicken Fajitas

Tuesday, June 04, 2019, 08:01 PM

I made fajitas. Meredith had planned to marinate the chicken but didn’t have time so I just cut it into thin strips, added oil, and seasoned it. I used a mix of Montreal Chicken Seasoning, Badia Adobo Powder, and Roasted Garlic Powder. I sautéed it with the cast iron the set it aside.

I did the veggies (1 onion, 2 red peppers, 1 jalapeño) with roughly the same seasonings.

We were going to make guacamole but the avocados went bad so we just used Wholly Guacamole. Also had sour cream.

Finally, we used Trader Joe’s “homemade” Tortillas. (I quartered mine)

Smoked Pulled Pork

Sunday, June 02, 2019, 01:24 PM

We had more leftover pulled pork but we tried to smoke it with a small smoker1 Meredith bought me last year. As you can see in the video below, we filled the bag with smoke and then let it sit. We actially did it twice since the smoke seemed to dissolve. Well, that was a bit too much! I thought it tasted a bit too smokey. Almost like I just puffed a cigar. But we can play with that. And play with how much wood to burn and how to smoke it. But it was smokey!

See below for a note on our smoked drinks. I think we need to better figure out how to get he smoke flavor without the ash flavor too! Or just how to better use it.

Meredith also made more coleslaw but this time using Duke's Recipe (LOCAL). We halved it and basically just eye-balled the mayo (and used Hellman's). I think she followed the amounts on the rest except added some green onion and just used red cabbage. I liked it!

Aside: Smoked Drinks

We also tried to smoke drinks. The first night, we put bourbon into a mason jar, filled it with smoke, and shook it. We thought that would quickly absorb the flavors. It didn't.

The next night, we tried to make a smoked Manhatten. We filled a cup with smoke and let it sit then filled another with the drink, topped and covered with smoke, and let that sit. When combined it was too smokey. We tossed it.

  1. I can't find the original item on Amazon but, as of writing, this looks to be identical 

Kaffir Lime and Matcha Gimlet

Friday, May 31, 2019, 08:59 PM

Meredith made a Kaffir Lime and Matcha Gimlet from Cook Republic (LOCAL). I am not sure what changes she made.

Sous Vide Pulled Pork

Friday, May 31, 2019, 08:06 PM

Meredith has been (oddly) craving BBQ so we tried the Food Lab's Sous Vide BBQ Pork (LOCAL). We followed thier recipe pretty closely with the only major changing being that we used smoked paprika and skipped the liquid smoke.

Since the original pork shoulder was so big (~7lbs) , I cut a slit down the middle to the bone to increase surface area.

We did the sous vide at 165°F for about 22 hours and then, after letting it cool, put it in the fridge. The next night, we put it in a warm bath again just to remelt the congealed juices around it. After draining and reserving the juices around it, I decided to cut off some of the fat cap1 since we got flavor from it already but I didn't want that much when shredding later. We baked it for about 1.5 hours and then shredded it (super, super easily).

Meredith made cole-slaw with some kind of poppyseed dressing with red cabbage and some green onion.

For sauces, we did Sweet Baby Ray's mixed with mustard. We didn't go crazy on the sauce since we wanted to maintain the original flavor of the meat.

It came out pretty good. Made a ton of meat (~5lbs) and it lasted for many meals; including a smoked version a few days later

  1. Is it still called the "Fat Cap" on pork? 

Sausage and Salad

Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 08:26 PM

We made sous vide sausage using 150°F for about 1.5 hours. While I do like to chop it up to better crisp it all, we decided to brown them whole. The had a funky shape but were still pretty good. I have half-pieces of four links. Meredith bought them but I think they were:

I am still a fan of this way to make them!

Served with the BBQ ranch salad we like


Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 08:26 PM

We again made pizza from the Trader Joes' crust. More boring toppings than last time using Vodka sauce with sopressatta and garlic powder. Still tasty; just kind of boring. I also struggled to get the pizza as well spread out

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