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Aug 31, 2006 01:34 PM

what are your holiday weekend cooking plans?

My husband's birthday coincides with the Labor Day weekend so it's always a good excuse for a big food orgy. We're going out for dinner on Saturday. Sunday I plan to make the lobster, corn and tomato salad that was in the NYTimes Food section yesterday:
I'll probably grill the corn and roast the tomatoes for added flavor.

His birthday is on Monday and he's asked for chicken wings. So I'm going to fry them in chile oil and make a German-style potato salad - vinegar, cooked onions and cooked bacon. After this heart-attack-on-a-plate, his birthday cake is marjolaine - 4 layers of dacqoise with coffee and chocolate ganache filling and frosting. At least he'll die happy with a full belly.

Because it's a long weekend I'm going to cook some other things which will be eaten later. I'm finally going to attack the last of the pork belly from the pig we got last winter. 6 lbs will be used for confit, the rest will be moo wan (Thai caramelized belly pork).

And I'm going to brine and butterfly a chicken for another ATK roast chicken, perhaps with a lemon and za'atar underskin seasoning (from Spice, Ana Sortun's book) this time. I'm hoping to get both the potato gratin and Zuni-type bread salad out of this. I'll report on results after the experiment.

What are you planning?

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  1. If the weather cooperates I will be smoking a brisket on the Weber. So far it's not looking too good, I don't have a backup plan yet...

    1. My boyfriend and I have the whole weekend to chill together, watch DVDs and wander around the Village. On Friday night, because I've got about 1 cup of fresh pesto made, I'm going to do pesto pizza with goat cheese and those amazing light orange cherry tomatoes. Saturday Ernesto is going to make the weather gross hereabouts, so it will be a good day/night to make my ever-comforting Roasted Chorizo with Fideos (short angel-hair pasta) with chicken thighs in a Moroccan spice rub. (Recipe follows.) On Sunday I want to try making Monkfish Saltimbocca. Does anyone have a recipe for that? Monday I'm leaving open to see what's at the farmer's market.

      Here's the Fideos recipe:

      Roasted Chorizo with Fideos

      Fideuà is the Catalan name for a favorite baked noodle dish.

      NOTE: This is particularly good served with 4-5 pounds of chicken thighs and drumsticks that have been rubbed with Spice Rub for Chicken (below) and marinated for four hours, then sautéed in olive oil in the paella pan until nicely browned on both sides, set aside, then draped over the mixture in the paella pan for the last 20 minutes of roasting. The onions and other vegetables can be started right in the fat left behind by the chicken.

      2 tablespoons olive oil
      2 medium onions, chopped
      2 large garlic cloves, minced
      1 large green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
      1 large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
      2 teaspoons smoked (Spanish) paprika, hot and/or bittersweet
      Pinch of cayenne pepper
      2 medium tomatoes, peeled, squeezed, seeded, chopped,
      or 1 14 oz. can Muir Glen diced tomatoes, with most of the juices
      3 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
      1/2 cup dry French vermouth
      8 (or more) ounces Spanish chorizo,
      Palacios preferred (the only real Spanish chorizo available in the U.S.),
      sliced into 1/8-inch discs
      12 oz. fideos, angel hair pasta, or other very thin pasta
      Minced fresh parsley

      Heat the olive oil in heavy deep paella pan, at least 13” across and 1 1/2” deep, over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until tender, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes, adjusting the heat if onions are browning too quickly.

      Add the diced peppers and sauté 4 minutes. Add the paprika and cayenne and stir just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and sauté 2 minutes.

      Heat oven to 400 degrees. Add the chicken broth, wine, and chorizo to paella pan and bring mixture to simmer. Break pasta into 1 1/2” pieces and stir into the mixture, blending well. Cook until pasta is just tender, stirring occasionally, 5-6 minutes.

      Set pan in oven and bake until all liquid is absorbed and pasta is becoming crusty, about 25 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley.

      Serves 4-6

      Moroccan Spice Rub for Chicken Thighs


      Zest of 2 lemons
      1/4 cup cilantro leaves
      1 teaspoon garlic powder
      2 teaspoons onion powder
      2 teaspoons Spanish paprika
      2 teaspoons ground ginger
      2 teaspoons salt
      2 teaspoons garam masala
      1/2 teaspoon turmeric

      Combine ingredients well in a medium bowl. Dip the chicken thighs into the mixture and pat it on, shaking off excess. Marinate in a sealable plastic bag for 4 hours before sautéeing in olive oil.

      Yield: Enough to coat 12 thighs

      3 Replies
      1. re: Tom Steele

        Thanks for posting the recipes. I'd like to try your fideos recipe some day, it will bring back good memories of Barcelona.

        Ignorant question: I'm in Boston where chorizo is usually Portugese - a dry, spicy sausage. Is Spanish chorizo different?

        1. re: cheryl_h

          I love the way the cooked little bristles of pasta poking up out of the stew get crispy in the oven. It's a really good recipe!

          I don't think I've had Portuguese chorizo, but I'm sure it will suffice. As far as I know, the only chorizo from Spain/Portugal that's allowed in this country is Palacios, which is available in most gourmet food stores here in Manhattan (Garden of Eden and Citarella both have it for about $7-8 for a 7.9-ounce sausage. I've never had better, actually. It's also available from

        2. re: Tom Steele

          hmmm...I was planning on this Chicken Chorizo for tonight's dinner, but your recipe is tempting me...
          Chicken Chorizo
          3 Tbl. bacon drippings
          4-lb. chicken, cut-up
          3 chorizo, sliced
          2 onions, thinly sliced
          2 garlic cloves, minced
          2 tomatoes, chopped
          1 Tbl. cilantro, chopped
          1 tsp. salt
          1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
          2 jalapeno peppers, chopped

          Brown the chicken pieces in the bacon drippings, and remove from pan. Saute the garlic and onion until softened, add the chopped tomatoes, cilantro, salt and pepper, jalapeno peppers. Cook for 5 minutes. Add chicken pieces and the chorizo slices, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add chicken broth. Serve with rice.

        3. You have quite an ambitious cooking weekend ahead of you! Everything sounds great; look forward to your report back...

          Me? I'm not sure what I've got up my sleeve...I'm a very last-minute cook most of the time.

          We are doing the holiday weekend dinner at my in-laws on Sat. this year. They asked me to bring a soup, as usual. In fact, they always request potato leek no matter what the meal or season and this time I'm rebelling and making whatever I want. I'm flattered that they like my potato leek soup that much, but there's so many wonderful things at the farmers market right now. I think I'm going to attempt a minestrone that I just make up...I'll probably bring dessert too.

          Sun. we are going to an outdoor Shakespeare play in the afternoon, so I'm going to make and gather picnic provisions. Maybe make it easy on myself and do a charcuterie, cheese, and wine spread. Simple meals can be so great.

          I do have these meaty lamb shanks that have been pre-seasoned and sitting in my fridge the last couple of days. I just bought All About Braising, so I'm excited to try the Provencal lamb shanks recipe! I probably will make those tonight for eating tomorrow.

          Have a good holiday weekend all!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Carb Lover

            Please post a report on the lamb shanks if you can. I own All About Braising, but haven't had a chance to make anything from it yet. I got it off a clearance rack and bought the two other copies they had ($12 for hardcover!) and gave them as gifts.

          2. RIBS!!!

            This year is the first time I've ever made ribs and I'm a bit addicted. I brine, braise and bake them generally, but I'll probably finish this batch on the bbq. Given that my only two legitimate bbq experiences were Dinosaur BBQ in Syracuse about 6 years ago, and Smokin Woodys in Chicago about 3 years ago, my rib sauce flavours are sort of concocted from a combination of what I like and memory. So there's a lot more vinegar than tomato in my sauce which I understand is a more Carolina kind of flavour than other bbq regions. Its all a big experiment!

            1. Housewarming/1st annual BBQ out at my house in Marseilles, IL. We are having about 35 guests out on Sat, its supposed to be the best day weather wise of the weekend.

              I am cheating a little, ordering in Portillos Italian Beef, and some fried chicken from a local place. I am grilling about 60 Johnsonville brats, and making a big salad, I want time to enjoy the beer, frinds, and family, so I didnt want to cook everything, typically I am a "scratch" cook.

              Beyond that the grill will be going Sun, and Mon., steaks, pork chops, etc... Also gonna get as much of the sweet corn as possible while it is in its prime.

              Also I use charcoal, and wood chips, I dont believe in propane.

              Enjoy all...