Justin & Meredith Winokur's Kitchen Cooking Notebook

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KitchenKatalog: Blog 2

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Lemongrass and Turmeric Chicken

Sunday, April 04, 2021, 10:38 AM

I made the chicken from Spicy Lemongrass & Turmeric Rubbed Roast Chicken & Sauce. I spatchocked it yesterday and set it up with a dry brine. I made the rub and let it sit on (and under the skin of) the chicken for about 3 hours.

I followed the basic idea of the sauce but went heavy on the garlic and maybe the ginger (I didn't measure. I just kind of winged it). I also used a full serrano pepper.

I cooked it at 465°F until it registered 153°F in the breast.

I also roasted some tater tots and tossed them with cheese then put them back in.

The whole meal was very good. I was very happy with how the chicken came out. The color was messy but fun. And there was lots of flavor but the flavor of the chicken itself still shown through!

I didn't plan to make a sauce and instead was going to serve it with store bought but then I forgot that too. Oops!

English Toffee with Piñon

Saturday, April 03, 2021, 11:27 AM

I made English Toffee from Joy of Baking (LOCAL)


I read a lot of different recipes and discussions including this food52 discussion and decided I liked this recipe the best. At least from reading. The corn syrup is supposed to help stop it from crystalizing and the baking soda lightens the texture by producing some air bubbles. Also, while it is long, the vide was informative.

Some recipes use cream of tartar to make an invert sugar. I am not opposed to them if this one doesn't work out


I toasted piñon while I was starting. I should have done this first since it got a bit hectic as the temperature rose and I still had to take out the nuts and split it. I think it worked out fine time wise but I did forget to pam the parchment paper before starting. It didn't matter in the end.

I went to about 293° or so. It made more than I expected so some will have fewer pine nuts underneath. It shouldn't matter too much though.

I just kind of eye-balled it on the chocolate chips. I also started them a bit late but it was fine. I had not trouble spreading them. In fact, using an offset spatula made it super, super easy!


It got a nice crunch but maybe a bit too easy to crunch. I also didn't think it had the richness of the store bought one. I will have to look into that. And maybe skip the baking soda to see how it is with more crunch.

It wasn't bad though. Just not as good as I had hoped...

It made 1 lbs 5 oz. Also, realizing that I would end up eating it all, I took what I wanted and vacuum sealed the rest.

Sous Vide Ribs

Friday, April 02, 2021, 07:38 PM

I made Sous Vide Barbecue Pork Ribs [Serious Eats] with some minor changes to the rub and process. I kind of combined the specified rub with my modification I like to do for Sous Vide Barbecue Pulled Pork Shoulder [Serious Eats].

I only had one rack so I made the rub:

I put it on the night before, sealed it, and then cooked it at 165°F for about 11.5 hours. I used the oven method and I did half dry (but without more rub) and half with Sweet Baby Rays.

Honestly, I thought they were just okay. Certainly not amazing or anything super special. I do not know if I just don't know what good ribs should taste like or if I don't love ribs.

I liked the texture of the sauced ones but the flavor of the dry-rub.

Feta Broccoli/Broccolini and Chicken

Thursday, April 01, 2021, 08:28 PM

I made a modified version of the "TikTok Feta Pasta" from Grilled Cheese Social (LOCAL). I used that as the basic idea but instead of pasta, I did stir-fried broccoli and broccolini. I did two packs and two heads and stir fried them with oil and salt to cook and soften them. I then also cooked cubed chicken after tossing it with flour. I followed the Washington Post's note to not change the oven temp.

When it was all done, I mixed it together.

It was really good and really filling. I think the broccoli worked better than the broccolini but I wanted to use it up.

In general, I really like the idea of using broccoli (and chicken) with a pasta sauce. It's a way to add flavor and something interesting with keeping the calories lower.

Lamb Arugula Patties

Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 08:20 PM

Since Meredith and Caroline are out of town, I decided to try to make the Lamb and pistachio patties with sumac yogurt sauce [Ottolenghi Simple] that we are always making with turkey but with lamb, as it actually calls for. I still did the other changes (more arugula and cooked in the oven) but I used 1 lbs of 80% lean lamb.

I liked them a lot. I thought they tastes better than with turkey but also more rich that got to be a little much. I am glad I tried them with lamb but I am also happy with turkey. They were also greasier as I expected since it was fattier meat.

I kind of "winged" it a bit more with the dressing. I used greek yogurt and apple cider vinegar since I didn't feel like getting a lemon. That was not as good by any means. I would not do that again. I also served it with some cashew dressing Emily left and crumbled feta. Those worked well!

Tofu Satay

Sunday, March 28, 2021, 08:18 PM

I made tofu satay. I used 4 blocks of the super-firm tofu so I doubled the marinade. I also tried something different. I sliced the tofu instead of cubing and skewering it. Much Easier! This is how I would do it in the future. Since there was so much, I had to do it in two batches.

It was very popular. We ate all of it!

Matzo Ball Soup and Salmon Salad

Saturday, March 27, 2021, 09:08 PM

I made matzoh ball soup. Like last year, I simmered vegetables (whole onions with the root still attached, celery, carrots, and this time parsnips) for a really long time. I used Better Than Boullion vegetable base since Emily would be eating it. I have to say, I do not like that base as much as their other stuff. I ended up having to add a lot more and also add some soy sauce (not kosher for passover) and Worcestershire sauce. In the end, it wasn't too bad.

I also made Knaidlach (Matzo Balls). I read a few things and figured out that I could make my own matzo meal with about 2 sheets being 1/2 cup. I originally doubled it but I misread last time and used 2 tsp nutmeg already. So I decided to triple it.

I tried something different and (a) used the (2 oz) cookie scoop to make the initial shape and then I rolled them, and (b) I added them all at once. I do not think that was the cause, but they came out a bit dense and the inside was less colored, as you can see in the photo. Still very good though!

Meredith and I also made Fresh Dill Salmon Salad with about 3 lbs of salmon (so triple the recipe). I baked the salmon at 365 until it was 140° inside; about 20 minutes (checking more often). That worked well compared to doing it for less time at a higher temp. I stored it in a container for later which also make it easy to drain off more liquid and oil. It was a bit scant on the capers since it was all we had. Finally, we used shallots instead of red onion since we forgot to buy the latter.

The salmon salad was actually pretty good on matzoh!


Tuesday, March 23, 2021, 09:40 AM

Out of the oven

I made brioche from Bread Illustrated. Unlike last time, I measured out how much more flour I added and tried to be conservative about it. I ended up with adding 1.5 oz of additional bread flour.

This entire loaf was the story of letting it go too long. I started it on Saturday, 2021-03-20. I meant to cook it on Monday at the latest and kept forgetting until Tuesday (today). And then I formed it and forgot it for too long. Though, to be honest, it did not seem to have risen too much more than I would have wanted.

It did rise a ton in the oven. I do not know what happened?! When I took it out at 35 min, it was around 190°F, as I wanted for this kind of bread at altitude. It also kind of split which I think was from the roll tearing a bit (maybe from rising too much?).

The final loaf was around 1.375 lbs. It still tasted good even if it had more crumb than I would have liked.

Comparison to Commercial

We also had some Wenner Bread Products (which I think also made it for Trader Joes). See the photo below with the commercial on the right and mine on the left. I knew mine was over-proofed but even look at the last two (2021-02-13 and 2021-02-26), mine is clearly less dense. Also, the commercial one has a much smoother top

Taste and texture wise, the commercial is much fluffier, smaller/denser crumb, and also much sweeter. Mine is more savory and is reminiscent of croissant while the commercial is more like a cake. Mine is also more addicting! You just want to keep eating it.

I am glad I got to try them together. I think I actually like mine more but I would like the denser crumb of the commercial.

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