Justin & Meredith Winokur's Kitchen Cooking Notebook

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Asian Lettuce Wraps


We made Asian Lettuce Wraps without many changes except to add green onion. And we used rotisserie chicken

These are so easy and really good. We should keep this in mind more often for fast meals (and possibly lunches)

House and BBQ Jerky


This is basically a repeat of 2016-04-02. I basically did the same thing but with the cooker on 165.

They got really oily. The meat was supposedly 95% lean (from Whole Foods) but I am not sure. Also, it took a really long time. About 5 hours.

From now on, my rule is that if I am making jerky, it must be in my 4:30pm

Also, I didn't let it cool enough before putting it in the bags in the fridge. They were wet in the morning. I took them out and let it dry a bit and used a new bag.

Interestingly, the BBQ made about 9 oz and the House made 7.75 oz (probably due to the extra liquid to start)

Bacon Guacamole Chicken


I hate to admit it, but I am kind of a sucker for the video/gif recipes. I saw this one somewhere and it came from Buzzfeed (LOCAL w/ video copy). So we tried to make it.

We didn't use their guac recipe. Meredith just made her own normal one (main thing is cumin in there). We basically halved the recipe except we used the full amount of bacon to make it easier to wrap.

You can see the photos below. I followed the general idea of the recipe though I struggled to get all of the guac in there (though we kept it clean from the chicken so we could snack on it).

The biggest problem was the temperature out of the oven. I ended up doing it about 20+ minuted total (more than double). But other than that, it worked pretty well and was enough of a project for a wekend but too hard.

I would consider it again in the future, but I do not think this comes out a bit unhealthy (probably not too bad).

By the way, I also had the two chicken tenders which I wrapped in bacon and baked.

Chicken stuffed with guac Wrapped and ready In the frying pan Turned to cook on its side Ready to go in the oven

Kofta Tacos with Mango-Cucumber Israeli Salad


We made Kofta tacos again like we did on 2016-04-14 with the regular kofta recipe though this time we used better beef (not frozen and/or only partially defrosted) plus I think we were more subtle on the spices which actually helped.

They were really good. Meredith also made her usual tzatziki (though we didn't have a ton of cucumbers).

Meredith also made a mango-cucumber Israeli salad from the cookbook Zahav. We thought it was interesting but not amazing. I do not know if the mangos were just too ripe or what. Maybe we would try it again, but we are excited either way for doing more things from this book.

Mango, Cucumber and Sumac-Onion Israeli Salad (from Zahav, book)

Local Copy (U: guest, P: name of my dog, lower case)

Simple Sumac Onions (from Zahav, book)

Local Copy (U: guest, P: name of my dog, lower case)

Mango salad Cooking the tacos

Spring Peas and Prosciutto with Korean Tofu


Meredith made Spring Peas and Prosciutto using the same idea as 2015-08-03. They were really good as usual.

We also had Korean tofu. I marinated tofu in the usual Bulgogi recipe (plus a heaping tbsp of Gochujang). Actually, probably for the first time, I remembered to do sesame seeds. I made it on Sunday and let it marinate for two days. A lot of the tofu broke up since we didn't press it. In the future, I greatly prefer the super-pressed tofu from Trader Joes which we didn't have.

I baked it for 20 minutes at 400. I probably could have done a bit more but it was so wet I figured it wouldn't get any crispier.

Zucchini Noodles with Peanut-Sesame Sauce


Meredith did all of the work on this one. She used the normal Peanut Sesame Noodle recipe. She followed the recipe itself for the sauce (at least roughly) and used the rest for inspiration (pepper, etc). The noodles were from two zucchinis.

Then we added chopped rotisserie chicken.

Other than the chopping, this is a pretty easy and good meal. It is not exactly low in points but also isn't too high either (around 24 for the entire thing from the peanut butter).

We would consider it for lunches as long as it don't let it sit too long.

Sous Vide Steak and Calabacitas


While we've done sous vide before with my home-brew fridge controller but it was a pain in the ass and didn't work well. We recently bought a controller since it was on sale.

Anyway, we cooked two Delmonico cut steaks. We did it for about 1.5 hours at 136°F (easily exactly done with the controller). I then seared them on a super-hot pan.

They came out pretty good, but I was not really thinking it through when I bought the steaks. It was a really high-end cut but it was also very fatty. We spent most of the time eating it cutting away (or spitting out) fatty parts.

The sous vide process went well but the steak itself was just not for us. I am looking forward to doing more things with it (but leaner).

We also made calabacitas by just cooking some onions in butter, and then adding a chopped zucchini and two yellow squashes.

The only seasonings with used on both the steak and the calabacitas salt and pepper.

Additional Photos

The sous vide set up. You can also see the fatty steak cuts.

Cilantro Chicken (Sous-Vide) and Greek Kohlrabi Gratin


I have been continuing to have fun with the sous-vide cooker. It really just makes it so easy. Meredith made her cilantro dip. I took two pieces of chicken and scored it a bit with a knife and then put tons of the dip in the bag.

I followed the Serious Eats guide and did the chicken at 150°F for about 1.5 hours. True to what they said, it came out a lot like normal chicken texture but still really moist. Still, given the flexibility, Next time I think 145°F will be better (between this and Serious Eats' next temp range).

Flavor wise, this was ok. I really like the dip but the chicken could have been brined or something to get more flavor inside it. And/or, it may have been better with a longer (or any) marinate time. We were going to marinate it for a bit but based on the timing, we decided to just let it cook longer (the beauty of Sous Vide).

We also had Kohlrabi we needed to use up. I was going to stir fry it but Meredith wanted to do something different so she decided to Kohlrabi Gratin from this NYTimes recipe (local).

We did it the "gratin" style and halved it. Other changes/modifications were:

It was pretty good. It was very reminiscent of other greek pie dishes. That is probably from the feta and dill. We would make it again.

Greek-Style Kohlrabi Pie or Gratin With Dill and Feta (from NYTimes)
Local Copy (U: guest, P: name of my dog, lower case)

Additional Photos

Chicken in the bags, ready to go. Chicken in the cooker. Nearly at temperature Out of the cooker. Not a badly colored as steak out of it Closeup of the chicken and the kohlrabi

Grilled Halloumi Eggplant Burgers


Meredith did most of the prep work on this so I may be missing some things, but we made grilled halloumi. We based the sauce and stuff on this The Kitchn recipe (local).

For the "Pesto", we used the recipe there at least as inspiration. Some of the changes we made were

It came out very lemony. As in too lemony. We read some things that said adding some baking soda would help temper that and sure enough, it did. Still lots of lemon flavor but it was less overpowering.

Rather than grill the eggplant, we seasoned the eggplant with salt and let it sit for a bit. After blotting it, we just roasted it.

I grilled the halloumi for about 2-3 minutes per side. We built the sandwiches open face. They were really good. The saltiness of the cheese was nicely accentuated with the eggplant and the bread. Any kind of grilled halloumi is a great spring-time meal.

The bread was sourdough rolls from Trader Joes. They say they are just 90 cal/roll but that seems too good to be true. It probably is given that it also says a serving is 1 roll at 49 grams but if you weigh them, they are 120-150 grams.

Additional Photo

Grilling the cheese:

Grilled Eggplant Burgers with Halloumi Cheese (From The Kitchn)
Local Copy (U: guest, P: name of my dog, lower case)



We made Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, and Tomatoes (BLATs). There wasn't much to it. We used the rolls I talked about yesterday. This worked well since we had leftover bacon from the other day plus some in the freezer (and we're trying to use up what's in there). We did the bacon in the oven as usual.

Of course, while making it we had a problem: The bacon for the BLAT went SPLAT!

Oh well! That's why they may 5 second rules. And when you use that, it's why they may 30 seconds rules!

Anyway, there wasn't much more to it. They were good but kind of hard to eat since the rolls were pretty thick.

Lasagna Soup


We made our regular Lasagna Soup (which I finally made into its own recipe page). There wasn't much to it. We followed the general recipe. The only thing we did was to also throw in some tortellini Meredith had left over from when I was out of town.

It was great as usual. So easy and really good!

Romesco Chicken with Grilled Green Onions


We made a meal heavily inspired by this Serious Eats Recipe (local), though we really didn't follow it at all except (sort-of) for the onions.

We used rotisserie chicken breast instead of cooking chicken. I just chopped it up into small pieces and then sauteed it a bit with some smoked paprika and garlic powder. Nothing special

Meredith made her regular Romesco Sauce1 except she made her life much easier and used canned roasted peppers. Honestly, when they are in the sauce, you can't tell a difference and these were so much less work!

And for the onions, we did them on a sautee pan and seared them since they didn't fit on the grill pan. Other than being a bit hard to chew, they were really good.

  1. Note to self, I should make the romesco it's own recipe page