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What's for dinner?

I need to know, because I'm nosy, but also because a similar thread on another (non-foodie) website proved very popular, and threw up lots of good ideas and recipes. And hey, it might be fun! Plus I'm the kind of person who starts thinking about dinner as soon as breakfast is over.... :-o

Anyway, I'll start.

As Mr GG is away on business, I'm not very inspired at the moment. So I had roasted vegetables tossed with a tin of lentils and some EVOO and balsamic vinegar. And some home-made bread with more oil and vinegar. I am a bit obsessed with vinegar!

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  1. I made the Hazan sauce with San Marzano tomatoes, butter and an onion cut in half last night, and will have it again tonight with fresh basil and diced smoked mozzarella, tossed with penne rigate. If I've feeling virtuous, I'll make an arugula salad. My husband is also away, and while this is not the healthiest meal, I think it's better than what I usually do - order in!

    5 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      I'm with you, MMR - cooking for one is not very exciting, despite what Delia Smith may say (she once wrote a cookbook called "One is Fun"). I *need* someone to appreciate the fruits of my labours, dammit.

      That Marcella sauce is good though, and sooo easy.

      1. re: MMRuth

        Weekend menu as follows:
        Last night: wood grilled duck breast with rub of coriander, sea salt , evoo and fresh ground pepper, roasted sweet potatoes, and grilled cippolinis
        Tonite: deconstructed blue cheeseburger Wood grilled burgers ( just S&P mixed in) broken up and served on a bed of greens with chopped tomoato, chopped thick cut bacon and carmelized onions served with homemade blue cheese dressing ( if anyone has a killer recipe please add as we are making it up)
        Sunday nite: wood grilled pizza from scratch with San Marzano red sauce, pecorino romano, fresh mozzarella and basil ( and lots of EVOO)....wow I am hungry already

        1. re: capeanne

          when you say wood grilled, I assume you are grilling outdoors over a wood fire (as opposed to charcoal or gas)?

          1. re: Gooseberry

            You can get natural wood briquets for the outdoor barbecue. They are wonderful.

            1. re: Gooseberry

              when we renovated our kitchen we put a fireplace waist high in just for this reason...best investment we ever made..we use kiln dried firewood and the difference, particularly in grilling good cuts of beef, is amazing

        2. feeling lazy tonight, probably carry-out pizza, or fried chicken from a local tavern.

          I have cooked every meal since last Friday(London Broil, burgers, pork chops, hot dogs, steak tacos,) I need a break.

          1. I'll bite...
            roasted lemon pepper chicken thighs - my kids fave. I let the thighs sit in fresh lemon juice for 15 mins. While they sit I mash the lemon zest w/ kosher salt and fresh black pepper in a mortar & pestle then I smear it on the thigh skins. Roast in the oven for 45 mins. at 450. I'll serve it w/ garlicky broccoli & green beans and some toasted almond pilaf (Far East brand).

            Oooh, I made Gourmet's sangria recipe from this month's edition. It's green grape & apple white sangria w/ fresh mint. Yum! The kids whipped up home-made fruit punch creamcicles for dessert.

            5 Replies
            1. re: lynnlato

              Heh, I never knew how to do my own lemon pepper seasoning...yours sounds wonderful, mostly because you can control the sodium or not use any at all!...will try your method very soon...maybe even tonight though the chicken thighs I have are frozen.

              1. re: Val

                It's really good and much tangier and fresher than the jarred stuff. I got the idea from a Gourmet mag years ago. Give it a try!

                1. re: lynnlato

                  Lynn, we tried the lemon pepper chicken thighs tonight...VERY good! Thanks for a quick & tasty idea...I may add fresh garlic next time...I was sooo tempted to add it while the chicken sat in the lemon juice...have you ever tried that?

                  1. re: Val

                    Yea! Glad u enjoyed it.

                    No, I haven't tried it w/ garlic but I think it sounds yummy. My only concern would be the garlic burning when you cooked the chicken in that high heat oven. Give it a go and let us know.

              2. re: lynnlato

                That sounds good - much better than what I had. *jealous* Mind you, the OH just rang and confessed to having McDonalds (look what happens when I'm not there to keep him on the straight and narrow).

              3. I'm making some Rancho Gordo beans, sauteed peppers, onions and mushrooms, and possible some rice.

                1. Ooo....tonight we had rotisserie chicken....yummy! (Used George Duran's beer can chicken rub...)

                  1. We're grilling some green chile turkey burgers with cheddar on them. Made a roasted corn, pepper and tomato salsa to go with them too. Also had some cabbage and I'm tired of coleslaw so we're trying threw some on the grill to see how we like that.

                    Still have some peach yogurt popsicles in the freezer that I made earlier this week so we'll ahve those for dessert.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: ziggylu

                      Ziggy, how'd you make your popcicles? We just made some today too. If you have any amazing recipes, please share! My kids insisted on punch creamcicles (hawaiian punch & vanilla ice cream) but I'm looking forward to trying a raspberry limeade pop myself!

                      1. re: lynnlato

                        I didn't really follow a recipe but kind of made it up as I went along. I threw some peaches in the food processor with some lime, honey and ginger...tasting along the way until I liked the flavor. Then I added some nonfat yogurt...I think I added too much but it would depend on how you like them...I wanted it fruiter and not as creamy...they're nice and creamy though if you like them that way..so add more than less yogurt. I also wish I'd thought to add some chopped up peaches before freezing too.

                        This is the first time I"ve done them but we were quite pleased with the attempt...enough to keep doing them again. I have a cantaloupe looking for a purpose as well so I might play with that as well...

                      2. re: ziggylu

                        More "prepare" than cook, but delicious all the same. Grilled wild caught halibut, CSA salad of spinach, spring turnips and carrots, grilled butternut squash and frozen strawberry yogurt and strawberry sauce that I made from our "pick your own" Strawberry Soiree that we attended this past weekend at Red Fire Farm (our CSA,,,,first trip there....so much fun). Molly Stevens, I'll be back to you....but for now, nothing beats this kind of eating.

                      3. Lime Ceviche w/ shrimp and scallops
                        Salad w/ tomato, artichoke hearts, and hearts of palm
                        Chinese Broccoli with garlic, chilled

                        Not very cohesive but all very good.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Emme

                          oh this sounds great...would you share your ceviche recipe, please?

                          1. re: KellBell

                            I do this or some variation on the theme depending upon the audience.. and like I said, I generally shrimp and scallops, so you can either do half and half here or double the marinade :)

                            1 1/2 pounds large sea scallops (about 20), tough ligament removed from side of each if attached
                            3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
                            1 teaspoon salt
                            1/2 teaspoon black pepper
                            1 navel orange, segmented and chopped to make about 1/4 cup
                            2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
                            3/4 seedless cucumber cored and thinly sliced to make about 2 cups
                            2 tablespoons thinly sliced shallot
                            1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh jalapeño chile, (I discard seeds because I don't like it that hot, but that's at the chef's discretion)
                            1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

                            Mix all the marinade ingredients, and marinate, then stir in cilantro toward the end.

                        2. Tonight we're having fresh tagliatelle with marinated cherry tomatoes (simple but good recipe from the River Café) and a rocket/lamb's lettuce salad. And a bucketful of wine, as it's Friday.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: greedygirl

                            Change of plan. Mr GG's not home until late, and I went to the Middle Eastern shop near work today so I had homemade houmous, dolmades and gigantes (giant butter beans) out of jars, with pitta bread and some labneh. It's the first time I've had labneh and I love it - it's kind of like extra creamy, slightly cheesy greek yoghurt. Totally yum. Still having the bucketful of wine though (Gewurztraminer -delicious).

                            I also scored two kilos of cherries for less than a fiver (Californian - I'm trying not to think about the food miles) and I've scoffed so many I fear for the consequences. Must go and look up some recipes before I make myself ill....

                            1. re: greedygirl

                              GG, I posted about this in another thread, but if you still have cherries sitting around try this recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                              I made it twice last week -- once for me and once for my GF. I used regular cherries and cut the sugar down to 1T + 1t. It's really delicious.

                              1. re: JonParker

                                I'm almost embarrassed to say that I've eaten most of them, but I'm planning to get some more this week if they've still got them. They really were delicious, and from Spain not California, it turns out. That recipes looks good - thanks for the tip.

                                1. re: greedygirl

                                  That's not embarrassing at all. I have never tried Spanish cherries, but the ones from Chile are useless.

                          2. If I have time to go to the fish monger, I will probably do fileted red snapper with chipotle-lime butter. Sadly, I probably don't have the time and will have to settle for a tin of sardines and eggs.

                            1. Yesterday was dill day. Made persian rice with dill and lima beans, with the crusty bottom. Wonderful. And a cold shrimp and cuke salad. Shrimp boiled and chilled. Cuke grated. Mixed into a vinagrette of a couple tbsps evoo and white wine vinegar, s&p, chopped scallion, sugar, and grainy mustard. Very refreshing and I wish I'd made more.

                              As an aside - my 2 y.o. is currently in a people pleasing mode. Whatever is the topic of conversation, he will say "I like/love [topic]." So yesterday he kept trying to pull the dill out of his food, and saying he didn't like the string. And I said it's not string it's dill weed. And my 6 y.o, who tried to help (and who liked the food!) said dill weed is yummy. Then 2 y.o. says "mamma, I like weed. I love weed." Husband is cracking up, trying to figure out how to purge that from the vocabulary before daycare this morning... :)

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: sasha1

                                "i like weed, I love weed"... Ha, love it! Out of the mouths of babes.

                                The other day we rode by a cemetery and my 6 yr old asked, "Mommy, why do they bury dead people in the ground?" I told him I didn't know why. Then he asked, w/ complete sincerity, "why don't we just eat the meat?" My husband and I burst into hysterics, half laughing and half completely creeped out!

                                That's what we get for trying to explain to him about raising happy pigs and cows and chickens = good beef, chicken & pork!

                                1. re: lynnlato

                                  Oh - that's gross. That's terrible. Kids are so great for a laugh aren't they?

                                  1. re: sasha1

                                    Absolutely. I think I'll remember that forever and probably remind him of it several times when he's grown! "eat the meat"!

                                  2. re: lynnlato

                                    Oh jeeze, I think I'll just open up this can of worms and eat them. :)

                                  3. re: sasha1

                                    I'm just impressed that you have a toddler who will eat dill. I'm 38 and not that keen on the stuff....

                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                      He didn't eat it, or any of his dinner unfortunately. He just said he liked it ... talk is cheap. I love dill - my yuck herb is cilantro. Avoiding it is like swimming upstream though, so I've learned to tolerate. One day there may be actual attraction.

                                      1. re: sasha1

                                        I agree can't stand cilantro even the smell makes me sick. We are having a boiled carp. The sauce develops into an aspic gel and is served cold with the fish with horseradish. Can't think of a side to go with the fish, so I serve a salad before.

                                  4. Investigating making Indian food at home lately. Made a Lamb Korma with CSA meat served over basmati rice, a vegetable curry with local peas, onion, eggplant and carrot accompanied by a yogurt/cucumber Raita. Quick garlic naan, a frozen version from Trader Joe's which isn't bad but sure isn't as good as home made. Much to my surprise, this was a great dinner!

                                    1. I made beer can chicken without the beer tonight. I used some sour orange juice (as in Mexican) with some soda water added. Also made kale marinated in coconut milk/cayenne/paprika/salt/pepper and grilled it - yum-my. And roasted Yukon Gold potatoes. I bought BC strawberries today at the market and they are amazingly flavourful, so might have them with some of my homemade buttermilk lemon sherbet later on. And I am cooking for one - who says it's boring?

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: sarah galvin

                                        Wow - the kale sounds amazing. One to squirrel away for the winter when I am overwhelmed with the stuff. Did you use a griddle or a barbecue?

                                      2. rice gratin Mexican style. white sauce mixed with salsa,chard jalapeno, nacho cheese sauce,jack cheese, over spicy Mexican rice . sprinkle crushed tortilla chips , then baked. pretty much everything from left over. It was very spicy & it was pretty good.

                                        1. Baked salmon, and rosemary roasted potatoes with fresh rosemary and onions from a co-worker's garden. Still deciding on a green vegetable, but I might give the CHOW zucchini, feta and pine nuts recipe a try.

                                          1. Tonight we're having sauteed duck breasts, with the onion marmalade from Tapas (which I made to go with the pate I was going to make but didn't, so we had it with purchased pate instead), fresh peas, arugula salad with grape tomatoes, maybe some red bliss potatoes. Trying to clean out the fridge a bit, though the duck and peas are from the farmer's market.

                                            For lunch today, we had beautiful wild baby arugula tossed with fruttato, gray sea salt, a little bit of red wine vinegar and black pepper, served with fried zucchini flours, and a local camembert style goat cheese. My husband said that the benefit of a light lunch was that he's not to full to started thinking about what we're going to have for dinner.

                                            Lunch tomorrow is spaghetti with bottarga, and dinner will be greens with a mayonnaise based smoked trout salad.

                                            I may hard boil some oldish eggs and I may get around to making those biscuits for the first time ...

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: MMRuth

                                              Your husband is a man after my own heart!

                                              Last night we had rocket (arugula) salad with nectarines, serrano ham and a dressing of pomegranite molasses, lime and olive oil. This is a summer staple in our house (well, I've made it twice, that counts, right?). Then I made the most amazing barbecued chicken with hot mustard using a Joel Robuchon recipe (which I'll post about on the unused cookbook thread). It was incredibly easy and just delicious. We accompanied that with a couscous and mograbiah salad with slow-roasted tomatoes from my latest obsession, the Ottolenghi cookbook. Lovely.

                                              To drink: Pimms with mint, cucumber and strawberries and sparkling wine from Lindauer. I am a bit tired and emotional this morning.

                                              1. re: MMRuth

                                                Can I buy bottarga online anywhere?

                                                1. re: sarah galvin

                                                  Oh, I found it. Pricey! But I have been dying to try it. Does it keep for a long time? And do you use it like truffles - just grate it on?

                                                  1. re: sarah galvin

                                                    It does keep for a long time time - just wrap it well once you've opened it I wrap the leftover lobe in saran wrap, then foil, then put in a ziplock. I grate it using a microplane for pasta dishes, but you can also shave it etc., depending on the dish. As a point of reference, I pay about $25 - $30 for a lobe, that runs about $90 a pound. A little goes a very long way. I buy mine at DiPalo in NYC - don't know if they do mail order or not. Definitely prefer the gray mullet one to the tuna one.


                                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                                      I found gray mullet at http:boutargue.org but it is so expensive compared to what you are paying. Thanks for the info.

                                              2. Well yesterday now... but anyway friends had gone fishing in the morning and brought back grouper which we fileted and fried as an appetizer, then I made a fettuccine alfredo with mushrooms, a little garlic, and sauteed chicken breast pieces rubbed with cayenne, s&p, paprika, thyme and oregano. Nice and spicy.

                                                1. clean out the fridge stir fry

                                                  unless i get a delivery instead - i might need a won ton soup fix

                                                  1. I worked all day and husband was in charge of dinner. Came home and found he'd made some homemade pasta, Marcella's simple tomato sauce, and a big green salad with red wine vinaigrette. Delicious! Finished it off with some homemade vanilla ice cream topped with some fresh cantaloupe.

                                                    1. Nothing very exciting, but all oh so good.....realized I've been sort of grazing from the afternoon on. Got home from work and had some great french bread topped with a soft sheep's milk cheese I put under the broiler just to get it melted and gooey. With that I had a sampler of all the fruit I bought at the farmers market today-all was ripe and fantastic-HUGE blackberries, Rainier cherries, apricots and some figs. All with a big glass of ice tea. Promptly fell asleep in the chair. A few hours later cooked a nice rib-eye that was on sale at the store today with some crimini mushrooms and summer pattie squash I also got at the farmers market. Had a orzo salad with mint, roasted tomatoes, and asparagus in it (got it at the store, but yum, gona make it one of these days).

                                                      I'll probably be back in those blackberries before the night is over......... wish I'd bought more.

                                                      1. Leftover grilled Jamaican jerk chicken, cubed up and tossed on pea shoots with a little sesame vinaigrette. Snoqualmie Naked Riesling to wash it down.

                                                        1. On the menu chez greedygirl tonight is tagliatelle with broad beans, cherry tomatoes, goat's cheese and basil. Can't wait!

                                                          1. Last night was Chicken with 16 cloves of garlic from the COTM, La Cocina De Mama; asparagus salad from a previous COBM, Flexitarian Table; and baked potatoes. The last a DH requst.

                                                            Tonight it's Linguine with steamed broccoli and spicy sliced Italian sausages tossed together with sauteed garlic/onions/pancetta/peperoncini and a garden salad.

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                              Grilled Rib Eye Steaks with a side of vegetable lasagne from tomorrow's COTM. So DELICIOUS, and a great way to use the kale from my CSA. I will post about it. I had made strawberry frozen yogurt and strawberry sauce from the ton of strawberries that we picked. A gorgeous summer meal outside after the late afternoon downpour.

                                                              1. re: onefineleo

                                                                Don't you just love al fresco dining? I especially like breakfast and dinner on the patio anytime the weather permits......Spring through Autumn.

                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                  Yes, Gio, I do. Pretty wild weather we've been having here lately, no? We may have to grill between the raindrops tonight as we cook the pork loin that I've got marinating in pineapple juice, sesame oil, soy, ginger, garlic and scallions (someone posted this idea....thanks). Leftover veg lasagne from Deborah Madison (can't wait). I think that book is going to be a winner.

                                                                  1. re: onefineleo

                                                                    That pork loin sounds delicious! Did u get a recipe or did u wing it?

                                                                    1. re: lynnlato

                                                                      I winged it. Miss Needle offered up the idea. The marinade smells so so good.

                                                                    2. re: onefineleo

                                                                      OMG I can smell it from here..... I have to write that down.
                                                                      I've been waiting for rain for the last 3 days..... only cloudy skys and dry, dry, dry.

                                                                      I've been tagging recipes in the DM book and am raring to go.....

                                                              2. I've been lazy/uninspired for the last few weeks since we got back from vacation in Hilton Head. This past weekend was Chinese carry-out while watching the White Sox bea the N.Siders. Yesterday was some nice brats for lunch. Dinner yesterday night was greek chicken, rice, and a salad.

                                                                Tonight is brats, beans, and chips for dinner.

                                                                Maybe I will get out of this rut for the holiday weekend.

                                                                1. Had the fam over for Sunday dinner last night. It's been raining cats & dogs here for days and we are thinking about building an ark. So, disappointed we couldn't grill out, but decided to broil instead. Went to Whole Foods and was inspired by fresh produce and what's on sale.

                                                                  Served some homemede pimento cheese dip with "sordid" crackers (one of the kids used to say this), brie smoked on cedar plank with cranberry sauce for apps. Bought 2 lb. mussels, sauteed shallots, garlic, fresh tomatoes and some threw in some white wine. Very delish with fresh French bread.for first course.

                                                                  The skirt steaks had really looked appealing, thick and juicy, not thin and likely to dry out. Marinated them in sherry wine vinaigrette with lots of dijon & garlic. Served with roasted corn and asparagus.

                                                                  Was really happy with how dessert turned out. Came home @ 4:30 p.m. and managed to produce fresh fruit crostata completly from scratch. Used an Ina Garten recipe. The dough is basically a pate brise with 2 sticks diced cold butter, 6 T ice water, a little salt, a little sugar and 2 cups AP flour all pulsed together in food processor. Divide dough in 2 balls, chill the dough for an hour, froze second one. Blanched some beautiful California peaches, apricots (recipe called for plums, didn't have any) pulled off skins. Added blueberries, a little OJ and orange zest. Rolled out dough onto large nonstick 1/2 sheet pan. Spread on fruit, added streusel topping (think I will try brown sugar next time. Baked for 25 min. The smell was unbelievably delicious. This was WAY easier than making even a one crust, let alone two crust pie. Served with premium vanilla ice cream.

                                                                  1. tonight it's tilapia with mango/ avocado salsa. black beans and rice. I may omit the rice if it gets any hotter! No need in having the stove on that long.

                                                                    1. Homemade pesto with the basil from my garden, over linguine. I chopped up early tomatoes from my garden and a cucumber from the farmers market and dressed it with olive oil and balsamic for a salad. Simple and delicious.