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Jun 17, 2010 09:28 AM

What's For Dinner? Part XXXVI

Whether you're thinking about trying out that new recipe or whipping up an old favorite, share your delicious ideas here at our virtual dinner table. We want to read all about your mouthwatering, what's for dinner?

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  1. I've some country ham soaking so tonight it'll get pan fried & topped with a fried egg and asparagus. Since I don't like hollandaise, I''m thinking a roasted onion sauce over the top.
    More strawberries for dessert

    1. A couple of my Thai basil plants have already turned purple and stopped growing so I picked a bunch of leaves to encourage new, bushy growth. Accordingly dinner will probably be a modified basil stir fry along the lines of gai pad krapow and a nasturtium blossom salad with crispy fried quail eggs and bacon black vinaigrette.

      10 Replies
      1. re: JungMann

        OK, that sounds delicious and inspiring (as your meals always do), especially that salad. What goes into that bacon black vinaigrette?

        1. re: mebby

          At it's simplest, it's just a seasoned emulsification of bacon grease and chinkiang black vinegar, which is similar to balsamic, but with fruitier and smokier notes. You can also add garlic, red pepper flakes, onions and a bit of fresh herbs to make something a little more complex.

          1. re: JungMann

            Thanks -- I've never used black vinegar, but keep hearing great things about it and the thought of that salad is definitely going to make me seek out a bottle!

            1. re: mebby

              It's dirt cheap at least in NY, about a buck fifty for ? 750 ml. I use it a lot too, it tastes really quite wonderful.

              1. re: mebby

                Once you get the bottle, you must try your hand at real kung pao chicken. Fuchia Dunlop's recipe is terrific.

                1. re: JungMann

                  I actually just put 3 Fuschia Dunlop books in my Amazon cart yesterday (Land of Plenty, Rev Chinese and her memoir) -- just a little indulgent but I convinced myself it would make for a thematic bit of summer reading/cooking. As I have confessed in other threads, I have tended to think of Chinese as muddy and gloppy in flavor -- but I think that's because I haven't had the good stuff and it's time to rehabilitate myself. Plus, I've been drooling over reports of that coriander salad of Dunlop's.

                  On black vinegar, do you think brand makes a big difference? Ruth Reichl advocates quite distinctly for Gold Plum in Gourmet Today.

                  Thanks to both of you for inspiration!

                  1. re: mebby

                    I buy Gold Plum (it's from the PRC), it's the one that's 1.50. I would like to have access to Taiwan brands but they don't seem to be imported into this area (Kimlan white rice vinegar is but no black vinegars). JungMann, you're here, right? have you seen any TW brands? Re Dunlop: those books are brilliant, recipes are simple and produce really "zhen wei" (the real taste) taste. I loved the memoir too. I hope she has another book in the works as seemed to be indicated in the memoir - one on a delicate and sophisticated cuisine that's little known in the US, Huaiyang food, from the Yangzhou area. Roll on Ms Dunlop!

                      1. re: mebby

                        All in the service of Chinese food! I'm looking forward to hearing how you like the books and what you cook from them.

                      2. re: buttertart

                        I just went into the cabinet and it turns out that I have Kong Yen, a Taiwanese brand. I don't remember what prompted me to choose this bottle when I first got started on black vinegar, but this is the only brand I ever get. Buttertart, if you're looking to get a bottle, I probably got this at either Asia Market or Hong Kong Supermarket.

          2. It's going to be a half a pork tenderloin. Still not sure *how* I'm going to cook it, however. I'm thinking of slicing it, flattening each slices with the heel of my hand, dredging them in egg, flour, and a key lime pepper blend mixed in with some Panko crumbs and doing a quick pan-fry on them. White wine/chicken stock reduction in the pan for a sauce. Maybe no sauce.

            Sides will be steamed asparagus and either roasted potatoes or rice pilaf. Or no starch. :-)

            I guess I'm saying I'll figure it out when I get home. But now that I've written out the key lime pepper blend, I think even if I don't pan-fry the slices, I'll at least use that as a rub and roast it in the convection oven. So that's been decided. :-)

            1 Reply
            1. re: LindaWhit

              What a surprise - I changed my mind driving home from work. I'm going to dip the (flattened) pork pieces in a mix of ginger-mustard and honey, then dip them in Panko crumbs, and then pan-fry in a bit of olive oil.

              Yes on the asparagus (steamed), and no on the rice. :-)

            2. I'm making an Asian Nicoise (blasphemy, I know . . .) with garlic/sesame/soy stir-fried green beans over oil-packed tuna, boiled new potatoes, and mixed greens.


              1 Reply
              1. Tonight is vegan stir fry. I just have to have some noodles. A few julienned veggies that need to be used and have some yakisoba noodles that need to be used. Just simple and quick.