MAY 2020 Challenge - Out of the freezer

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google is your friend :)
It is a good thing google is my friend. Not only is google my friend, but my friend also translates, which is a good thing because I needed help in both areas. :~) Learned a lot (such as potjie, taotjo, etc.) and knowledge is power. Can't wait for my next shopping trip in the city. Thanks! I am sitting here sipping my morning coffee and tasting the dishes with my mental palate. Woot!
 
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Okay, so here's an entry: lambalaya

The Players

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The end of a previously-frozen leg of lamb that I roasted for Mother's Day. That only sort-of counts for "out of the freezer," but...
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Frozen diced celery, colored bell peppers, green bell peppers (not sure why my wife bought this package, but whatever), and in the stock are three frozen andouille sausages, thawing.

The Process
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Saute the heck out of the veggies...
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Add andouille and spice mix (homemade)...
Saute the heck out of that, add chopped-up lamb and garlic and fresh ginger, stir in rice, add stock, cover and simmer 25 minutes, let sit 10 minutes, and...

The Results
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Plating is nothing to write home about, but the family polished off every morsel! I would have preferred it a lot hotter, but my kids won't tolerate that, so I had to make do with some Frank's on top.
 

phatch

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Frozen ground turkey. Not fully thawed, but that's all right, I don't need all of it for this.

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Season it up with white pepper, sugar, cornstarch, garlic, ginger and fish sauce.

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Heat a non-stick pan. I'm really tempted to try a higher heat, high oil cast iron version to get more crispness next time. Haven't tried a crispy one yet. Anyway, in with some of the seasoned turkey.

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Break it up. Swirl in some batter--rice flour, turmeric, curry powder, salt, coconut milk, water, green onions. Cover and let it cook.

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Add bean sprouts, cover and cook some more.

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Flip the empty side over the bean sprouts. Toast more to your liking.

Break up some into a lettuce leaf. Add thai basil, cilantro, nuoc cham, roll and eat.
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You've now enjoyed Frozen Turkey Banh Xeo.

Silly History. This plate is from my mother-in-law. It is Boontonware, a plastic from the 1940s. I have this one, an off pink dessert one, a brown and a yellow salad sized one. I don't pamper them. When they die, they die. She'd be glad they're getting used.
 
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phatch

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Tried cast iron. Yes it's crispier, but it sticks like mad. Takes quite a bit more oil. Multiple fragments in the fold and more breaking getting it out of the pan.

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The first one was more like a coarse scramble when it came out. Not nearly enough oil .
 
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You've now enjoyed Frozen Turkey Banh Xeo.
Very cool phatch!!! That dish is a new to me but I am definitely going to be trying it out on a first hand basis in the near future. Also enjoyed the silly history, made me think of some of my cooking/dining items that have a history. I have some cast iron pans my dad made when he was studying industrial engineering in college.They came out great except when he made the mold he neglected to reverse the initials so instead of WM, he got MW. He said the prof was all over that oversight, too funny!
 
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I extricated the bag of frozen goat meat out of the garage fridge, it is currently defrosting in the house fridge. With luck I'll feel like making some sort of stew with it before the end of the month, get one more dish added to the list for May.

mjb.
 
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If'll have some more dishes if the generator isnt busy tomorrow, and I can find signal;)
 
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I found some really old chicken thighs in the freezer and I'm trying doing them as a heavily seasoned confit, after which I'll quickly fry them. Possibly a sauce, not sure -- something along the lines of a Louisiana etouffee, is what I'm thinking, but it's all rather uncertain at the moment. If it comes out at all, and I don't forget to take pictures, I'll post it.
 
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Okay, well, it sort of worked. Not bad at all, actually. I don't have a photo of the chicken thighs themselves, but take it from me, they'd been in the freezer at least a year, possibly longer. I cured them overnight, then made confit in the water-bath. So after that it was all about the sauce.
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Frozen scraps and ends became stock in a pressure cooker, and frozen celery and bell pepper joined non-frozen onion to create the Trinity.
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Flour and oil for a roux, moving from pale blond to red (it was redder-browner than the picture suggests).
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Cook the veg in the roux, whisk into the stock, and cook very well with garlic and a LOT of seasonings (heavy on the black pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, salt, and thyme). Eventually I sauteed some green onions in butter and beat that in, then seared the chicken and heated it through in the sauce. With basic white rice, this produces....
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Chicken étouffée.
 
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Well here we are, folks... last day of the month. There have been a lot of ingenious submissions. Any more? Picking a winner is not a task to which I look forward, but it must be done, and will be done tonight. Stay tuned, stay well, and stay happy!
 
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Got the frozen goat in the pot:


Hopefully I can stay awake long enough to get an official entry in. Man, you would love the aroma coming out of the kitchen at the moment!

mjb.
 
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Gonna be working on a chicken gumbo for this evening's dinner. The gumbo will be utilizing three ingredients from the freezer and other items I just got from the store. Not really worried about the deadline, more interested in contributing and eating!!!
 
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Okay, here we go. Last night was a long one, more driving than usual, about an hour over the end of my shift before I could go home. But I did spend some time in the kitchen.

The Players

Well to make a goat stew you need goat. I've already posted the picture of the bag of it getting surrounded by ice out in the vintage garage fridge. I'm really thinking I need to get a new fridge for the kitchen, and take the current kitchen fridge out to the garage and send the ancient, 60, 70 year old unit currently in the garage out to pasture.

Anyway, 2 pounds of bone in goat meat chunks:

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I guess goat meat is like goat cheese - you don't get goat cheddar, goat brie, etc. just like you don't get goat sirloin, or goat chuck, you get goat meat. Anyway, I bought it back in July of 2019 according to the tag, so it isn't that old.

And onions are important in Ethiopian cooking when making a wat or a tibs or whatever.

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And berbere spice, of course, and why not a bit of fresh serrano?

The process

First off the goat was browned in ghee. A lot of Ethiopian recipes call for niter kibbeh which is a spiced clarified butter. Maybe next time I do something like this I'll make the real thing. But the plain old ghee seems to have done a nice job.

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Once the goat is browned off, the heat gets reduced to low, another blob of ghee goes in along with the thinly sliced onions and a good dusting of kosher salt.

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Covered the pot, let the onions sweat and steam for about 20 minutes, stirring a couple times, letting them get soft but not getting color on them yet. Then off with the cover, up a bit with the heat and another 15 minutes or so. Onions started to pick up some color, getting a bit of caramelisation as the liquid from the sweating/steaming stage is driven off. To be honest I'm not sure if the two step process really produces a better onion in the end. I do know it is really tasty.

So after the onions get some good color on them, about 2 tablespoons each of minced garlic and ginger go in. Stir thet in for a bit, once the ginger and garlic fragrance hits you add in the 1/4 cup, a generous 1/4 cup I might add,goes in and gets stirred around a bit.

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Man, the kitchen smells SO GOOD at this point! Some whiz kid somewhere has GOT to develop an aroma digitizer!

So the goat is returned to the pot, beef stock poured in the cover, set to a gentle simmer.

The Product

I'm going to cheat here, forgive me. The goat needs a bit more simmering, but I need to get some sleep before heading off to work in too few hours. And you've seen the bubbling cauldron [ Can a 2.5 quart pot be called a cauldron? ] already. And one thing I did that normally I would not do is turn off the heat and add the slices of serrano.

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Normally I would have diced it up and added it way back with the ginger and garlic, but one of the many recipes I perused in researching this dish added a chili at the very end, thought I'd give that approach a try.

So no final presentation, but I will say I've been tasting as I go along, and wow, this will slap you around for sure! Maybe I should have used a scant 1/4 cup of the berbere. Spice, goat, onion - the samples I've pulled out were really tasty, just needs another hour or so of simmering to get that goat a bit more tender. And some traditional injera to sop up the sauce. There's an Ethiopian market fairly close, I may stop in and get some of their injera bread if they have it, This is certainly one tasty pot of stew!

mjb.
 
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Well here we are... the last day of the month, in the month of May. Time to bring this edition of the ChefTalk Monthly Challenge to a close. Sincere thanks to all who participated.

And for many of us, we close the month of May with a clean freezer!

For the past month, I, like most of you, have been hunkered down, laying low, staying out of sight... thanks to a worldwide pandemic. And for the past 2 days I’ve been glued to the TV watching my city, Los Angeles, self-destruct. It’s sad... very sad, but has given me an opportunity to reflect on how good life can be when one has good friends and loving family.

I’ve found myself reflecting on how lucky we are to have ChefTalk, which is a very special place on the internet!

Good food is essential, too, and the good people in this fine site clearly demonstrate culinary talent and good taste. I can honestly say that each submission made my mouth water. Some taught me about cuisines that I’m not very familiar.

I’m finding this to be a difficult decision. But a decision must be made and here it is. One submission impressed me with its simplicity and beauty... and I can only image how good it tasted.

Congratulations MORNING GLORY. I select you as the winner of the May 2020 Challenge and look forward to your theme for June!
 
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