Justin & Meredith Winokur's Kitchen Cooking Notebook

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Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Eggs Benedict

Sunday, August 26, 2018, 10:33 AM

First time cooking since we had Caroline! I made Meredith some sun-dried tomato pesto eggs benedict. I just used that basic recipe for the holandaise. I cheated on the eggs and fried them (and for a little bit too long...oops). I used Boars Head Tavern ham.

I liked it enough. I think I preffered the pure pesto version.

Turkey Tacos

Tuesday, July 31, 2018, 06:51 PM

Turkey Taco Skillets

Biscotti (Christmas Style & Lemon Poppyseed)

Saturday, July 28, 2018, 07:24 PM

I thought it would be nice to make and bring biscotti to the hospital for all of the doctors and nurses. I figured I'd make them ahead of time and freeze them.

So I pulled out my dad's trusty biscotti recipe and, without thinking, planned to make the basic kind I made for christmas. Unfortunately, that required I made my own candied cherries since they are hard to find this time of year (see below). In making them, I also figured out a trick to transfer (see below).

But anyway, the first (and originally only) batch came out pretty good, but I was looking at my dad's recipe and realized I really missed an opportunity. Meredith really likes lemon poppyseed and I didn't even think to make them. So what was I to do? I made another batch the next day. I used the recipe with the tips at the bottom though I went even heavier on both lemon ingredients. I also sliced these a bit thicker just to make my life easier. They also came out really good. Not the rich lemon flavor I was originally hoping for, but unmistakably lemon. According to my Dad, Emily sometimes uses lemon extract so maybe that is worth trying in the future too.

Anyway, now I have two giant bags of biscotti to bring with us! (and there were smaller bags leftover from each batch. We still have the lemon but we brought the Christmas-style to a friends' house)

Tips for transferring biscotti

I think I finally got it, though I broke one of the logs "getting it". After the biscotti have cooled for the 10 minutes, the first goal is to get them off of a rimmed sheet so you can more easily get in there.

To do this, I slide a big cutting board under the silpat from the long side (I originally did the short way and broke one). Then, I used a pastry spatula to slide under. Then, using another cutting board of the same thickness, I slid it over with the short side first (so I could better place it). It wasn't perfect, but seemed to work well enough


As I noted above, I had to make my own cherries since I couldn't find them2. I used the recipe from King Arthur Flour (LOCAL) and intended to stay pretty true to it. The only planned change was the reduce the final temp by about 10°F to align with the boiling point of water in Albuquerque1. However, it went from needing 10° more to being 25° over! Oops! I made the "executive decision" to take them out of the liquid while they were hot as opposed to letting it cool as per the recipe. This was a good idea since the remaining sugar turned into a tough taffy and I would have never been able to free them.

I ended up adding them to the batter one-by-one (as I could free them) so they wouldn’t all stick. That also made them break up a bit more than they would have otherwise but I think that is fine.

  1. When it comes to candy making, adjusting for altitude is actually a bit easier than other types of baking. Temperature is a proxy for the water:sugar ratio since you are constantly at the boiling point. Since the boiling point for water is depressed by the lack of pressure at high-altitude, the candy should be adjusted the same. 

  2. My Dad later told me that he has seen them at craft stores like Michael's. I didn't think to look there and just tried WalMart since someone on the internet said they found them there. 

Chicken cordon Bleu

Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 07:19 PM

I made Chicken Cordon Bleu following the recipe pretty closely. I tried to butterfly the chicken breast first and then pound it thin which resulted in unevenly sized servings. I used ham from Trader Joes and Jarlesberg cheese.

THe biggest thing is that I had trouble rolling them and the cheese was very much not inside very well. This played out when we baked it and most of the cheese oozed out. Oh well.

I actually prepped them on Sunday and then breaded and baked them later in the week. I also baked them with the leave-in thermometer which made it very easy

Lettuce Wraps

Monday, July 23, 2018, 07:17 PM

I made lettuce wraps. I actually prepped it yesterday with four things of noodles and a finely diced block of Trader Joes Super Firm Tofu. I tried to go a bit heavy on the ingedients since it seemed like a lot of noodles. That helped though I thought they could have used a bit more flavor. It may have also soaked less into the tofu than the chicken usually.


Saturday, July 21, 2018, 07:39 PM

I made, at Meredith's request, Glossy Brownies with Cream Cheese from BraveTart. I followed the recipe pretty much exactly but with the cream cheese being completly frozen so it shredded a bit more than cubbed. Also, I was halfway through making it when I realized, even though I swear I bought it, I couldn't find the coco powder so I had to stop and go back and get more.

I tried to do it based on the timing and it didn't seem to be cooking quickly so I upped the temperature (we need to check the temp on our stove) and let it go longer. THe thermometer read as hot enough but it may have touched the bottom since, while it was cooked, it was not fully done. (which I think people liked more).

Overall, I was excited to try more from BraveTart and I think I would try these again, but I also want to read how to make them more chewy.


Friday, July 20, 2018, 06:45 PM

Pretty standard sausage except I did it at 145 for about 3 hours. I used the lower temp since I knew it woud go longer. This was jalapeno cheddar from Smiths. I think I still prefer Sprouts for chicken sausage


Thursday, July 19, 2018, 08:34 PM

Standard Falafel with extra harissa from Sunday.I think I made this a few weeks ago and froze all portions of it.

Meredith made Za'atar dip and we used cucumbers but no tzatziki

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