Tell us what you have cooked lately (that's interesting)


The general idea is that products from a region are the “real deal”. They’re given protected status in Europe, that’s what DOP stands for, and proves that you’re buying real parmagiano reggiano, proscuitto di parma, aceto balsamico tradizionale, and so on.

Much like terroir in wine-- what’s the difference between a rioja and a shiraz? They’re both red wine made from grapes. But they’re slightly different varieties of grapes, and they grow in different areas, and they’re prepared differently.


San Marzano’s are grown in special volcanic soil specific to the Sarno Valley which adds to an interesting side-note for your dinner guests.


That’s why Cento Whole in Can are my goto.


While I have used San Marzanos, I generally use plum tomatoes for my sauces and have never noticed a difference. After reading that article, I now know why. Considering the vast majority of San Marzano’s sold in the US ( 95% ) are not actually San Marzanos, I guess they are extra special because of a little spice called pretentiousness.


Does it make a significant difference in the flavour? I’ve never used them. I just get canned plum tomatos for anything needing canned tomatoes.


I can’t say I’m confident I’ve ever eaten real ones. I’m sure like all DOP things it probably does make a difference but probably a bit overpriced.


This is the shame which drives true progress.


Pasta with Zucchini, Cherry Tomatoes and Boursin Cheese

from Pasta Revolution

Actually cherry tomatoes, this time ($5 for 12 oz of organic on-the-vine at the coop, but they’re at least the right kind of tomato). But not Boursin, which is a brand and the coop stocked some other similar brand instead. Presumably less corporate or something, I have no idea. There is also chicken in there, because this is not what I set out to make. I got the chicken going for pasta with chicken, eggplant and a red wine/balsamic mixture…and then as I cut into the eggplant it proved to be full of gross browning bits and generally looking a bit the worse for wear. So I tossed that, hemmed and hawed about making a run just for the eggplant and then decided to just shift gears and make this recipe, then throw chicken in at the end because it’s not like that’s an incompatible flavor profile.

Real simple recipe: you quarter the zucchinis then cut into large chunks. Toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Broil on high for 10 minutes or so until lightly charred. Meanwhile, cook pasta, chop some fresh basil and quarter a pound-ish of cherry tomatoes. When the pasta’s done, chuck in the tomatoes, boursin, and about 1/4 cup of reserved pasta cooking water and toss. Then gently stir in the zucchini and basil (and 2 more tablespoons of olive oil, oops, just noticed that), salt and pepper to taste and serve.

It’s fabulous. And I used to hate zucchini, too. Look forward to the eggplant thing in a couple days when I get around to getting another eggplant. >.>


So much Thanksgiving awesome in this thread, but I want to go out of my way to tell you just how awesome all of that looked, @ChristienMurawski. You did a fantastic job, every bit of it, and you should be proud.

I’ll also mention that a few of the baked items you noted were slightly burned. I’ve battled through a lot of this myself and I have one tiny recommendation: an oven thermometer. If you aren’t using one that has a long probe, then one that sits in the oven itself is still pretty good. What makes for perfect is refining a process to be repeatable, case in point, your fucking beautiful cheesecake. But if you have a variance in a process, it can lead to mixed results. I have a crappy home oven that I want to replace. The crappy part of it is that my temps fluctuate wildly. What’s marked as, say, 350F can be 320, or 365, etc. You can’t cook consistently that way, it’s really not a fault of you, but the equipment used in the process.

As for me I still need to round up some of my pics, but I will say that smoking the turkey breast was a WILD success. I can’t see us doing it any other way from this point onward.


Yeah, my grandma’s oven was not reaching the selected temperatures when I was last cooking at her house. I wouldn’t have even thought to check if she hadn’t said something.


Yeah ovens are notoriously unreliable where it comes to temperature settings. Unless of course you want to drop $1000’s on a high end oven. A quality oven thermometer is the only way to be sure of what temp your oven is actually running at. Mine generally runs 15 to 20 degrees hotter than the setting I choose.


Convection ovens!


Damn straight.


Spam fried rice.


I have no problem with Spam. But Spam Lite? What is even in that?


Mainly less salt. At least that’s why I bought it. If I’m just frying some up, I like regular. As an ingredient I prefer to season myself. That is not to say that I wear salt. Just to clarify. :)


Spam fried rice is so good! Never tried Lite, but I may now if using it as a cooking ingredient rather than straight pan-frying slices up. Or making spam musubi.


Never grew up with leeks, but I love them. i just wish my soups looked a little more… I don’t know, less grey but pureeing a part of the soup makes it thicker but also a little murky.


Julia Child has a leek recipe that is pretty much leeks + butter in a casserole dish. OMFG


Leek and potato soup is one of my very favourite dishes. It’s pretty grey though.

Also, at the risk of being an armchair cook, did you sweat the leeks first?


It looks great to me, Nesrie. Leeks are awesome. Could it be the lighting or flash on your pictures instead of the actual color, or did it look grey in person as well?