Friday, July 15, 2011

Things I've cooked lately (lots of photos)

It's finally summer! My go-to hot weather meal: mul naengmyun (Korean ice water noodles)

Last month's LetsLunch offering: sweet potato hand pies

Had some leftover dough and leftover Chinese sausage, so made pigs in a blanket

Giant pile of jalapenos -- expertly sliced and seeded by Jake!

Filled with cheese mix, some rolled in a crispy coating

Others just filled with cheese and wrapped in bacon

Carolina came over and together we made this awesome strawberry icebox cake made using this recipe from The Kitchn blog.

So many jalapeno poppers!

Grilled veggies, chicken and brie dinner. We've been eating a TON of grilled zucchini, summer squash and eggplant this year.

Lentils and chorizo salad. I think this was seasoned with cumin, garlic and onion.

Sriracha coleslaw -- one of my favorites for summer.

Karyn's wedding is SO close! These were cakes and cupcakes I made for tasting back in May. We ultimately ditched the peanut butter filling in favor of mixing in some white cake with orange zest buttercream.

Happy birthday to me! Baked myself a red velvet cake this year and loved every bite.

And, three days later, Happy Birthday, Jake! Chocolate with peanut butter mousse for his surprise birthday party.

Kimchi chiggae made with older, funky kimchi.

Skillet cornbread (served with whipped honey butter) for Wendy and Nicole's Soul Food Potluck

Roasted chicken quarters, served with veggie pasta

Veggie pasta -- one of the best recipes I've thrown together in a long time! Zucchini, onion, summer squash, and spinach + white wine, browned chicken bits from the pan + melted Laughing Cow cheese + pasta water  It was slightly creamy, veggies still a bit firm and just awesome.

Red lentils soup with chicken sausage and spinach. Another thrown together creation after doing some reading on lentils. Cooked the lentils like pasta, then mixed with a little thickened chicken stock to make a stew like consistency.

#LetsLunch July edition: champagne companion bites

Hooray! Another LetsLunch month and this month I did a little work ahead of time (made this on Monday) so I wasn't scrambling at the last minute.

This month, to toast the two-year anniversary of Cheryl Tan and the others' great idea to have a "virtual" lunch date, we chose small bites to go with champagne.

I have been wanting to try cold smoking salmon for a while now and finally took the plunge. I mostly followed this recipe from Serious Eats to "quick cure" but also took some notes from Andrew Zimmern's recipe and technique here

Start with Juniper berries. The great thing about these is that I purchased them from the bulk section at my co-op and I only bought about what I would need, rather than buying a whole bottle or bag at a spice store. I think my total cost for a heaping tablespoon of the dried berries was $0.20 or so. I used my mortar and pestle to crush them up a bit

Very thinly sliced fresh salmon

Spice mixture: brown sugar, sea salt, pepper, crushed juniper and dill. I started with about 3:1 ratio of sugar to salt (following David Chang's quick pickles ratio... figured it would probably translate here) and added the pepper, berries and dill. When I tasted later, I found there was too much juniper, so rinsed the salmon and repacked with more sugar, salt and dill. 

Mix, mix, mix

Completely coat your salmon slices. Then, flatten the bag to a single layer and press it between two plates. Chill for two or more hours, then drain and rinse the salmon.

Serve on dark bread with herbed cream cheese. Cheers! 

LetsLunch is a monthly meeting for food bloggers and is the brain child of Cheryl Tan. Our group chooses a date and a theme, then we all post our recipes on the same day.

If you'd like to join us, we'd love to have you! send a Tweet to us using #letslunch (I'm @emmacarew).

I'll update with more posts from the other LetsLunch-ers as I find them throughout the day!

Charissa's Bacon, Apple and Swiss Quiche at Zest Bakery
Ellise's Sundried Tomato Pesto Palmiers at Cowgirl Chef
Cheryl's Cheddar Pecan Crisps at A Tiger in the Kitchen
Lisa's Salmon Tartare at Monday Morning Cooking Club