Justin & Meredith Winokur's Kitchen Cooking Notebook

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Rotisserie Chicken Green-Chile Enchilada Lasagna (style)


Meredith and I teamed up to make chicken enchilada "lasagna" similar to last time. Meredith started it with half an onion and two red bell peppers plus cumin1, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

We had to take a break in the middle because of a dog emergency. When we got back, I finished it by adding mushrooms, chicken (around 1 pound) and green chile.

I added a bunch of canned green chile (505 Brand -- and not the sauce, just chile). I added some to the mix of chicken and stuff and then when I was layering it, I added a very thin layer. The layers were two corn tortillas, chicken mix, green chile (again, light on it) and then lite cheese. I made two of them.

I liked this though I think I liked the flavors more last time (though Meredith disagrees). It was also a bit spicy!

  1. Meredith was in charge. That means lots of cumin 

Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Tofu


This was a very simple but pretty good meal; especially for a weeknight. We pressed and then marinated tofu in some Soyaki (or Soy Vey) plus sriracha.

I halved a bunch of brussel sprouts and tossed them with some oil and salt. I preheated an oven to 450°F with a pan in there. Once it was up to temp, I roasted them cut-side down for 20 minutes. I then took them out and tossed it all with the tofu and more Soyaki and sriracha. I then roasted it for another 7.5 minutes.

Pretty simple and not too much work. Plus I think this is a pretty healthy meal!

Seared Salmon and Roasted Delicata Squash


We made a pretty simple meal: Delicata Squash and seared salmon.

The seared salmon using the regular recipe. I did it with a mixture of smoked paprika, salt, and penzeys' Roasted Garlic Powder.

Meredith did most of the delicata squash. She sprayed it with pam and then just topped it with brown sugar and ~1 Tbsp of crushed red pepper. She baked it at 350 for about 40 minutes total. usually she flips it but we just let it go this time.

It was a really nice meal. Pretty easy, delicious, and healthy!

Sweet Potato Toast


Apparently, one of the new hipster trends is sweet potato toast. You thinly (~1/4 in) slice a sweet potato and then toast it. We tried just that, you we had to run the toaster on the highest setting twice.

Anyway, we had done it earlier in the day with cream cheese (not pictured) and it was kinda cool so we tried it again with different toppings.

We did:

They were all pretty cool. Not sure if I would say they take the pace of real toast, but fun and new.

Kimchi Fried Rice


Meredith and I made Kimchi Fried Rice from Food52 (local 1). We followed the recipe pretty closely but with less rice. Actually, we made 4 cups of dry brown rice and stored 3 bags in the freezer. I did the rice with 2:1 ratio water, to rice. Toasted the rice in butter for a bit then added water. Simmered covered for 50 minutes then rest for 10.

Anyway, we used 1/2 a pack of the Super Firm tofu cubed and stir-fried as the main meat. We also went heavy on the soy sauce. The Kimchi was the one pictured below.

We didn't have all of the other optional ingredients but we super, super bulked it up with 1/4 head of cabbage (plus a little) and a huge amount of sugar snap peas.

It made a lot of food though it was really just the rice ad tofu with calories/points.

I liked it a lot. It wasn't as good as the restaurant one Meredith had a little while ago but it was still good. I used nearly the full thing of kimchi. Next time I would use it all since this was pretty good.

And, we got to have meat-free Monday!

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

Beer House Clams and Broccoli Soup


Meredith and I made Beer house clams like we did before. We had to use frozen clams because its Albuquerque. We've used them before for mussels and they were fine, but these weren't as good. Some didn't open, some were sandy, some were fishy, but most were fine. I would (hesitantly) try the clams again. We steamed them a bit just to heat them up from frozen. This way we could still use the liquid later in the recipe.

We followed the general idea of the recipe except we didn't have green onions. We used a quarter of an onion for the white parts and some chopped up chives for the greens. And the Thai Basil was 100% home-grown (from seed). And we skipped the garlic. And we used serrano peppers (which filled the room with cough-inducing smoke).

The soup was the standard Roasted Broccoli Soup. There was a lot of broccoli so I used a lot of water...maybe too much. We again added a bit of soy sauce and worcestershire. I kept adding some more seasonings, but it was just a bit bland today, though a little bit of salt when we served it, it was fine.

The soup The clam package

Chicken Marsala (Meredith Style)


Meredith and I made what we've decided to call "Meredith Style" Chicken Marsala. It's not really classic chicken marsala, but we've decided that's what we'll call it.

Anyway, we followed the same idea as the first time. We had a ton of mushrooms so it was a bit too much but other than that, we liked it a lot!

Jerk Chicken Tacos and Stir-Fried Eggplant


I made Jerk Chicken Tacos with the extra jerk chicken from 2016-07-31. We had made a ton of it then and froze a bunch. (I think we have one left). I reheated it from frozen by lightly steaming it to let the extra water pour off. I then drained it and cooked it right over the heat with a bit of water. Not surprisingly, they were a bit chewy. But stil very good!

I also made some stir-fried eggplant. It was the asian style. I cut it into longish pieces and stir fried them with a bit of salt until they were soft. I then added a little bit of Soy Veh. Just enough to cook onto it and add flavor. I liked it a lot, though Meredith thought it was a tad salty.

Taco stuff ready to go Eggplant Stir-Fry

Falafel and Kabocha


I made the usual falafel. I actually made it yesterday and made a double batch and froze half. It was pretty standard except I used apple cider vinegar instead of the lemon and I went heavy on the oil and spices. I actually made these changes to the recipe. Meredith liked it a lot and I thought it was pretty good too.

I also made kabocha squash (400°F 30 min w/ a flip 1/2 way). And Meredith mader her normal Tzatziki

Scallops and Vietnamese Brussel Sprouts


I've had a lot of really good fried brussel sprouts with different seasons at some restaurants. They always had a bit of a SE Asian flavor, I figured we could get close by roasting them and then using some seasonings. I roasted them at 450, face down, on pre-heated pans.

I made the Vietnamese Wings Sauce, again not actually doing it on wings like last time I basically halved it with a little extra water. I did do the garlic water and stuff but I fried them with a lot less oil. I ground the sugar in the spice/coffee grinder which worked.

I cooked down the sauce (though not enough) and then put the roasted sprouts and tried to let it cook down some more. It kinda worked, though they got a bit water logged. I should have cooked down the sauce a bit more so it coated more and soaked less. Next time...maybe. We may try to find some other sauces too. Especially since Meredith doesn't like the smell of the fish sauce.

Meredith also made scallops. They were on sale so we got a good bit and seared them with some salt and pepper. I think we know why they were on sale. Only a few had a lot of flavor. It wasn't Meredith's cooking; it was just kind of bland scallops.

Meredith Meal and Calabacitas


We had a Meredith Meal and also some calabacitas. We usually have more veggies but this time we did the calabacitas.

For the "Meredith Meal", we had the the following:

The calabacitas were our pretty typical ones. Like I talked about here the trick is to use butter. Not to go crazy on it, but just to not skimp either. I did onions and three (!!!) serranos plus a bunch of squash. I let it go until the onions have nicely caramelized.

  1. Whole Foods will apparently cut off the fat for you. It was great! They could cut it super thin and you aren't paying for what you don't want. 

Brussels Sprout Hash with Bacon


Meredith and I made brussels sprout hash with bacon. We started with four slices of Whole Food Black Forrest Bacon which we fried up in the pan. When that was getting crisp, we threw in a bag of sliced brussel sprouts plus

She also deglazed it as we went with some white wine.

It was a nice, quick, and easy lunch. We didn't want or need a ton of food since it was late, so this worked well.

Pavlova with Pomegranate and Persimmon


Meredith and I made Pavlova like we've done once before. We followed the recipe basically to the letter on both the meringue (which we made in the morning) and the whipped cream. I did end up going an extra 10 minutes in the oven since it didn't look done.

We topped it with pomegranate and some sliced persimmon, sliced to try and show the star-pattern inside.

I thought it worked pretty well. To quote Meredith, it isn't an indulgent dessert, but it is pretty good. And, pretty healthy as far as desserts go! It was also surprisingly easy, other than having to wait around for the 70+ minutes to cook.

You can kind of see from the picture that it really does get crispy on the outside but nicely gooey inside.

Baked but not topped Slice to see the texture inside

Pomegranate and Wild Rice Salad with Walnuts and Feta


I made the Pomegranate, Kale and Wild Rice Salad with Walnuts and Feta, though with a mix of baby kale and arugula. I followed the recipe pretty closely though I used some butter for half or so of the oil. I also added a few cloves of garlic.

I think that was about it. It made a a good amount of salad but I was hungry so that was good.

The Salad Everything before mixing it. Very Pretty



In the craziness of making food earlier, I was also making Moussaka. I followed the general recipe. There wasn't too much to change or anything, but this came out super watery. I let it simmer for a long time and it was still very wet when it was cooked.

Still, it was good as usual. I like that the entire thing had only 1.5 pounds beef. We cut it up to 8 servings and are freezing some of them.

Chicken in Vodka Sause over Zucchini Noodles with Broccolini


This was a quick meal. Meredith had the idea to use up the rest of the vodka sauce. We had some chicken tenders so we cut them up, tossed them in some flour (with salt and pepper). I heated up some oil with a little bit of butter and sautéed it for a bit. When it was close to being finished, I tossed in the rest of the sauce and some zucchini noodes (there wasn't much left but it was enough). I let that simmer for a bit

We also roasted some Broccolini with just salt and pepper and roasted at 400°F for about 18 minutes.

I liked it enough. I think we should have used a bit more salt on the chicken and maybe a little less sauce.

Roasted Vegetables with Sausage


This was a pretty simple and quick (prep-wise).It is the standard style roasted vegetables we've done a ton of times. I chopped up:

We tossed them with oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and rosemary. Roasted it for around 30 minutes at 400°F. We then cut up some fully-cooked jalapeño chicken sausage for another 10 minutes.

It was all very good. I especially liked the delicata squash! (That stuff is good!)

Honey Dijon Balsamic Brussel Sprouts with Tofu


I decided to again try to make roasted brussel sprouts with a good sauce finished on the stove. I basically combined 2016-11-17 and (mostly) 2016-11-02. In the former, I finished them with a sauce on the stove. In the latter I tossed it and rosted it a bit more. I am not sure which method I prefer between the two but I'll keep it in mind for next time.

I made my own recipe based on a few others around. All it all, it was:


Preheat oven to 450°F with pans in the oven. (and with convection)

Toss brussel sprouts with a bit of oil, salt, and pepper. Lay face down and roast for 20-25 minutes (I did 30 this time. it was too much).

Mince garlic with a little bit of salt. Combine honey, mustard, and vinegar.

When the brussel sprouts are near finished, Heat some oil in a big pan and sauté the tofu for a bit. Add the garlic and let it go for a bit then add the brussel sprouts. Add the rest of the sauce and toss.

Comments and thoughts

I am still not sure if I love this idea or recipe. As I mentioned, 30 minutes was too long. The little leaves got a bit burned. And this sauce was ok. Not amazing but also not too bad.