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What's For Dinner? Part XXXV

Well, we’ve almost reached our 200 again and always go over anyway. So the question is – what are you making for dinner? Is it too hot to cook where you are and you are doing something cold? Is it time for you go grill on the BBQ? Is it cold where you are and you need something warm and comforting? Whatever it is, we want to hear about it and get some great new inspirations for our own meals. Please come share with us.

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  1. Chunks of pork shoulder were rubbed with cumin, s&p, and garlic powder, then browned on all sides 'til crispy. Can of diced tomatoes, chicken broth, 10 peeled cloves of garlic, and some smoked paprika. Stewed in the oven for 4 hours until falling apart, then added can of white hominy and a bunch of chopped cilantro. Took the top off and reduced the whole thing in the oven for about 1/2 hour until it was nice and thick. Served with garlicky rice, and steamed chilled asparagus with a Raspberry vinegar Dijon shallot dressing.

    3 Replies
      1. re: mariacarmen

        That sounds so good I may just have to copy it this week!

        1. re: rabaja

          thanks guys! such a compliment, coming from you all. oh and i forgot, there was maybe a tablespoon of mild diced green chiles (i was cooking for the parents and they can't take any heat, but i had to sneak in some extra flavor!)

      2. Well, I've got a chicken brining (in a beer, water, brown sugar, and salt solution) that I was planning to bake, but my partner and I fell fast asleep when we took a little after-work cat nap! So, it's now 9 pm and I think I'll whip up some black bean quesadillas for tonight and bake the chicken tomorrow for lunch. It's a little comical that I get such a joy out of meal planning, as none of them ever seem to go as planned! =)

        1. Asparagus to start (probably the last till next year)

          Roast beef ( organic rolled joint of rib - second mortgage already applied for)), roast carrots & spuds, steamed brocolli, gravy, horseradish cream (bought).

          Apple pie (bought at a "fine food & plants" fair at a nearby town this morning). With creme fraiche.

          1. I wanted to do a pasta tonight, but I have too many odds and ends hanging around, so I had to plan a meal around things that would otherwise be tossed. I have three types of cheese, some bacon, a surplus of eggs, the better part of a seeded loaf of rye, and two heads of romaine that needed to become a meal.

            I'm going to make romaine soup: sauteeing onions, garlic, and minced carrot, adding the lettuce to wilt, toss in some stock, boil it for a bit, and then give it a light puree, and add some cream. I'll top it with garlic and butter rye croutons, parmesean, and maybe a little bacon. I'll use the rest of the rye, some cheese (muenster and cheddar) and bacon in toasted sandwiches. Ten of the eggs, the rest of the bacon and the last of the Swiss are going into a frittata. I'll boil another dozen of eggs to have on hand (we like quarter them and dip them in soy, and they manage to disappear very quickly in the dark of night).

            It just sounds like there's a lot of bacon in this meal. Really, I have a light hand when it comes to crumbles. It's a *dusting* of bacon, really. I'm sure our hearts will be fine.

            1. Egg salad lettuce wraps with crispy bacon and leftover shrimp gumbo from last night.

              1. After a glorious week out in the country it is back home to city life. Tonight I plan on enjoying the warm weather and making a pepita-crusted wild salmon dish I haven't had in awhile.
                The star of the dish is this super simple tomato sauce made from shallots, fresh tomatoes and tomato juice.
                It goes really well with quinoa, and I have to make a big quinoa salad for tomorrows BBQ back out in the country (this makes the cat quite happy) so two birds, as they say...
                Not sure what the veg will be, a quick trip the the farmer's market before it ends may help me to decide.
                Definitely rose to start, it is GORGEOUS in SF today.

                9 Replies
                1. re: rabaja

                  Could you share the pepita-crusted fish and sauce recipes? I have a bag of pepitas to get thorugh...

                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                    I am happy to! It is a great, simple recipe from El Farol cookbook which is also a restaurant in Sante Fe. I will try to paraphrase it clearly...
                    Basically start with salmon filets (or steaks, whatever) which you can sprinkle with olive oil and lime juice an hour or two before cooking, or not. I think I usually forget this step.
                    Toast pepitas (about a 1/4 c for two 6-8 oz pieces of fish) in a dry skillet, along with a bit of coriander seeds. When the seeds swell and things start to smell toasty, remove from heat, cool and grind or mortar to a powder. I usually sift this.
                    Add salt and pepper to this mixture and coat oiled fish all over. Rub it in pretty good.
                    Cook the fish how you like, I usually pan sear it and finish it in the oven, but I would grill it too. Also, this spice-nut mixture keeps well in the freezer so I sometimes make a 1 c batch and have it on hand. Makes the dish even easier, with or without The Sauce. I do love The Sauce though.
                    The Sauce:
                    1 t cumin seeds, toasted and ground (I sift this too)
                    1/2 c shallot (original recipe calls for white onion, I always use shallots. No idea why)
                    a good glug of olive oil (original calls for 1/4c, seems like a lot to me)
                    1/4 c sherry (I use a nice Amontillado, this makes the 1/4 oil seem more rational...)
                    6 tomatoes diced (calls for Roma's, whatever you fancy I say)
                    garlic (again, original calls for 6 cloves, whole. I'd probably use 2 and throw them in my mortar)
                    1 c tomato juice
                    So saute the onion/shallots, throw in the cumin, once softened add your sherry, cook down a bit, season and add the rest of the ing.'s. Cook for 5min or so and puree the whole shebang in a food processor or blender.
                    It's really, really good, can be halved or doubled and goes well with everything.
                    Thanks Chef James Caruso!

                    1. re: rabaja

                      god i wish the boyfriend liked fish! why do i have him, again?
                      oh yeah, he's good and nice and cooks for me. ( :

                    2. re: rabaja

                      it sure is. hot and blue, blue skies (in San Francisco, posted this in wrong order). tonight is some type of Vietnamese chicken salad over steamed rice. that's as far as i've gotten.
                      your cat likes the country or quinoa?

                      1. re: mariacarmen

                        Ha! Maybe both, but the country for sure!
                        Oh to have a private back yard in the city.

                        1. re: rabaja

                          your cat is lucky it gets to go on field trips!

                          1. re: mariacarmen

                            Yes, I've become that weird cat lady who brings her cat with her everyplace.
                            He loves it though and adapts really well. He's even done planes a couple times-short rides.
                            Oh, and he loves the salmon dish and is really good with a pareing knife...err, back on topic...kind of.

                    3. The weather has been all over the place this week---mostly brutally hot. This put me in the mood for a light but filling salad for dinner. Tonight I made Greek salad topped with grilled chicken: this lemon vinaigrette (minus the cheese: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5907... ), chopped Romaine, halved grape tomatoes (sugar-sweet!), cubed mild feta, green pepper rings, some cooked tubettini, and pan-grilled chicken breast, which I brined first, then seasoned with salt, pepper, oregano, and a little Cajun seasoning. Delish!

                      After we sat down, I realized I forgot the cucumbers. Oh well. We split a Saigon beer to drink.

                      1. I am making southern food. Homemade steak fingers, mashed potatoes,cream gravy and green beans. Nothing too fancy.

                        1. DH is gone for the night - Niece's graduation in Seattle and he had to drive my MIL. So, it's just me and my puppy. Guess I'll clean out the fridge a little. Have some veggies that need using - peppers, onions, celery, shrooms. So I think a little veggie stir fry is in order with some thin spaghetti pasta. I think I'll make a fresh stir-fry sauce, and enjoy! My puppy (ok - so he is 13 yrs. young) will get some rice with his meal. I think some good white wine to go with the stir fry is a must. I do still have a little Creamsicle Ice Cream in the freezer which would be a great dessert.

                          1. Tonight I'm making a couple of different kebabs for the grill. Shrimp, smoked sausage & red pepper, basted with a vindaloo paste - those are mine. For DH & the kids, chicken, mushroom & red onion basted with a pomegranate glaze sauce. Some roasted garlic & herb couscous, two baked potatoes for the kids, and roasted cauliflower to go along.

                            1. I made Ina's Grilled Swordfish with Tomatoes and Capers. This updated version, fennel is added and it is excellent and easy.
                              You can locate the recipe on food network. I substituted Mahi Mahi and it was fabulous. Here's a pic!

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: mcel215

                                love this, especially mahi mahi..sorry.

                                  1. Grilling salmon and serving over slivered cabbage, mixed greens, tomatoes and cucumber, with honey and ginger dressing. Splitting a ribeye too, not that I need it. Maybe jasmine rice. It's hot.

                                    12 Replies
                                    1. re: chef chicklet

                                      You guys Hot up there, chef? We're still getting June gloom, and it's been nice. Anyway, I like the sound of your salmon. We don't eat it much, don't care for it, but I'd eat yours, as long as I got some ribeye with it!! ;))

                                      1. re: Phurstluv

                                        sorry just saw this!
                                        Yes! It was terrible yesterday again and today the same I hear. I had salmon again last night. It was a huge huge side of filet of salmon. I made a lighter version of the mustard sauce I make ( no cream) just vermouth, dijon, and butter and white pepper. Actually it came out pretty good. Too hot for the steaks, that's tonight.
                                        You don't care for salmon?

                                        1. re: chef chicklet

                                          No, it's a sin, I know but neither my DH or I like it very much, I only like it smoked or cured like Gravlax. But I did have some recently at a luncheon over a nice salad, and I think if it's cooked properly, and not overly thick or fishy, I will eat it.

                                          1. re: Phurstluv

                                            I'm kind of with you on the salmon Phurstluv. I don't really care for it either - Except - I do have a recipe for cedar-planked salmon with a maple glaze sauce, and I actually like it! Who knew! I got the recipe from a chef up in Canada while at a tasting. DH was happy cause he loves salmon any way he can get it.

                                            1. re: Phurstluv

                                              Yeah, I know my dh has said that about salmon in the past. This was pretty mild and he told me several times how good it was. It has to do with freshness and the type of salmon. Sockeye to me is gross. Way toooo fishy. You also can't cook it too long, that's when the fishiness develops. When its done med rare its very good, or sometimes if you hit medium and get it off the fire, but any longer, ick.

                                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                                Whereas I love the wild caught sockeye salmon! Low oven - 250 degrees - for about 25-30 minutes and it's perfect.

                                                I didn't order from Seabear this year and I'm kicking myself, but IMO, you can't compare wild-caught with farm-raised salmon.

                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                  Maybe that's it, I don't like Sockeye. My mom ruined it for me back in the 70s when she would make us salmon patties, ya know with the canned stuff. I think that was sockeye. Just never liked anything that was too fishy.

                                                  What are the other kinds? Copper River & King? I don't even know, that's how clueless I am. Maybe as I get older I'll come around, I know it's so incredibly good for you.

                                                  1. re: Phurstluv

                                                    Copper River is one location where they catch the salmon in Alaska. In ordering from Seabear.com, you get the 3 lbs. of wild sockeye 48 hours after it's been cut up. Seriously good stuff.

                                                    The other types of salmon are Coho, Pink, Chinook, and I'm sure many, many others. Those are all Pacific salmon - I know there are Atlantic salmon, but I don't know the types. And canned salmon is usually Pink salmon, I think.

                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                      That's right, thanks for the clarification, LW ;)

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                        The coho also run in Lake Tahoe in October to first part of Nov. IIRC.

                                                        1. re: nvcook

                                                          I haven't had any, but I've heard its excellent. I need to send my fishermen boys to Tahoe. Growing up in Oregon, my parents would do the charter fishing thing, always always coming home with salmon. Nothing like it.

                                                      2. re: Phurstluv

                                                        King for me is the best. While out shopping, select a smaller piece, take it home grill it or use your cast iron pan. I do that occasionally with fish I've never eaten. I'll have it for lunch, and if its good go back and get more. I'm trying to incorporate more fish into our diet, it's just so good for us.

                                            2. So i lathered up a couple of giant skinless boneless chicken breasts with minced garlic, ginger, jalapenos, garlic powder, toasted dried pepper flakes, s&p, lime juice, and these great, pungent farmers' market wild onion things, kind of green-purple smallish bulbs with pointy stems, let it sit for 1/2 hour, then poached with marinade in sugar water - boiled for 10 minutes, then let sit in hot water, covered, for 1/2 hour - perfectly perfumed, tender poached chicken. made nuoc nam with lemon juice, fish sauce, more minced ginger and chilis, water and brown sugar, slivered up red cabbage, mint, basil and cilantro, and toasted raw peanuts. Will shred chicken and mix all together with torn romaine, serve over cool steamed jasmine rice. et voila! calling that dinner on a beautiful, hot SF day.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                Mariacarmen, your dinner sounds lovely, and you just gave me some hope for poaching, if you can answer a few questions.

                                                I have lost hope for a method that cooks large breasts through without drying the outer third of the meat. I have 'giant' chicken breasts at my disposal (from a little market, at a fraction of the cost from the super chain). I've not been able to poach chicken in a way that doesn't make me regret using a quick sautee (and even then have to cut them into smaller portions for to ensure tenderness), but this sounds amazing.

                                                When you say 'boiled for ten minutes', do you mean the chicken in a hard boil for the first ten minutes, or do you reduce to a steady simmer after adding the chicken? I'd also like to know the ratio of sugar to water you use, and how that affects the flavor of the meat.

                                                Throughout the summer, breasts tend to replace the roasted thighs I use in a myriad of things, and an easier method of cooking it to tenderness is so welcome here. This sounds like something I'll enjoy playing with.

                                                1. re: onceadaylily

                                                  i was JUST talking about this with the BF, that I thought that after i sliced it up (maybe 4 hours after it had cooled) the chicken was a tad dry (although the BF didn't think so, and he's pretty critical). The recipe i very loosely followed said "cook" the chicken in the boiling water, covered, for 15 mins. - didn't specify to lower the temp. I did leave it at a rolling boil, mostly because of inattention, UNCOVERED, but only for 10 mins - once I became aware it was boiling still, i stopped it 5 mins. early, and then let it sit in the hot water for the required 1/2 hr. I definitely think it should have been at a simmer for those 10-15 mins. But funnily enough, once i added it to the salad greens, and drizzled it liberally with the nuoc cham, it became less dry, soaking up the juices. i believe i used maybe 1 heaping tablespoon of granulated sugar in the water. the water was just a full pot of water - not sure of the amount - enough to cover two big breasts of chicken, maybe about 12 cups? The sugar and the marinade on the chicken, left on the chicken itself and the remains in the bag i used poured into the water, infused the chicken with such great flavor - i feel like the marinade was more key than the sugar. i was shocked at how amazed i was by the flavor - duh! flavor in water infuses the protein! it was subtle yet very present.

                                                  This dish was really tasty, and NO FAT whatsoever. the only maybe non-healthy thing was the sugar in the nuoc cham - probably a half a cup of brown sugar. again, it was all to taste, no real measurements.

                                                  i would definitely simmer next time. but still, it was really good even at a full boil.

                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                    I'm likely to try this the next time the temp in my house is over ninety (which means the my southern-facing kitchen is closer to a hundred if I so much as look at the stove out of the corner of my eye).

                                                    This marinade sounds really good. Thanks!

                                              2. i made spinach turkey burgers stuffed with herbed goat cheese today.
                                                served it with a cold roasted veggie farfalle pasta salad that i made a few days before

                                                1. Tired after the farmer's market and then gardening, so I went easy. 5 egg no crust quiche with some italian cheese and the plunder from the market: chopped baby leek greens and pea shoots. Had a little hot soprassata, so crisped that in a pan and chucked it in as well. It's cooling now and smells divine.

                                                  Debating whether or not to open the vinho verde that is waiting in the fridge...

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: Vetter

                                                    Oh, my, by all means, do OPEN...!

                                                  2. Everyone's dinner sounds so good.

                                                    I emptied out the fridge. That usually means soup - but tonight... SALAD!
                                                    Welcome to Casa de COSTCO:
                                                    romaine, kalamata, bacon (mmm), x-sharp cheddar, garbanzos, feta,tomato, cuke, onion, homemade vinaigrette (made from costco things)
                                                    Not costco: 2 eggs. Yep, just them. And those I thieved from the animals out back. Poor girls!

                                                    Dessert: Last years harvest freezer plums and frozen almond pastry rustic tart (date made - uncertain). I do not even remember making it. If you do not hear from me again...

                                                    I am happy to report my fridge is nearly empty (except for the door) and it is a darn good thing because I plan on a giant garden harvest tomorrow and I need all the rooms at the Inn.

                                                    What I really wanted was pork chunks and garlicky rice. But who doesn't?

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                      You did a great job Sal,

                                                      I used my capers tonight and afterward thought, hmmm, when was the last time I looked at the expiration date. (fridge door) The date said somewhere in 2008, so decided to chuck them, knowing that they were probably still good because of the brine.
                                                      That darn fridge door!

                                                    2. Friday night, veal chops, fresh corn, arugula salad. Last night, cold sliced breast of chicken from a nice roaster i cooked earlier in the week, more arugula salad (his favorite), some Campari tomatoes (the ones imported from Canada have a little acid tang back that I miss in most US tomatoes), and corn fritters (a childhood favorite of his, cobbled a recipe together from two in my 1962 Good Housekeeping cookbook, his mother's staple: 2 egg whites whipped stiff, 2 egg yolks whipped light, 1 c ap flour, 1/2 c milk, the milk and kernels from 3 ears of leftover corn, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt. Stir all except the egg whites together, fold in the egg whites, cook in hot deep fat until dark golden. Serve with a big bowl of powdered sugar for memory lane and lots of salt and habanero Tabasco for me. Beats me how his mom ever managed to put anything much less these on the table for 6 kids, a big eater husband, a grandma, and two great aunts at almost every dinner (along with a kid's friend or two most nights and a dog underfoot) and keep her sanity, but she did and does even today.

                                                      13 Replies
                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                        I'm generally envious of your ready availability of veal. It isnt too popular here in the UK - went through a very bad time many years back over animal welfare issues and hasnt really recovered in the public consciousness. We now raise our veal to far higher welfare standards than most other EU countries (and I won't eat theirs!) but there are not too many farmers raising it - so many still just cull the male dairy calves a few days after birth. But it's a treat when I come across it.

                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                          That's surprises me, but I guess not really. I suppose England only has so many pastures to work with. But I always thought veal was quite prevalent in most of Europe, like Germany, Switzerland and France.

                                                          1. re: Phurstluv

                                                            Veal is common in much of Europe but little is imported into the UK because there is little public demand for it. The lack of demand is all related to animal welfare issues. Certainly if I ever see it on a menu here, I always ask which country it comes from - if it isnt the UK, I don't order it.

                                                            The situation is slowly changing. Firstly other countries in the EU are now being required to stop raising the calves in crates. Secondly, within the UK, there's a growing number of dairy farmers are starting to raise male calves for veal - growing them to about 35 weeks before slaughter. All in high welfare situation on pasture. However, many dairy farmers consider it better economics to kill male calves within a couple of days of birth.


                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                              Yes, I guess that's not surprising - basic economics rules. If there's no demand, there's not much supply, no point. Why do you only order it if it's English? Just wondering, sort of like me saying, I will only eat beef raised in Southern California. I understand if it's a locavore thing, but I feel that is really limiting oneself.

                                                              Hate to say it, & will probably get hate mail, but the animal welfare people seem to enjoy wrecking it for everyone. We have tons of them here in CA.

                                                              1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                "Why do you only order it if it's English?"

                                                                British, not just English - the law applies to all parts of our country, BTW.

                                                                I only order British veal (and only buy it for home cooking) because, as I've said in the two previous posts, we raise the meat in a more ethical way, without cruelty, than the major European producing countries. This is not "wrecking it for other people", it is about knowing how the food I eat finds its way on to the plate and exercising a choiice about what I do, and do not, put in my mouth. Again, as I said earlier, the other EU countries are now being obliged to produce their veal without the use of crates.

                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                  Sorry for the faux pas!! I guess I meant British. But does that mean you won't order any if it's from Ireland, Wales or Scotland, or that you will? Sorry if this sounds like a dumb American question, I guess in a way, it is.

                                                                  The only reason I refer to {mainly} vegans as "wrecking it for everyone" is the fact that they decide to make it a "moral" issue. As in, we shouldn't ever eat any animal. That is how they frame the issue here in CA. Can't speak for the rest of the world. Obviously, we appreciate humane practices as well, but don't vilify others who may enjoy veal or pate foie gras, for instance. To each his own.

                                                                  1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                    Just to clarify, I would eat veal raised in Wales, Scotland & Northern Island as these are part of the UK and subject to the same laws. Even though the veal crates are now outlawed in the rest of the European Union, I still have sufficient concerns about the industrial nature of the farming that I won't eat veal raised there. British rose veal is delicious, by the way, and, as I said, is providing good diversification for dairy farmers who choose to go down that route. It is not a cheap option for them, at least at first. Please don't get me started on the myriad of issues surrounding foie gras - suffice to say that we don't eat it (and always make a point of checking with restaurants when we know they offer "surprise" tasting menus).

                                                                    I try to be ethical about meat purchases for home. Chicken and pork is always at least free-range and, more usually, organic. I consider lamb to be inherently sufficiently free-range that I don't fuss about it and, pretty much, have the same view about beef.

                                                                    Eating out is far more difficult as there are comparitively few restaurants which serve ethical raised meat. I look out for menus which do, or have some other "spin" to the meat - say rarebreed pork or raised particularly locally. I know it's not the same but it makes me feel better (which, of course, is what ethical purchasing is really all about) - I am fortunate that not only do I choose to buy this way, but can also afford to make our spending decisions in this way (at the expense of other things).

                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                      "Northern Island" ?

                                                                      Apologies to the folk of the six counties for the inexplicable error. I'm off to lie down in a darkened room for a while.

                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                        Watch out for the spirits of my maternal forebears.

                                                                  2. re: Harters

                                                                    Kudos to you, Harters. I was just revealing myself, in another thread, to be less scrupulous than I want to be. While veal is one thing that doesn't land on my plate here, I'll buy chicken on sale in a hearbeat. The ethical line for those inclined to walk it, but who are also constrained by a tight budget, can be revealing. And uncomfortable.

                                                                    I admire anyone who feels as I do, but who can walk the walk with so little fanfare.

                                                                    1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                      Agree. I am mostly hypocritical about my meat consumption, being a rabid (uncooked) animal lover. Haven't reconciled my ways to myself, but I very much admire others who do.

                                                          2. re: buttertart

                                                            Mouth presently watering at the mention of corn fritters . . . .

                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                              They were good (it made a bunch so we froze the rest, hope they reheat well).

                                                          3. Mutton pie - bought from a farm shop some weeks back and it's been lurking in freezer. Should be tasty - not just mutton but also it's Herdwick sheep, which is a traditional (and very flavoursome) breed of hill animals from Cumbria, to the north of our region.

                                                            We're having that with some simply boiled carrots and the first of the English broad beans.

                                                            1. Kind of a random one tonight. Brown rice simmered in broth, a cuke and tomato salad with pumpkin seed oil, white wine vinegar, celery seed, s&p, and toasted pecans, and some leftover grilled chicken breast, chunked and served cold.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                Take that back: some weird kitchen voodoo happened at the last minute. Pecans went into the rice instead, and DH whipped up a sauce of thick Turkish yogurt and Patak's spicy garam masala paste (http://www.amazon.com/Pataks-Garam-Ma... ) to serve on top of the chicken and rice, garnished with chopped cilantro. It was good. Veggie salad was kind of flaccid, but oh well.

                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                  Patak's is amongst the best of the Indian sauces/pastes made in the UK.

                                                                  The Pathak family (they dropped the "h" for marketing purposes) came here in the 1950s and are one of the many ex-East African emigre success stories.

                                                              2. Saturday evening was an "out" night at a favorite restaurant - after the gray, gloomy, dreary, rainy weather we've had, it was perfect to step into the sunny, fun, happy interior of the Spanish tapas restaurant. They were quiet when we first got there, but obviously many others had the same idea of being brightened up by delicious tapas and sangria, as it filled up as the evening went on. :-)

                                                                Tonight will be a roasted chicken, sour-cream mashed potatoes, and peas. One of my favorite comfort food meals. After seasoning with salt and pepper, I'll start the chicken off on high heat, breast side down, and then finish roasting at a slightly lower temp once I've turned it, making a glaze of Stonewall Kitchen's Lemon-Pear Marmalade, fresh lemon juice, and freshly grated ginger to be brushed on towards the end.

                                                                If I want dessert, there's always Trader Joe's Triple Gingersnaps. :-)

                                                                7 Replies
                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                  Oh, I love that lemon-pear marmalade--love most of the combos they come up with--and love your idea of making glaze for the chicken with it.

                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                    I haven't figured out dinner yet - DH has been gone since yesterday and will be home shortly. But - Linda Whit, I'm sending you some of our beautiful weather (it's supposed to FINALLY be nice all week here). So this is a virtual package of sunshine for you. Hope it reaches you. I'll post again as soon as I figure out what to have to go with some still fresh corn on the cob I have.

                                                                    1. re: boyzoma

                                                                      I do believe we're supposed to get nice weather on Tuesday into next weekend, so thanks for encouraging the winds to move the nice weather our way! :-)

                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                        Oh, yippeee. If the American east coast is just about to get good weather, that means we should have some by the end of next week (which is great as we're having a few days holiday in Wales then). Bring it on - our central heating system kicked in this morning.

                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                          Bring it on - our central heating system kicked in this morning.
                                                                          LOL! When the temps got down to about 40 degrees F. at night earlier last week, a coworker said she woke up and smelled a slightly dusty, burning smell, and realized the heater had kicked on. :-)

                                                                          I will enjoy it and send it along your way, John. :-) And enjoy your holiday in Wales! (That's where my stepbrother and family like to go on holiday as well, although they'll be staying put in the Teddington area in late June, as my mother is arriving for a short visit from New England).

                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                            Am looking forward to it. We're renting a cottage on the coast in a village where we used to holdiay when I was a young child. Havnt been back in well over 40 years. Home cooking is likely to be limited to the "full English" breakfast now & again - other meals out.

                                                                            It's a Welsh speaking area (although everyone is bilingual, of course) so I've been brushing up on a few wprds. Welsh for "pub" is "tafarn" - say it out loud a couple of times :-)

                                                                            Mwynhewch eich bwyd!

                                                                          2. re: Harters

                                                                            It's a bit chilly in Berlin, too, but honestly, it's a relief after the heat wave we had the last few days.

                                                                            All the fluctuation does make it hard to plan weather-appropriate dinner in advance.

                                                                    2. Tonight we're having our good friends over, hoping dinner here will lift their spirits after losing their cat. If nothing else, we'll ease the burden on the larder, which is overflowing with Farmers Market bounty.
                                                                      Yesterday I made duck liver pate so we'll have it with toasted baguette slices for starters (and maybe vodka tonics or something similarly cooling as it is a gazillion degrees outside). Then we'll have grilled shrimp w/smoked paprika oil (have been reading David Leite's cookbook), sliced creole tomatoes and avocado w/garlic vinaigrette and chopped red onion and chives, leftover olive bread, and a wild rice pilaf I made this morning--wild rice cooked in chicken stock and tossed w/grated carrot, sauteed scallions and fresh morels, toasted almonds, chopped chives and parsley. For dessert, we'll have warm spiced (fresh) peaches and blueberries over vanilla ice cream.

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                        Love the duck pate & vodka tonics, sounds so refreshing, NCW! Your wild rice pilaf also sounds delicious! Making me very hungry, still need to eat lunch, and am still deciding on the side dish for tonight's dinner. Will post in a bit.

                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                          Do tell about the smoked paprika oil? Your meal sounds like one that will your grieving friends will enjoy. I hope it helps them just a little!

                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                            Smoked paprika oil--very easy to make, LW. In a jar, put 3 T. smoked paprika (I used the sweet) in 1 c. olive oil with a pinch of kosher salt. Store for a few days in cool, dry place, shaking the jar every now and again. Strain oil, and store in fridge.
                                                                            Recipe from David Leite's The New Portugues Table.

                                                                            I drizzled it over the shrimp. A little goes a long way; too much could easily overpower a dish.

                                                                          2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                            That sounds like a soothing meal at a very difficult time.

                                                                          3. Tonight is pork souvlaki with home made olga bread and tzatziki.
                                                                            No idea for dessert, even though I have 1.5 pints of blueberries sitting in the fridge.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: amatuerfoodie

                                                                              I have not had olga bread in a very long time. Thanks for the reminder!

                                                                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                you're welcome! it's so much better than pita bread. i'll never buy pita bread again. making olga bread is so much easier and has a lot more flavor

                                                                            2. Today is hot as Hades...I experimented with a seafood ceviche so that'll be an appetizer; shrimp & scallops marinated then served with a spicy tomato salsa sorbet to start. Last night I made a roasted turkey breast and this morning before the heat climbed, I turned it into pulled turkey bbq. I also made potato salad which I hadn't had in months to go with and some collards simmered with bacon. Dinner rolls to accompany the Q and peach frozen yogurt for dessert.

                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                Ceviche came out really good...here's a pic

                                                                                1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                  That looks mighty tasty--and beautiful and healthy to boot.
                                                                                  How was the tomato sorbet? That has never sounded good to me for some reason, but it looks nice in your dish.

                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                    The tomato sorbet was good...it's basically a frozen unsweetened tomato product which goes well with a savory dish.

                                                                                    1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                      One of these days, I'm going to have to give it a try. Seems perfect for these oven-hot days, which I guess you've been having too.

                                                                                  2. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                    oh yes, nice... as hot as it was yesterday here in no cal, this would of been perfect.

                                                                                2. tonight i am grilling some lamb cubes (bought some stew lamb dirt cheap, like $2 a package at Harris Teeter) over charcoal. the lamb has been marinating since noon in evoo, fresh oregano and parsley from my garden and two cloves of minced garlic, a tiny bit of red wine vinegar and fresh ground pepper. alongside that i am grilling some eggplant and yellow squash over charcoal, and making herb and butter rice with mushrooms.

                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: mrsbuffer

                                                                                    I'll give up my roasted chicken for your grilled marinated lamb. But you can keep the eggplant. ;-)

                                                                                    Enjoy your dinner - it sounds wonderful!

                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                      Not an eggplant lover, LW? And it goes so well w/lamb!

                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                        It does. We serve this healthy version of imam bayeldi as starter often before a lamb main course.

                                                                                        Aubergines get thickly sliced and are then poached in a single layer in a pan. Poaching liquid is tomato juice (passata) flavoured with garlic, lemon juice and mint. Put a lid on for about 30 minutes, taking it off for the last few to let the sauce bubble off. They're left to cool. Soem onions, tomatoes, pinenuts, raisins, parsley get whizzed around a frying pan for a few minutes with some olive oil until everything softens. This cools as well and then goes on top of the aubergine slices. Bit more parsley as a garnish.

                                                                                        Origianl recipe, which we tinker with, was a Claudia Roden contribution to a 1985 book published in conjunction with a BBC healthy cooking series. Tasty,damn tasty.

                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                          This sounds great, I love the idea of poaching the eggplant in tomato juice, since it does absorb insane amounts of oil otherwise.

                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                              "The taste of health". BBC Publications, 1985.

                                                                                              In truth, it's not one I'd suggest you go out of your way to find. The recipes come from several folk well known in the UK food world in the 80s (and some are still around)

                                                                                              The Imam dish is great but most are a bit, erm "worthy" if you see what I mean. Although we have cooked the healthy cassoulet now and again. Not bad but not the real deal.

                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                Somehow "healthy" and "cassoulet" are two words that should never appear in the same sentence. Thanks for cookbook tips!

                                                                                            2. re: Harters

                                                                                              Sounds delicious. I'm going to try that.
                                                                                              And I'm convinced that if we called them "aubergines" here, more people would like them!

                                                                                            3. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                              I'm not, so I'll just have to take your word that it goes with lamb, ncw. ;-)

                                                                                        2. Looking forward to going back & reading what everyone else is having!!

                                                                                          For me: a small ribeye steak with a red pepper jelly gastrique, sauteed baby bella mushrooms, "healthy" creamed spinach and wine!! (of course!)

                                                                                          1. Tonight I made grilled chicken, corn on the cob and a new dish for me from Aaron McCargo. I have never made anything from him before, but this dish got rave reviews.

                                                                                            Lemon Pepper Orzo.. so easy and fantastic.

                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                    That recipe--and your photo--looks wonderful. (Oddly, in the FN website photo, the orzo looks orange-reddish. Yours looks much better.)
                                                                                                    I will have to give that a try soon.

                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                      Mine was completely white.

                                                                                                      It's funny because I really wanted to strain the orzo, but didn't (thought there was too much water left). Glad I didn't, it came out perfectly.

                                                                                              1. DH is home. So, being as we have gorgeous weather for a BIGGGGGG change, we are having BBQ boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise, grilled until tender and moist with BBQ sauce, grilled corn on the cob and a side salad of iceberg lettuce with cherry tomatoes and a mustard/bbq vinaigrette.

                                                                                                1. So tonight will be Grilled Bourbon Marinated London Broil, which was on sale again, and this time I got a larger piece, about 3 lbs, so there should be some leftovers. Chile oven fries, which is like spiced french fries, not the chili-&-cheese covered version, which I love btw, but kiddies wouldn't go for it. Some steamed haricots verts with a ginger mandarin splash, and an heirloom tomato salad with evoo, balsamic , kosher salt & pepper. Kids will no doubt enjoy some ice cream for dessert, which is fine with me, as long as they eat well.

                                                                                                  1. I replied last night and here I am AGAIN!

                                                                                                    Roast chicken (sorry hennypennyIII) over sourdough crouton.
                                                                                                    Roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes and onion.
                                                                                                    Green and yellow beans with garlic.

                                                                                                    Apricot tart (goodbye last years freezer fruit!).
                                                                                                    Homemade french vanilla ice cream because we have eggs coming out our GAZOO! And if you do not know where your gazoo is... check under the couch or in the guest bathroom. That is where I usually leave mine.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                      That sounds like my kind of meal. I like the crouton. Thanks for helping me locate my gazoo.

                                                                                                    2. Omelets with kurobuta ham, emmentaler, and sauteed morels. Steeped the cooked morels in the cream for a few minutes on a whim. Added only a very vague flavor to the finished dish. Might try steeping for a few hours next time.

                                                                                                      1. Last night a pheasant from Whole Foods split up the backbone, flattened en crapaudine and browned in bacon fat (from 6 strips cooked as an accompaniment), most of the fat drained off and sliced cremini mushrooms cooked with some onion in the same pan, deglazed with white wine, the mushrooms put in a covered small roaster and the bird atop, roasted covered at 325 for 40 mins and uncovered to crisp the skin for 10 mins at 500. Russet potatoes thinly sliced (was planning game chips, got lazy) cooked in 2 TB butter and about 1/4 c of olive oil (it kept soaking it up) until collapsed and browned all over (similar to NY steakhouse "hashed brown" potatoes, now I know why they're so good, it's fat) and a watercress and walnut salad dressed with olive oil and sherry vinegar. Followed by collapsing on the couch to watch Treme. Since this was a rich pheasant preparation we only ate the breasts and will have another meal of the legs, so $16.00 for a smallish bird (2 lbs-ish) wasn't bad.

                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                          The only time I ever had pheasant, in a restaurant, it was very dry. Your preparation looks/sounds much better. (And what you paid is comparable to what I paid for duck at WF last week--about 8$/lb; I don't know why, but I would have thought pheasant more expensive than duck. Of course, I was surprised at how much the duck was.)

                                                                                                          How are you liking Treme? I had to tape last night's episode, so haven't seen it yet.

                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                            You have to be careful not to overcook it or it gets nasty and the breasts kind of powdery. Yuck. Also needs to be cooked with moisture - another dish we like is sauerkraut-based. We buy the WF ducks when we can't get to Chinatown (Bell & Evans? I think) and like them a lot, they taste very clean - but they are $$$. The meat to bone ratio on a pheasant is much higher than on a duck, and less fat to deal with, so it's relatively speaking a good value.
                                                                                                            Love Treme - the acting is excellent (love Clarke Peters, Melissa Leo, John Goodman, the whole cast is tip top) and the stories engrossing.

                                                                                                          2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                            Yikes. $16 for a pheasant? I wouldnt expect to pay more than about £7 for two of them in season.

                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                              Don't get much call for them 'round the manor in the US, squire. Game is scarce and on the pricy side. You can get them in Chinese groceries for less sometimes. This one was biggish for a pheasant - almost 2 1/2 lb (actually $6.99 / lb), what size are yours?

                                                                                                          3. Fridge clearout at Plas Harters (Welsh, innit).

                                                                                                            Cold roast beef, some of the most delish pork pie I can remember eating, assorted salady bits and any other "stuff" that looks like it might need using up (like a bit of very nice Lancashire cheese that didnt make the lunchtime sandwich)

                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                              Do you hot up the pie or eat it cold? The fish and chip shop I worked at ages ago sold them (and steak and mushroom, and pasties, made by a specialist British butcher), I miss them. Should hie myself to one of the shops selling them here sometime.

                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                Always eaten cold. You can just about guarantee that when a Brit mentions "pork pie", they mean a hand-raised, hot water pastry pie, in the style of the Melton Mowbray pie. A key to a good pie is the jelly which surrounds the meat. A good one is a thing of joy.


                                                                                                                The pork pie that almost never gets mentioned is the Cheshire pie (from my own county). This one is a traditional pie shape, shortcurst pastry, served hot and with layers of pork & apple (we grow both in the county).

                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                  That sounds wonderful, one of my mother's tenets was never pork on the table (chop or roast) without applesauce to go with it.

                                                                                                            2. Tonight is just a simple fare of Fettuccine Alfredo with some broccoli florettes and a salad. I have some leftover chicken strips that were grilled from last night to add to it.

                                                                                                              1. Tonight will be leftover LB steak for the boys, baked potatoes and steamed broccoli on the side. I will see how much steak is leftover for me, but am starting to lean toward a spicy shrimp quesadilla, since I need to eat the last of the shrimp grilled on Saturday.

                                                                                                                1. Today, I had brunch of pancakes & bacon around 2 pm which I rarely do so no formal dinner but did snack on good cheddar & some marinated vegetable salad late in the evening...

                                                                                                                  1. I made a grilled eggplant lasagna with WW noodles, pastitsio sauce from the freezer, grated Parm, and an eggy bechamel. It was a bit of a challenge assembling/baking it in a pot (very limited kitchen gear here), but hopefully it will taste good! Might do a little Romaine salad on the side with grape tomatoes.

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                      ooh, I'll have to try that I love pastiisio and eggplant. Thanks for the inspiration.

                                                                                                                      1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                                                                                                                        sure thing! it was kind of a cross between moussaka and pastitsio.

                                                                                                                    2. Well, I've got a pot of red beans bubbling on the stove. Crazy, I know: it's too hot for slow cooking, and it's not even Monday, but I'll have a houseful of kids here tonight, and one thing I can be sure they'll eat is red beans and rice. I'm also frying fish and will make tartar sauce and throw together a salad of lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado. Will ask sister to pick up a baguette and drop it off w/her kid (seems only fair . . .); DH believes red beans MUST be accompanied by French bread.
                                                                                                                      If they want dessert, they'll have to settle for leftover peach cobbler because somewhere in all this I've got to squeeze in some work!

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                        Ha. I'm making my red beans and rice on a Wednesday. I had the same thought as you, but Mondays are too damn busy.

                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                          Your menu sounds so good...I love slow cooked beans in any form and as much as some people only cook certain things during a certain time of the year (i.e. heavy foods in winter, etc.) if I have a taste for a roast in the middle of summer, I'll just cook it early in the day or late at night...crazy, I know :)

                                                                                                                        2. Plumbers and city water guys have been in and out all morning working on the water meter and it looks like it may storm any second so I'm glad I postponed the grilling for tomorrow. Now chicken thighs are marinating in buttermilk ,onions, and hot sauce for Oven "Fried" Chicken and I just shucked my first fresh corn of the season. That will become Pan Roasted Corn Salad with Black Beans and Tomatoes.

                                                                                                                          1. Was supposed to be sunny, but the black clouds are looming. So tonight will be individual chicken pot pies, filled with diced chicken, potatoes, carrots, corn, peas, mushrooms and beans with a flaky crust.

                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                              I just love a chunky chicken pot pie.

                                                                                                                              Tonight, grilled chicken, broccoli and roasted tomato salad, tossed with orzo and feta, olive oil, basil and lemon dressing.

                                                                                                                              Raspberry cocoa linzer bars for dessert. Waiting patiently for NJ blueberry season to start, any day now.

                                                                                                                              1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                                Mmmmm - fresh blueberries. Makes me think pancakes, muffins, cheesecake, etc. But it will be a while before we get any here.

                                                                                                                                1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                  We don't really grow many blueberries commercially in the UK (first crops were only a couple of years ago) but we've currently got some very tasty organic imports from Spain (instead of the more usual Polish ones)

                                                                                                                            2. Pizzas tonight, but keeping it simple. I probably shouldn't even be posting about, honestly. I bought Mama Mary's crust.

                                                                                                                              One Margherita pizza: olive oil, minced garlic, Mozzarella, sliced Romas (which we marinate in oil and minced garlic first), and lovely, lovely basil. The other pizza will be marinara, cheese, and three kinds of peppers . . . and maybe sausage. We have a movie night planned, so the only dessert will be popcorn, showered with Old Bay's crab seasoning and the Spice House's 'fancy' onion salt. Probably two bowls of popcorn, the movies looks a little scary, and I'll probably burn lots of calories through fear.

                                                                                                                              1. We're still working on that LB roast from Sunday - I made a spinach salad with steak, grape tomatoes, grilled mushrooms, red onions & red peppers, roasted cauli, steamed green beans & garlic & cheese croutons, with an Asiago-Balsamic vinaigrette, definitely a garbage salad but tasty!!

                                                                                                                                1. Upcoming - a posh fish pie, made by the caring hands of the one I love. I'm told that I am demoted to chopping and peeling this evening.

                                                                                                                                  There's going to be monkfish and there's going to be king prawns. They're going to get cooked in a vaguely Mediterranean tomato sauce. Then topped with potato. Now I'd always top a fish pie with mashed spud - but the partner in life hates mash with a vengeance - the sort of vengeance I reserve for right-wing politicians pontificating on TV - so I'm told it will be a "creative topping". Which'll mean a sort of rosti thing, you can bet your last pound/dollar/euro on it.

                                                                                                                                  We've a pineapple needs using. I'm going to chunk it and fry it in butter. Squeeze of lemon, With the last of the creme fraiche.

                                                                                                                                  13 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                    How was it? The fish pie sounds delightful, and the pineapple a perfect dessert.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                      Pie was great - although "pie" proved to be a misnomer in the event.

                                                                                                                                      Call it seafood stew with rosti. Sauce was onion, celery, tin of tomatoes, marjoram. Was delish. A tin of French style petit pois & carrots to accompany.

                                                                                                                                      Pineapple ended up in a fruit salad, along with blueberries, strawberries and grapes.

                                                                                                                                      Best thing was that the weather was good enough to allow us to eat outside on the patio (only the second time this year). We ate, Mrs H drank, we chatted about how lovely the garden looks just now and our future "big" holidays (we plan 2 trips to the US and 1 to South Africa in the next 18 months). A perfect evening.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                        Isn't it funny how planned dinners evolve into something a bit different. Sounds lovely! What a travel schedule you have, must be nice to be retired. Hope one of your US trips brings you our way?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                          One trip is New England (vague details only - the sister-in-law visits often so we need to invite her to dinner to start planning an itinerary). Whether it will bring us to your neck of the woods will depend on gateway airport - New York or Boston - cost will be the deciding factor, I'm afraid. We'll chat off-Chow, no doubt.

                                                                                                                                          Other will be a sort of re-run of a previous tour between Georgia & Virginia & into Tennessee. Less vague about that one.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                            Very nice, both, lots of good eating. If you get up into Kentucky Owensboro is famous for...lamb barbecue!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                              Kentucky may be possible - I have a friend who is a lawyer in Lexington (he's trying to educate me into the wonders of bluegrass music).

                                                                                                                                              I'm always cautious about using the word "barbecue" as I know it has a somewhat different meaning to Brits & Aussies than to Yanks. But many years ago folk we know barbecued a whole lamb on an open fire. Not a spit roast. They had three metal bars welded together, to give a sort of five point star. Each leg of the lamb was tied to a point and the fifth point was put in the ground in front of the fire. Was wonderful - I recall (vaguely) getting very very drunk (the sort that is a two day hangover)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                That sounds like a grand day out, but this kind of barbecue is quite different: shoulder slow-cooked and smoked at the same time, with sauce added at the end, as I understand it. Lamb isn't very common in US barbecue except in KY. I'm not an expert in any way shape or form on the subject (which is one over which discussion rages), there are just some types I like (Memphis dry ribs for example).

                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                  We slow roast shoulder of lamb in the oven. The end result is, in texture, veyr similar to the "pulled pork" we've had in the States. Must try and work up a suitable BBQ sauce for it - I don't think my South Carolina mustard based one is going to be right here. Although a mustard & redcurrant jelly mix might be a starting point. Any thoughts, anyone?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                    Cumberland sauce i/o BBQ? I am not fond of the tomato-based US BBQ sauces at all.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                      A version of Cumberland is my default sauce for game. I'll think about tweaking it for "pulled lamb".

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                      Just read a piece in serious eats, re: Davis County Kentucky and lamb bbq. Apparently they sauce it with a type of burgoo. "an addictive stew made of mutton, beef, chicken, potato, corn, tomato, onion." And they like to serve the mutton cue with pickles & onions, to cut through the gamey lamb's taste.

                                                                                                                                                      Buttertart, maybe you can shed some light on that one!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                                                                                        My only knowledge is from references to it in Jane and Michael Stern and maybe Trillin - I'm no Q expert up in here!

                                                                                                                                      2. Life isn't all Bordeaux and pheasant around the ranch! Last night was feeling really lazy and couldn't think of what to make, so cobbled together a quite tasty meal from some of the most disparate imaginable things we had in the fridge/freezer: very very good Italian hot sausages I had frozen from the local butcher who went out of business the week we moved to town (damnit) - hot with both black and red pepper and just enough fennel, they reminded me of country sausage from Zurich, Ontario I had years ago; the blueberry muffins from last week that had been frozen and revived remarkably well in the oven, and a Sichuan cabbage with Sichuan pepper and hot chilis left over from an indulgent lunch at the Old Sichuan in Manhattan Chinatown. Queen Anne cherries to finish. Hit the spot - the not-too-sweet muffins were a nice counterpart to the spicy sausage and very spicy cabbage.

                                                                                                                                        1. Spicy Korean beef noodle soup with chicken and pork egg rolls.

                                                                                                                                          1. Yesterday's dinner was a stir fry of shrimp & veggies from the garden: green beans & the last of my snow peas (wish the season lasted longer) along with some scallions & broccoli all mixed with garlic sauce..side salad of green leaf, iceberg, & basil from the garden.

                                                                                                                                            Did a fridge clean yesterday (it's always a surprise the things you find in there once you clean it out) so have a host of things that need using up and I've a ton of different lettuces. Today's dinner will be a chef salad of sorts: my first picked romaine, tomato, cukes, hard boiled egg, poached chicken & proscuitto, which I'll dry in the oven until crispy. I've got some blanched asparagus that I'll add. Buttermilk ranch dressing....fresh strawberries for dessert.

                                                                                                                                            1. I made Green Beans masala in coconut milk, a Julie Sahini recipe adapted by the Wendesday Chef (http://www.thewednesdaychef.com/the_w... ). I made 1 1/2 times the sauce and added cubed turkey breast. I was short on almonds so I subbed in some chopped pecans as well.

                                                                                                                                              Really delicious! I upped the spicy factor a bit with some cayenne and hot pepper and served over brown rice.

                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                Mm, those green beans look and sound delicious, and I've bookmarked it. It would make a very nice side for a simple roast chicken. Good green beans are coming in the market here, but are probably not local yet. I wuld also up the heat factor with cayenne. Thanks, Christina!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                                                  Very welcome! Don't skip the nuts! Rather than measuring, I added the juice of two limes to the entire dish. I also added a little veggie broth (full disclosure: bullion), a trick I picked up from my Thai cooking teacher.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                  NO kidding, these look delicious. I also bookmarked the recipe and to serve over brown rice sounds even better. Thanks CM!

                                                                                                                                                3. Home again for a few days, should probably use up some loot from the freezer...
                                                                                                                                                  I know I have ground turkey, chicken thighs, kobe fillet and ground lamb. It all depends on how much time I feel like devoting to dinner-or rather, avoiding my To Do list!
                                                                                                                                                  I can see a little larb in my future though, or maybe simple roasted chicken thighs with marjoram and tomatoes.
                                                                                                                                                  Nice to be cooking for myself again anyway!

                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                    welcome back, to you and your cat! and we have nice weather in the City to greet you.

                                                                                                                                                    Turkey soup, for the elderly folks, was last night's culinary feat. Sauteed shallots, mushrooms, chopped red pepper, chopped fresh tomatoes, garlic powder (i am a newly re-found convert) in butter and evoo, added s&p, chopped spinach, chopped cilantro, chicken stock, and diced turkey breast and leg. turned out pretty good. me, i had some of my sister's frittata, which featured bacon, asparagus, parmesan, and other things i couldn't quite identify.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                      That's so sweet, thank you!
                                                                                                                                                      It is surprisingly beautiful here in the city today, so clear!
                                                                                                                                                      The nice thing about SF is most warm days will yield to a cool evening so soup in June and July are possible. That might be the way to go as far as cleaning out both the fridge and freezer.
                                                                                                                                                      Hmmm, turkey meatball soup with cilantro and chiles? Just got the Massa wholewheat tortillas in Marin on Sunday, they are pretty addictive and I think they'd crisp up nicely in the oven.

                                                                                                                                                  2. Broiled chicken breasts with mashed potatoes with a creamy mushroom gravy, and a combo of beans, corn peas and carrots (that I didn't use from the pot pies last night). Wish I could be grilling, but alas, rain again (which is better than yesterday which threatened my garden - hail, hail, hail). Where, oh where is our "summer" weather going to start!

                                                                                                                                                    1. My dinner is one of my favorites, so quick and delicious. I subbed the parsley and used fresh basil, as it is what I had in my fridge. Ina Garten's Shrimp Scampi over linguine (I used barilla spaghetti).
                                                                                                                                                      To me, it's summer on a plate. :)
                                                                                                                                                      Twenty minutes from start to finish!

                                                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                                        The basil is a good substitute. I've also used sage and thyme in similar dishes.

                                                                                                                                                        I keep looking at that picture. It looks fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                          Thanks, I've never tried sage or thyme. I am a huge basil lover, so glad the nice weather is finally here in Boston. Produce a plenty, lol!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                                                                                              Thanks, it's really good. I cook the Scampi while the water is boiling, add garlic, lemon, wine and parmesan cheese. Chop the basil and voila. Simple!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                                                Looks delicious--and love the basil idea. Butter or oil in the recipe?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks, it was delicious, the basil flavor made it jump off the plate.
                                                                                                                                                                  I just kind of wing the recipe now. I used 6 shrimp, 3 T. butter, a whole garlic clove, minced. Saute shrimp 1 minute of each side, add garlic. Cook for another minute, add about 1/2 cup white wine, cover and turn off heat.
                                                                                                                                                                  When spaghetti is done, drain some of the water in a cup (to add if necessary) and drain the rest in a colinder. Add spaghetti into sauce pan with shrimp and wine, toss. Add juice and zest of one lemon, 1/2 cup good parmesan and a handful of julienned basil. Toss and plate. Voila, dinner in less than 30 minutes. :)

                                                                                                                                                          1. Red beans and rice. It's nice to have an excuse to break out the Louisianna Hot Sauce (we get stuck in Sriracha and Valentina ruts). I couldn't find a hock to save my life in the market yesterday, so I bought smoked pork neck instead. I allowed myself *one* sliver after I fished them out of the pot to cool. I sauteed some garlic in butter, added chicken stock, and reduced that a bit, and used the mixture instead of water in my rice cooker.

                                                                                                                                                            The sun shone for a good while today, so reducing the mixture, and waiting for the beer-bearing boyfriend, is contentment.

                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                              I would think the smoked neck would work just fine. I use various pork and combinations in RBnR, so long as something is smoked.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                It turned out pretty well. The boyfriend said it my best ever, but he says that every time (he's damaging his credibility in favor of my ego). The necks gave the dish much more salt than hocks, though, and had much less meat. The andouille had to carry more weight on its shoulders for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                The necks were pretty cheap though. I've been poking around on the internet for additional uses.

                                                                                                                                                            2. More leftover turkey fixings, for the parents. Ground up cooked breast meat in food processor, added chopped scallions, s&p, garlic powder, celery seed, thyme, mayo, 2 eggs, breadcrumbs, made patties and fried until golden. very moist and yummy! will serve with a tomato/onion sauce, rice, braised leeks, and a salad of spinach, shallots, romaine, radishes, cherry tomatoes

                                                                                                                                                              1. Subcontinent the last couple of evenings. Two nights ago was spicy grated carrots sauteed with curry leaves and finished with a bunch of yogurt; basmati with a mild buttermilk curry; and baby bok choi sauteed with Bengali five-spice mixture, cayenne, garlic, and lots of minced onion. Last night was a simple but delicious shrimp stir-fry, made with fresh curry leaves, onion, garlic, fresh chiles, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and lime. Served with basmati (and, ok, a western-style tossed salad with goat cheese and roasted almonds as a first course). All recipes from _Mangoes and Curry Leaves_.

                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                                                                    They sell them in the refrigerated case at Kalustyan's, not just off a tree but good nonetheless. They add so much to dishes, such an unusual exotic whiff.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                      Oh just can't get there...I've only ever had the dried, and they weren't great. Maybe I can get mrbushy to go for me sometime. I desire fresh curry leaves, and many other things Kalustyan's sells.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                                                                        They sell the dried but they have no taste. Get your man to pick them up for you!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, get them. IIRC, you're a fan of the gently scrambled egg. Slip a few fresh curry leaves into the melting butter and enjoy a very special treat.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Tonight was orange chicken, steamed broccoli and brown rice. Trying the brown rice for the first time. It was fine, tho really sticky, like short grained rice. I may have over cooked it, it was from Trader Joe's and in a box, but to make room in my full freezer, I took the 3 pouches out of the box, and made a mental note that it took 3 minutes to cook. Well, bag exploded in the mike at about 2:30 mins, not badly, just a pile on the turntable. Oh, and some chicken nuggets, cuz I figured my little one would turn his nose up at the sauced chicken. Turns out my older one, who ate it before and claimed to like it, decided he now hates it, and the little one requested seconds. Some days, no matter how well you plan, things just won't go as planned!!

                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                                                                                                      You gotta love kids....... oy vey! What a mess that rice made!

                                                                                                                                                                    2. I made Shrimp Fra Diavolo with fettucine Sunday night had the leftovers monday and just had sauce leftover tonight. I bought a baguette and made crostini and ate it with the sauce like bruschetta. So good, so garlicy. It was more filling than I realized so I have some leftover for tomorrow. I had a glass of chardonnay with it. I think I'll recreate it for an app for friends.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. Tonight, rice noodles tossed with stir fried shredded chicken breast, fresh pineapple cubes, red peppers, blanched green beans, a little hoisin and soy sauce, a few dried red chilies for warmth, chopped roasted peanuts and a squeeze of lime juice.

                                                                                                                                                                        For after, more pineapple, cooked briefly with brown sugar and the leftover lime juice, served warm over vanilla ice cream.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. Shredded roast breast of chicken from my bigass chicken of a week ago, with slivered ginger, green onion, bottled Guilin chili sauce (thank you Great Wall supermarket Northern Blvd) with roasted chilis, sesame seed, and roasted soybeans in it, black vinegar, soy, and sesame oil, a whisper of sugar, served on butter lettuce leaves with a cucumber salad with the same dressing plus a big clove of minced garlic. Homemade melba toast beside (no flour tortillas handy to make slapdash green onion pancakes, no frozen shao bing in the house), more cherries for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. Upcoming.......lamb, mint & rosemary sausages. As accompaniements - roasted peppers and some saute spuds.

                                                                                                                                                                            And that's the last bit of real cooking for a week as we're off to North Wales tomorrow morning. I expect to be eating a lot of lamb (or should that be llamb)

                                                                                                                                                                            Hwyl fawr. Byddaf yn dy golli di


                                                                                                                                                                            1. Bunch of potatoes to use up. Tortilla de patatas (although I might have to buy an onion because I used part of mine for last night's dinner).

                                                                                                                                                                              1. Herbed Azerbaijani beef patties and green salads.

                                                                                                                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                  Pray tell what makes a beef patty Azerbaijani?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                    I was also curious...but afraid to ask.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                      Perhaps the beef itself, as it doesnt often seem to appear in the national dishes that I can see?

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                        Actually, the recipe calls for ground lamb, to which I don't have access, so I sub beef.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                          And herbs, or what? Waiting with bated breath o Khan.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes. Herbs. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                            I'll be using cilantro and Italian parsley, although dill and oregano are other options.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                              Anything else, garlic onion hot pepper whatnot? Are they big or small? Inquiring minds want to know.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't have the recipe to hand, but I know minced onion and lemon juice are included. They actually sound just as much Greek as Azerbaijani. In any event, they're not anywhere near as exotic as their place of origin, but they do taste mighty good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sounds good - where did the recipe come from?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                    A book called "Cuisines of the Caucasus" by one Kay Shaw Nelson. This cookbook is an overlooked gem. There are several recipes in it we return to frequently.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Last night, I tried a couple of different things with the leftover duck I had to use up.
                                                                                                                                                                                    First, I made duck "summer rolls": layered butter lettuce leaf, a few spinach leaves, avocado slices, cilantro, cucumber julienne, red pepper julienne, and a small pile of duck on moistened rice paper disks and rolled them up and served them as our salad course with peanut sauce for dipping. They were pretty tasty and quite refreshing.

                                                                                                                                                                                    The second was a mock Peking duck prep: Early in the day, I made a Chinese-style plum sauce--only I used peaches. I spread the sauce on flour tortillas, then added slivered scallions and cucumber julienne and small piles of duck and rolled these up. DH went wild over these, but I thought the flour tortillas just weren't delicate enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                    I searched on these boards because I could swear I saw that someone made mock scallion pancakes with chopped scallion and tortillas, and I thought about making those, but I never could find what I thought I remembered. And I was too lazy to make real ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Currently making duck stock w/all my duck bones and innards. That will probably go into the freezer until the weekend, when I'll probably make a pot of gumbo to take over to a friend whose mother is gravely ill. No time to do it today.

                                                                                                                                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow, want a visitor? Get in some of those peaches and tomatoes!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                        Love visitors! Esp. when we have tomatoes and peaches to show off. After Saturday's market run, I'm going plan a few meals to showcase those in their simplest states.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                            It all sounds wonderful. Love the summer rolls and mock P. duck ideas.
                                                                                                                                                                                            There is a current thread about making scallion pancakes from scratch, but I don't remember one about making mock pancakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                              I saw that, but what I'm remembering seemed to involve pressing chopped scallions into flour tortillas somehow.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Anyway, these were quick, easy solutions for leftover duck. Those ducks were costly, so I wanted to wring as many meals as possible out of them--ultimately, they were more cost effective than I thought they'd be.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                It all sounds wonderful. Love the summer rolls and mock P. duck ideas.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Agreed - both of those sounded absolutely wonderful, ncw!

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                            That scallion pancake may be me (among others), 2 flour tortillas per pancake, 1 beaten egg to about 1/4 cup sliced green onions/scallions, s&p, dribble of sesame oil; spread egg mixture on one tortilla and top w other, shallow fry in as much fat or oil as your conscience will allow (lard or goose/duck fat v good, bacon grease would be too I imagine, have used veg oil and even Pam when feeling particularly virtuous). A restaurant in SF used to pass these off as the real thing, always made me mad when I saw that.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                              That's it! Right under my very nose. I was sure I'd seen this on these boards, for some reason thought it was Kattyeyes or Christina Mason, even checked their blogs, but all my searches were in vain. Thanks. I have duck fat and scallions so I'm going to try these. They sound great--would have been really good w/the duck.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                              That all sounds wonderful, MCW. I just adore duck and don't make it very frequently as it just doesn't seem to feed a growing family of four as well now that the boys are big eaters. I will def. keep your summer rolls in mind, next time I find some duck breasts on sale.

                                                                                                                                                                                            3. It's funny, I remembered the tortilla scallion pancake and was poking around the boards looking for it, and stumbled across Eight Inch Pestles neckbone soup. I had even commented on it, after he talked up the neckbones in Chicago.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Tonight, as we finish off the red beans and rice, I'll serve that soup as a starter. I only have a pound of neck left, so it'll be a small batch. Neckbones, black-eyed peas, greens, and chives, mmm. I think I'll do spinach instead of kale though, and make a batch of garlic croutons to sprinkle on the soup. Which means I'll be having croutons for lunch.

                                                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                How did this turn out? I honestly don't remember the soup...

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I remember that soup. We liked it. I sauteed onions, celery, and garlic, and then simmered the necks in stock cut with water. I may have had to roast them first (my market occasionally only supplies raw neck). I did the peas separately, and added them in with the spinach and chives.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am mostly certain that it had to be on a WFD thread, and poked around for a bit, but couldn't find the conversation. I *do* remember the soup (and the hunt for the discussion concerning scallion pancakes). I think the subject of the soup came up after I bought neck bones when my market was out of ham hocks, and was seeking advice and recipes? There isn't a recipe in my word files, so that means I either scribbled it down on a random note-card, or it was straightforward enough that I just tossed it together.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  There is a chance that I was being flaky, and that it was a different poster that recommended this to me, but I was new to posting then, and was usually pretty careful about such things. At any rate, thanks for jogging my memory. This would be a nice dinner on a snowed-in night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Success (for the soup/stew, not the pancakes):


                                                                                                                                                                                                    Glad you enjoyed, and happy to have jogged your memory!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    "There isn't a recipe in my word files..."

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Funny, I came across this very post of yours while digging through old WFDs to try and salvage as many recipes as I could that I shared here but failed to add to my own MSWord file.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ha. My 'new' system of the note cards has been a dismal failure. I keep them in a drawer by the stove, and do not title them. I have spent far too much time holding a card aloft, squinting, and whispering to myself, "Okay, a third cup of flour, a teaspoon of salt, one egg--damn it, *cayenne*" as I look for a recipe for biscuits, or noodles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I do not recommend the note card system, unless you actually put them into the recipe binders you have bought for such a thing. Which I have not. Also, don't scribble. Print it as if your second grade teacher is watching.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, I gave up on the cards, mostly because I kept running out of room for comments, updates, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        What I've personally found most helpful is a well-structured Word document, as Word will generate a really functional table of contents. And if you make your recipe titles c-heads, you can even use the document map for a fully navigable list of all your recipes, accessible from any page in the doc. Then I just cook with the laptop on the kitchen counter (now that I finally have tons of counter space). The other nice thing about Word over a recipe program is that I can throw my file on a server before going on vacation and have all my recipes at my fingertips whenever anyone asks me to cook---so long as I have an internet connection.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Unfortunately, keeping it fully functional requires frequent attention and a degree of discipline I don't always have.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I took the liberty of continuing the thread here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/714836