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What's For Dinner? Part XXXVIII

Welcome to the new thread and Happy July 4th...we're looking forward to reading & sharing your meal ideas and other delicious tidbits. So, tell us...what's for dinner?

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  1. We've been fasting a little, eating salads, and I talked to an old friend yesterday who advocates a raw food diet, m-m, so I'm going to look into that, both for curiosity's sake and I just haven't been feeling so great lately. We'll see...

    Today, though, we have a 4th of July blowout to attend. I don't know what's on the menu, but I'm bring baked from scratch beans, baking as I write. Happy 4th to all of you, eat well, be safe, hug your spouse or SO, kids and pets!

    1. Company's coming for dinner and fireworks, and I spend a lot of dough at the farmer's market at Lake Merritt and need to use the produce! Tonight Rich is grilling teriyaki pork tenderloin kebabs w/ bell peppers, fresh pineapple and mushrooms, grape tomatoes. I'll be doing an Asian noodle stir-fry with ginger, garlic, soy, onions, mung beans, shredded nappa cabbage and celery, and making a pineapple and cilantro salsa; Good old plain steamed rice on the side for a double carbo-load. Y'all enjoy the holiday, be grateful for the freedoms we do have, and be safe!!

      1. Tonight is some BBQ Beef Ribs, BBQ Potatoes that we ended up not making last night and some fresh green beans that I got from the Farmer's Market yesterday.

        1. I smoked some jerk coated pork ribs on the grill this morning; they're steaming in a foil wrapped sauna of coconut milk, ginger, scallions & a little more of the seasoning now in the oven and will get the broil treatment for char that I like at the end. Also, bqued a split chicken that will get sauced with my "special" sauce which includes ancho chiles, brown sugar, oj, cider vinegar, etc.

          For sides, grilled sweet potato salad with mandarin vinaigrette, sauteed green & yellow wax beans in a little bacon fat and a romaine salad with Vidalia onion vinaigrette. Last night, I made meringue cups that will be filled with fresh whipped cream and blackberries. Happy & safe 4th to all......

          1 Reply
          1. Happy 4th and God Bless the USA! Lunch was pork & chorizo sliders with smoked gouda, caramelized onions & chile mayo, coleslaw with a pineapple-lime dressing, and some leftover baked beans.

            Tonight will be a slab of baby back ribs, which will be put in to steam with apple juice, & cider vinegar, before they go on the grill to smoke a little. A tri tip roast on the grill as well, with another batch of chile beans, a corn, tomato & avocado salad. Some cheddar corn bread in the c.i. pan.

            Starting on the key lime raspberry tart, and a batch of rocky road brownies for dessert.

            1. Happy Independence Day!

              Yesterday I went up to Maine to see my sister's and BIL's cabin they're building - it now has electricity and running water - I was waiting for the latter before I went up there. :-) They've still a ways to go before it's finished, so while dinner and breakfast were from the outside grill and the indoor hot plate, it was very good! Dinner last night was steak, chicken, corn on the cob and I had made a pasta salad that I brought up. Some toasted marshmallows around the burn pile that was set ablaze was dessert. :-)

              Tonight's dinner is easy - a cheeseburger with bacon, some pasta salad I had held back from what I brought up, and deviled eggs I had made before I left for Maine. Dessert will be some chocolate ice cream.

              1. already so full of snacking (chips, dips, brushetta), but ribs have already been marinated and braised and are ready for their short time on the grill with sticky balsamic brown sugar rosemary glaze, ribeyes are ready to grill too, for which i've made a couple of composed butters: one, simply butter and green habanero sauce, and two, butter, minced thyme and a touch of cabernet. also have a butter for the corn we'll grill: butter, chopped scallions, cayenne and lime juice. asparagus ready with evoo and kosher salt. watermelon for later, to cut all the butter. i think the portabellas and stilton will have to be for tomorrow... and i think bacon deviled eggs too...

                1. happy 4th! we gathered at a friend's house and had a potluck of good stuff: grilled bread and tomatoes and cheese and peppers, guac and chips, pesto dip and pretzel chips, devilled eggs, white wine sangria and beer, grilled chicken, baked beans, corn salad, tabouleh, creamed spinach, grilled baby bok choy. home made cherry ice cream with sugar wafer cookies for dessert.

                  1. Tonight will be some grilled Cajun Jumbo Shrimp on skewers, Mixed Grilled Veggies (red/green/yellow/orange peppers, mushrooms, onion, zucchini, summer squash, and at the end, throw in some grape tomato's and chunked pineapple) and also some some shrimp meat I need to use so will make a shrimp salad to go with it. I'll probably make enough veggies so we can have some later in the week.

                    1. Leftover ribs (I know...who ever has leftover ribs?) tonight with sauteed squash & onions, fresh corn on the cob and some pan seared arugula.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Cherylptw

                        We have leftover ribs too. But that will be later in the week! ;-)

                        1. re: boyzoma

                          us too. SO GLAD! and leftover ribeye. and on to the portabellas we didn't make, and the padron peppers, and asparagus and and and...

                          1. re: mariacarmen

                            portabellas were great - sooooo juicy and steak-like, brushed all over with evoo, in the oven for maybe 25 minutes at 350 degrees, dotted with Stilton for the last 10. steamed orange cauliflower with leftover scallion-cayenne-lime butter, a sticky balsamic rib or two, a bit of rib-eye.... thank god the 4th (and 5th!) is over!

                      2. we've got curried Okra/lady finger
                        can't wait!

                        1. OMG, yesterday was just insane. My in-laws threw an amazing party where we gorged ourselves on tequila lime chicken and sweet, spicy smoked ribs, plus tons of sun-dried tomato pasta salad, Greek potato salad, sauteed corn in herb butter, and so many appetizers (everything from spicy rounds of sausage to guacamole and homemade tortilla chips to roasted bell pepper crostini to zesty French crudite)... And then dessert was homemade spiked whipped cream on top of vanilla bean pound cake and sugary strawberries, and lots of espresso...today needs to be cleansing for sure!

                          I have some farm stand tomatoes and fresh basil and parsley. I'm probably going to let them marinate in a little extra virgin for a bit, toss the fresh herbs on top, and serve with some torn greens, and maaaaaybe a little goat cheese. If my husband wants, I'll grill him some shrimp on a skewer.

                          I can't even believe I'm talking about dinner when I've been up for three hours and haven't eaten any breakfast yet, lol. Did I mention yet that yesterday was insane?

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Jadore

                            WOW! You're not kidding - that is insane! Tasty - but insane. :-) I think your salad idea is a good one after a feast like that, Jadore!

                            1. re: Jadore

                              Whoa girl! Your 4th sounds deliriously good, and yes, a little insane! Was the tequila lime chicken Ina's recipe?

                            2. It's so darn hot out that I'm going to make a chef-style 'big salad', with tuna, hard-boiled eggs, and a little crumbled blue cheese. Red onion, cuke, tomato, and Boston lettuce will be the base. Herb vinaigrette dressing.

                              1. Shish Kabob!!!
                                Making skewers of beef and veggie kabobs to bring to the sister's place tonight.
                                She had a little girl last weekend, so I'm going over to visit and bring dinner.
                                Our Dad gave us three steaks from Cost Co. to grill, but she's worried her SO's blood pressure/health is suffering from all the stress of a newborn and doesn't want to serve him a slab of red-meat (he'd eat the whole thing, no problem).
                                I think the skewers will be a good solution, and hunger can determine portion size.
                                I am heading out to pick up fennel, red pepper and mushrooms. Radicchio too, it is a new favorite grilled.
                                Sides will be a corn, bulgur, tomato, cilantro salad over Bibb lettuce and I am tempted to make the lemon roasted potatoes from the current COTM. Seems to be well liked.
                                We don't need both sides, but left-overs will be appreciated since both are sleep-deprived and suffering from newborn-brain.
                                The fog has come back to SF, but we will grill with a sweater and a beer to keep things warm.

                                6 Replies
                                  1. re: rabaja

                                    Looks wonderful! Love the color of the purple onions and yellow squash and red bell peppers. :-)

                                    1. re: rabaja

                                      Beautiful pictures! Shish kabobs always look so stunning but these are especially gorgeous, those color comninations! Really appetizing and good idea about portion control. I was wondering about the lemon roasted potatoes. I have been making my version for years. I use garlic, oilve oil, fresh Italian parsley, fresh lemon juice, sea salt and lots of black pepper, and a nice chop of fresh rosemary. I roast them off then I broil the tops for a little crunchiness (olive oil and lemon juice work great for this). Being the potato finatic that I am, I'm wondering if you would mind sharing the lemon potato recipe or perhaps paraphrasing it? thanks! Most of the time I use any potato I can get my hands on, but the small new potatoes are so creamy inside they make a very nice contrast to the crisp exterior. I love this menu, would love to make this this weekend.

                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                        Chef Chicklet,
                                        The lemony potatoes are from Italian Easy, the Cookbook of the Month on this board.
                                        It's a pretty basic recipe, not sure if it's paraphrased on the veg thread, but I'm happy to do it here:
                                        18 oz waxy potatoes (I used fingerlings and a few new red ones I wanted to use up)
                                        2 garlic cloves, chopped (I grated the garlic on my microplane, a new trick for me)
                                        2 lemons
                                        1/4 c marjoram (I didn't measure this, just eyeballed a healthy amount)
                                        Olive oil
                                        Cut the potatoes lengthwise into sixths, cut lemons in half and then into thirds, cut each third in half. Toss lemons and potatoes together, squeezing juice all over everything. Add the garlic and marjoram, season with S&P and add enough olive oil to "moisten well". Turn out into baking dish and roast for 30 minutes, give it a good stir halfway through.
                                        *I halved the recipe and did have to roast them about ten to 15 minutes longer, adding just a touch of water to keep everything from sticking.
                                        Check out the appropiate thread if you can, a lot of people had things to say re; this recipe which prompted me to make them.

                                        1. re: rabaja

                                          That's similar to a recipe I've been making for years, just with fresh dill instead of the marjoram. It's such an easy (and delicious) side. Maybe I'll try it with the marjoram next time.

                                    2. I'm also on the salad bandwagon! Last night consisted of delicious ribeye steaks marinated in pinot noir, fingerling potato salad, grilled vegetables, and New York cheesecake with blueberry and raspberry sauces. Between yesterday, and a lavish bridal luncheon I attended on Saturday, I'm doing damage control in the name of my waistline today!

                                      I'm thinking of doing a Mediterranean pepper salad: http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/06/med...

                                      The plan is to make it tonight and let the leftovers marinate for a tasty lunch tomorrow.

                                      1. My dad made a monster enchilada casserole this afternoon, so I'm guessing we'll be eating that for dinner. It included enchilada sauce, canned corn, chopped red onion and cilantro, canned green peppers, chicken breast (cooked in a skillet, bone-in), cheddar cheese, corn tortillas, black olives . . . and who knows what else thrown into a dutch oven. Looks pretty tasty!


                                        1. This heat has me not wanting to cook - but I took out chicken earlier today to defrost, so I just put together a quick marinade of olive oil, orange juice, honey, grated ginger, brandy, salt and pepper. I'll probably pan-roast the chicken in the convection oven to keep the heat down, and put in some Yukon Golds tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika to roast in another pan. Steamed green beans, and it's dinner.

                                          1. Leftover barbecued steak, and some wilted spinach with garlic. Totally unexciting, but I have a meeting at 7:00 tonight and need to eat fast!

                                            1. Cooking has been pretty no-frills lately, to put it nicely, because we're staying with a relative with virtually NO cooking supplies whatsoever. Salt and cinnamon were the contents of the spice rack, if that gives you an idea. I had to go out and get some wooden spoons and a sharp knife today just to cope.

                                              Tonight I'm making green chicken chili, mostly from canned items. I browned some ground chicken and added a jar of salsa verde, a can of corn and peppers with chipotle, a can of great northern beans, a drained can of black eyed peas, chicken broth, and lots of fresh garlic and ground cumin. I'll stir in some half-and-half before serving.

                                              Can't wait until I have a functioning kitchen again. Sigh.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                Well, you're getting me braced for next week, when I'll be out-of-town on a business project and staying with my sister, who has announced she's looking forward to my dinners, but who, as a non-cook of the highest order, has a very minimalist kitchen. Cooking for five in that kitchen will be a real challenge.

                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                  Ship a Penzey's order to her now. ;-)

                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                    It's hell! You are creative though; I'm sure you'll come up with something! Bring your basic spices and a sharp knife at the very least :)

                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                      Yes, between that and the heavy pan I want to put in put in my suitcase, I won't have room for my clothes!

                                                2. We had several guests for our 4th of July pig-out. Started w/simple apps--hummus and pita, edamame w/fancy salt ; ) . Then we had grilled ribs--rubbed and slow-cooked in the oven first, then sauced and finished on the grill--and a grilled steak w/parsley-garlic butter. Sides were baked beans, corn on the cob, potato salad, and tomato-avocado salad. Dessert : blueberry cobbler w/vanilla ice cream.

                                                  Last night: leftovers.

                                                  1. This weekend was a bit low-key, primarily due to the appalling heat wave we're in. Dinner out at a local Turkish restaurant Friday, chicken keema (brown thinly-sliced lg onion with 6 or more curry leaves in a little oil, add a tsp each of garlic and ginger minced together, 1 tb ground coriander, cayenne and salt to taste, add 1 lb ground chicken - I grind boneless breasts in the fp - cook until done, add juice 1 lemon, 3 or more chilis, slivered - remove some of the ribs and seeds) and about 1/2 c chopped cilantro, let cook a bit more, serve topped w more cilantro) and aloo gobi (2 baking potatoes cooked in the microwave, 1/2 large head cauli in small florets, put a tb of ginger and garlic minced tog in the frying pan with 2 tsp ground combined cumin and cilantro, a tsp black mustard seed, a tsp cumin seed, a tsp fennel, 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds, 1/2 tsp turmeric, brown cauli lightly in this, peel and cube pots, add, cook until cauli is crisp-tender) late on Saturday after a big lunch in the city; Sunday bbq chicken from Corky's in Memphis with corn with basil-lime butter, coleslaw, and the yeast corn muffins from this issue of Cook's Country (v good by the way, but my oven needs looking at, running cool); last night TJs soyrizo and black bean tacos with homemade pico de gallo and guacamole. That soy chorizo is really great - it's very like the real thing in texture and not as fatty.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                      i love that soyrizo stuff - find it every bit as good as the real thing.

                                                    2. I made a crockpot pulled pork yesterday and will have leftovers tonight. I was raised on NC vinegar-based BBQ but decided I wanted to try something similar although less aggressively vinegar-y.

                                                      Took a 4 pound half-picnic and seared on all sides and threw in the crockpot. To that, I added 1/2 cup balsamic and 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar that I whizzed together with 1 small can chipotles in adobo. I also thinly-sliced a fist-sized yellow onion and put that in as well. Then I cooked on low until shredding tender. Removed & shredded, and added back a couple of ladle-fuls of cooking liquid to help keep it moist.

                                                      Nice, lingering mild heat coupled with a slight tang, plus a lovely smokey flavor without having to fire up the grill.

                                                      1. Spent the weekend playing with the new grill, so there are plenty of leftovers for the week. Also made a crockpot pulled pork this weekend & then took all the crockpot juices & simmered them down to pour over the meat.

                                                        Tonite I'm having leftover grilled London broil that I marinated overnight in French dressing - yes, the old school cheap orange French dressing. My mom always made it that way and I love it to this day. Had pesto potato salad and grilled corn alongside.

                                                        1. Still somewhat recovering from the fourth...we had hamburger/cheeseburger sliders, and hot dogs. Then we had those leftovers yesterday. So today was a simple bologna sandwich with some potato salad and homemade baked beans. Nothing fancy, but in this heat, it's all I even want! :)

                                                          1. Tonight's grilled turkey burgers mixed with grated shallot, honey mustard, smoked pepper & paprika, kosher salt & worcestershire.

                                                            Sweet potato frites on the side. Burgers topped with cheddar, mayo, avocado & arugula on whole wheat buns.

                                                            1. Pan-roasted a chicken thigh in olive oil, then spent about 15 minutes airing out the smoke which had filled my apartment. I shredded the barely done meat and in the same pan sautéed onions and garlic before returning the chicken to finish cooking with sliced chorizo and red pepper. While I could have stopped there, I rounded out the flavors with a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper, a bit of sambal and some lemon juice. I added about a cup of lobster stock and saffron to form the basis of a sauce. Once everything was cooked through, I thickened the sauce with some award-winning Italian butter, or so the label says -- all I know is that it had the strong hints of orange which I wanted to add subtle complexity to the lobster saffron sauce, which I then draped over pasta (which was cooked in additional lobster stock).

                                                              For dessert I made a dark and stormy with the spiced ginger beer I have been lacto-fermenting in this blazing hot Northeastern summer. When life gives you lemons... brew beer.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                                That sounds seriously wonderful, JungMann! I've never tasted sambal, but the rest of it sounds heavenly!

                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                  oh my god, man! you just keep upping the stakes! did your chicken taste like lobster, lil bit?

                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                    Huy Fong sambal oelek is a perfect ingredient for spice and a little brightness. The chicken was so full-flavored it could've been a game hen. It was a great substitute for the duck I had originally thought about cooking.

                                                                2. This evening was chili dogs with jalapeno pepper cheese and mustard...and banana nut muffins...Yoki had chicken livers.....too hot to cook again....

                                                                  1. Soup from an Ubuntu recipe Mom made. Haven't tried it, but it looks good. She did use chicken stock, so it isn't vegetarian, but it's full of white beans and veggies.
                                                                    I'll have a salad on the side and perhaps an avocado toast as an appetizer.
                                                                    Nice to have other people cooking for me for a change, in particular Mom. A bonus for me since she is cooking for the sister who just had a little girl, I get tagged on too. Getting better at using all the letters except the one missing from the board with the letters...

                                                                    1. I am so lazy from the heat that I had a toasted tomato sandwich and a few crackers with PB :(

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: C70

                                                                        I think that's happening a lot. A few nights ago, I reheated some spaghetti & meat sauce. After 3 bites, I put it back in the fridge. I finally ate it last night.

                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                          it is, if it's that one doesn't feel like cooking because of the heat, one does not want to eat. I had half a bag of hose vegtables in a bag called steamers. The Italian vegetables with broad beans, limas, etc. First time I've ever eaten them and I have to admit that 6 mins in the mw and they were okay. Of course I ate them with salt and pepper and a good dollop of butter. Everyone else ate at Mc Donalds, I haven't any problems missing out on that.

                                                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                            LOL! I would have done the micro-steamer veggies as well. Gah. McDonald's in this weather? Or almost anytime? LOL

                                                                      2. Mexican macaroni and spinach soup plus tamales.

                                                                        1. Fingerling potato salad -- warm potatoes mixed with diced red onions sauteed in olive oil. Added apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, capers, parsley, chives, salt and pepper. So. Good. Apricot clafoutis for dessert.


                                                                          1. Last night was some leftover beef ribs, grilled fresh corn on the cob and a small mixed salad. Tonight will be just some hot dogs, fresh green beans and some leftover bbq potatoes. Everything will be done outside on the grill. We are having a heat wave and I don't want to heat up the house!

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: boyzoma

                                                                              Glad someone on the west coast is getting some heat, it's been cool & foggy in LA, we haven't even missed our pool, or getting to the beach as often! Enjoy it!

                                                                              I planned on making a pork stir fry since I picked up some nice pork loin thin chops. I have shiitakes and broccoli, ginger rice to go with it. I just sprinkled the chops with some salt & fennel spice rub from napa style. But I may get caught up on the phone making travel plans, so it might also end up something pulled from the freezer ;))

                                                                              1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                Send some my way! (cool and foggy) it's awful here, it never cooled off last night. ick.

                                                                            2. Roasted chicken from Sunday; pasta salad and corn on the cob as sides...zucchini walnut bread...

                                                                              1. Last night was a Feta-Orzo pasta salad with added chicken and grilled asparagus.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: jenscats5

                                                                                  That sounds very good - light and refreshing and tasty! Recipe link if you have one?

                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                    I found the recipe here in Home Cooking from an old thread....I now can't seem to find the post or thread I found it on. But kudos to whomever posted it as it was delicious!

                                                                                    I mixed into cooked orzo oil + balsamic vinegar + the juice of 2 lemons (my addition). I also added chopped bell peppers (green & yellow), tomatoes and halved Kalamata olives, salt & pepper. I then mixed in crumbled Feta cheese. The original recipe didn't include any protein, but I added chicken and also had some leftover grilled asparagus, so I added that too which made it more of a main course.

                                                                                2. Easy Chinese-y dinner last night:
                                                                                  Shanghai pork chops based on Helen Chen's recipe in Chinese Home Cooking (a greeat book btw) - brown 2 bone-in loin chops, brown a big thinly-sliced onion, put chops back in pan and onions on top, mix and pour over 1/4 c dark soy, 2 tb light soy, 1 tb black vinegar, 1/4 water, 2 tsp brown sugar, a glug of wine or whisk(e)y, cook covered until done, turning them over occasionally - take lid off and reduce sauce a bit if needed at the end. Can be expanded to any number of chops, sauce should be half again as much for each 2 additional.
                                                                                  Sichuan cucumber salad - cut 1 cucumber into 2" x 1/2" batons, 2 sliced green onions, 1 nub ginger, minced, 3 cloves garlic, dressed in 1 tb hot chili paste (I used the kind with roasted soybeans and sesame seeds in it, oil-based with toasted chili in it) plus 2 tb black vinegar, 1 tb soy, 12 tsp sesame oil.
                                                                                  Tiger vegetables - bunch of cilantro washed and cut into 2 1/2 in lengths, 2 serrano peppers seeded and slivered, 5 green onions cut into 2 1/2 in lengths and slivered, tossed with 2 tsp each of soy, sesame oil, and black vinegar and a dash of sugar. Frozen rice from a Chinese restaurant hotted up in the mic.

                                                                                  1. Dinner last night was sliced tomatoes with olive oil an balsamico, followed by flambéed chicken: chicken drumsticks browned in olive oil in a Dutch oven, removed, a head of garlic separated into cloves tossed in for a swim to get fragrant, excess oil removed, chicken added back, 1/4 cup brandy tossed in. Stood well back and with a looong lighter Boom! When the flames died down chucked in a can of diced tomatoes and some tarragon. Covered and cooked till tender. Removed chicken. Strained the stuff into a clean pot, rubbing on the garlic to get it all. Added whipping cream and reduced to sauce. Rewarmed chicken in sauce and served with couscous.

                                                                                    Dessert was Haagen-Dazs; on sale at $3 a tub, so I bought a baker's dozen.

                                                                                    Dinner tonight: leftovers, including ice cream (95 degrees today, not counting the humidity).
                                                                                    Stay cool people.

                                                                                    1. last night was fresh corn and a platter of sliced tomatoes, avocado and onions with balsamico.

                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: appycamper

                                                                                        Sounds like a perfect summer meal. I have missed my Farmer's Market a few weeks in a row now -- I'll have to hit it up this weekend and basically recreate this meal! I think you had me at "platter of sliced tomatoes."

                                                                                        1. re: operagirl

                                                                                          Add to that some fresh basil and bocconcini. BTW I find that it's always best to buy tomatoes that the vendor has sitting in the sun.

                                                                                          1. re: operagirl

                                                                                            My tomatoes are a-comin' in, and I giggle like either a mad scientist or a schoolgirl while harvesting them. I'm looking forward to midnight snacks of tomato sandwiches on white bread with mayonnaise and s+p.

                                                                                            Since there's no white bread in the house, and it's too darn hot to bake any, dinner will be a pasta salad of farfalle, black beans, avocado, and one of the aforementioned homegrown tomatoes, diced and tossed with mayonnaise spiked with chopped green onion and cilantro, chipotle, and some of the "Chili 3000" that Penzey's was giving away last month.

                                                                                            Heehee. Tomatoes.

                                                                                            1. re: piglet86

                                                                                              The fried tomatoes thread had discussion about tomato gravy (as a way to use both the juices and the little bits that don't suit a sandwich). I made some last night to serve as a sauce for a batch of spinach pancakes. It was really pretty good.

                                                                                        2. Been away for a few days and have had enough of food (hotel variety). And very crappy hotel breakfasts (don't believe anyone who tells you that the a full fried breakfast is one of Britain's "national dishes" - they know nothing of the sheer awfulness that often forms the "full English")

                                                                                          Five hour drive home. I'm tired; back aches; got toothache. Picked up some cooked chicken, bag of salad and a loaf of bread from the supermarket. It'll do.


                                                                                          The Grumpmeister

                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                            Somehow I knew that was you from the first sentence. Too bad it was lousy!

                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                              Awwww, {{{hugs}}} for Mr. Grumpmeister with a toothache and backache. I do hope sleeping in your own bed tonight helps the back. Get to a dentist for that tooth - can't have you gumming foods to death now, can we? ;-)

                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                Meanwhile, Mrs H phones from Mallorca.

                                                                                                The brother in law is grilling peppers and prawns on the BBQ (the latter bought direct from the fishing boat earlier in the afternoon). There'll be salad and fruit from his father's huerto.

                                                                                                Jealous? Me? Perish the thought.

                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                  Jealous ONLY about the food, right Harters? :-)

                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                    Ah, but the thought of your beloved, enjoying those lovely prawns and peppers and the sun-kissed fruit, the sea air, the familial conviviality--maybe such a vision will dull those aches, impart a sense of vicarious satisfaction.
                                                                                                    Maybe that and a drink.

                                                                                              2. I've had to be on a liquid diet for a few days, and tonight I am ready to re-introduce myself to soft foods. Thank god.

                                                                                                The meal still has to be one that barely requires teeth, so I am making soup of cararmelized onion, garlic, shredded carrot, and spinach in chicken stock, then I might puree it and add a little cream. On the side (and primarily for the boyfriend), I'm going to make the spinach fritter recipe I've been eyeing on closet cooking, but need to sub mozz for the feta (out of frugality, not *want*). I also have three tomatoes that need to be used, and there's a thread floating around where people started talking about fried tomatoes, and now I am dying for some. Okay, one. *sigh* The boyfriend can have the majority of the fried veggies with last night's spicy peanut noodles.

                                                                                                I'm thinking about poaching a few eggs to drop on top of the spinach fritters. I might actually have a whole meal tonight . . . on a *plate*.

                                                                                                1. Last night it was grilled NY strip, new potatoes roasted in duck fat, fresh tomatoes w/a smoky blue cheese-buttermilk dressing, and some avocado slices tossed w/olive oil and balsamic. And I made yet another blueberry cobbler.

                                                                                                  Tonight, I have a crisper full of veggies that must be cooked. So I'm making an old-fashioned summer squash (a cross between zucchini and yellow crookneck) casserole (w/lots of onion, sour cream, cheddar, and bread crumbs), which, sigh, DH surely will not like. Also cooking down a mess of green beans w/onion, speck, and new potatoes. And then I must do something w/four ears of corn lingering from the weekened--probably will cut kernels from the cob and sautee w/more onions and plenty of fresh thyme. The main will be fish (drum) cooked a la Meuniere, w/lots of fresh parsley, which, amazingly, is still surviving in my garden. And I probably can't resist slicing up a lovely ripe tomato and having that, too, w/a drizzle of some good olive oil, some chopped chives and said parsley.

                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                    Smokey blue cheese buttermilk dressing... could you break that down please? and where do i find smokey blue cheese at? The salad is really killing me, that sounds delish.
                                                                                                    Yikes! Its been ages since I checked on my zucchini and squash, they're probably the size of a small dog about now.

                                                                                                    1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                      Hi Chef--the smoked blue was one I bought at our local cheese shop, recommended by the guy waiting on me. I wish I could remember the exact name, but it was something simple like "Oregon Smokey Blue"--I know it was from Oregon. I bought a smallish piece, and while I wasn't crazy about it spread on a baguette slice (the cheese's smokiness is very pronounced), I loved it on a burger, and I used the last of it my buttermilk salad dressing--one of my basics, to which I add any number of things; it's just buttermilk and mayo, grated onion, a bit of vinegar, s & p. Last night I was trying to recreate a simple salad served by a local restaurant--slice of ripe tomato, blue cheese, and crumbled bacon--without the bacon, so I mashed the cheese into the dressing. Anyway the smokiness hit just the right notes and the combination of the tomatoes and the dressing was really good.
                                                                                                      I had never seen smoked blue cheese before, but I would imagine if you had access to a good cheese store or a Whole Foods or other good grocery, you could find it.

                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                        I think it sounds divine! I make my own blue cheese dressing ( my sons request it almost every time I see them) and it reminded me. I love to make ranch with buttermilk and had never made the blue cheese dressine with it so naturally this variation caught my attention. I don't have access to the Oregonian smokey blue cheese, but now I'm wondering if I can't copy it somehow... hmmm.
                                                                                                        Yes it sounds wonderful on a burger too, or even made into a wonderful sauce for a rib eye steak. I'm not a huge bacon fan, that is. I don't have to have it added to everything so yours sounds perfectly wonderful the way it is. Why add bacon when you have the smoke? Oh I know, people such as mu husband would be happy if you added a fistful. I will try looking for it as you suggest at WF, or maybe even request it from TJs. Where in Oregon, I grew up there but don't go back but for vacations every ten years or so since my family left there years ago. Now I wish I'd paid closer attention to my dad when he was making smoked salmon, trout etc.

                                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                            Yes i thought about that since I do add sea salt. Maybe liquid smoke?

                                                                                                            1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                              Yep, that's it, I'm pretty sure. I just bought a small piece--it was about $6, I think.

                                                                                                        1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                          and they are. I have at least 4 that are huge! Now what? They aren't pithy, they are nice and firm and beautiful. I just grabbed 2 of the Japanese cukes, they're chilling in vinegar with some red onion, salt and pepper. Oh my, the zucchini must be dealt with.

                                                                                                      2. Apple mint plant needed to be pinched back today, but why waste those trimmings? So I blackened sliced chorizo and bell peppers; tossed in some chiles arbol and sliced garlic. Brought everything together off the flame with black pepper, pimenton picante, fresh yogurt and the mint trimmings. Chore-inspired sausage salad.

                                                                                                        1. Homemade sausage pizza.

                                                                                                          1. Meeting friends in a while for peach margaritas, shrimp tacos, and probably too many tortilla chips and salsa. :)

                                                                                                            1. Finally got hot here in the Pacific NW, so had Mul-naengmyon (Korean cold noodle soup).
                                                                                                              Used arrowroot noodles, sliced daikon, cucumber, beef, egg, and in the photo you can see a dollop of mustard oil (good for dragon breath). Soooo good on a hot day.

                                                                                                              1. Brown beans and cornbread with cottage cheese, onions, and zuchini relish

                                                                                                                1. Last night, a large salad of spring mix & iceberg lettuce, red onion, cukes and buttermilk ranch. Also leftover corn on the cob. Then later, leftover pasta salad. And some Nutella on a spoon (lol)

                                                                                                                  Since I'm trying to eat through my fridge, the last of the leftover ribs (I made a ton, thought about freezing them but NO ROOM!) & sauteed green beans and potatoes. Blueberries for dessert. Blackberry Lemonade since I need to use some berries up.

                                                                                                                  1. Upcoming.......a fairly standard duck stir-fry.

                                                                                                                    I take the skin off the duck breast and render the fat (which means I also get crispy skin). The meat gets quickly fried in the fat. So do some celery pieces, red pepper and sliced spring onion. Meat & skin get sliced. It all then goes back in with some noodles, a good slosh of plum sauce, some soy and rice wine. Simples.

                                                                                                                    Music tonight - Bill Haley - "Wok around the clock"

                                                                                                                    (Mrs H phones to say her sister has been in touch with a restaurant right on the beach. She's said they'll be there at 9. The restaurant will have a mixed paella - one with snails, as well as seafood - ready for around 9.30 - 10.00, giving time for aperitivos and starters. Jealous? Me? Perish the thought)

                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                      I say stop answering the phone, Harters. ;-)

                                                                                                                      And your duck stir-fry sounds wonderful! I luvs me some duck!

                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                        Harters: why are you not there???? don't tell me something like work is stopping you....

                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                          Nothing at all like work - Mrs H and I have the great benefit of being retired :-)

                                                                                                                          Truth be told, much as I love Spain in general and Mallorca in particular, I can't stand the place where the brother in law comes from. And the thought of a family holiday together with Mrs H's close relatives is simply appalling - most years I stay at home but this year I had a few days away on my own, which was good.

                                                                                                                          Most holidays we do go away together, of course.

                                                                                                                          (PS: I didnt pay enough attention to my duck skin. Managed to burn it before it went properly crispy.Other than that - dinner was good - and I managed to dribble it down my shirt so there's enough for a late night snack :-0

                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                            "and I managed to dribble it down my shirt so there's enough for a late night snack :-0" - i love that! my food usually ends up in my hair (long) and when friends/boyfriend try to pick it out for me, i say "hey, i was saving that for later!"
                                                                                                                            ok, TMI.

                                                                                                                            Dinner tonight is chopped yellow heirloom tomatoes, julienned basil, minced garlic, kosher salt, over slices of this wonderful baguette sauteed in extra virgin olive oil til golden and crispy.

                                                                                                                      2. I'm all set to go shopping in an hour for the ingredients to make this fabulous looking mango slaw with cashews and mint: http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/07/man...

                                                                                                                        I'm not sure if we're going to have cold shrimp or grilled fish or chicken on the side; it kind of depends if I like what I see when I go out.

                                                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Jadore

                                                                                                                          Oh MY that sounds wonderful! And I *think* I have almost all of the ingredients in my fridge at home (2 mangoes to use up) - no fresh mint, however. Perhaps a pinch of dried mint will work. I took out a piece of chicken tonight - I just might copy you on the dinner tonight, Jadore!

                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                            I'm tagging onto Jadore's dinner tonight - I just made the mango slaw she linked from smittenkitten.com, using Vidalia onion in place of the red onion, and a pinch of dried mint mixed in with marinade. It's in the fridge melding flavors.

                                                                                                                            The thick chicken breast was split in half lengthwise, rubbed with olive oil, and sprinkled with Herbes de Provence and is being roasted while the mango slaw melds flavors. :-)

                                                                                                                            I tend not to hit up blogs for recipes, as I know myself - I'd get sucked into WAY too many good blogs that way! But smittenkitten is one that I know has won awards and gets rave reviews...I will have to check it out more often. :-)

                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                              The dried mint actually sounds great; I love the flavors dried herbs can bring, and I think in combination with the spice, it's going to work really well. Let us know!

                                                                                                                              And, OMG, I didn't think to coat my own chicken in Herbes de Provence - wish I hadn't already marinated it, shoot. I decided to play on the thai theme of the slaw and marinate chunks of chicken in soy, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, a little chili paste, a little smooth peanut butter, and a dash of canola. I'm actually kind of worried about it; I made this up as I went along and I hope it isn't too strong a contrast to the slaw - I'll let you know!

                                                                                                                              And I fully agree; Smitten's one of those sites that's consistently delicious. It doesn't hurt that she does a lot of Gourmet and Ina Garten! Deb's very reliable and I can't wait for her book.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Jadore

                                                                                                                                Oh. MY! This slaw is just wonderful! Sweet from mango, crunchy from cabbage (forgot I just had regular, not Napa, but it works!), the nuttiness from the toasted cashews, the tang from the rice vinegar - what a wonderful blend of flavors! Dried mint can be overwhelming, so I was very careful - perhaps too careful. I think finely slivered fresh mint leafs will give a very refreshing taste to the slaw - can't wait to hear how it came out, Jadore!

                                                                                                                                P.S. I shredded my mango on a box shredder..smittenkitten didn't say how she did it, although hers looked much more uniform than mine...I wonder if she cut it up and finely julienned? A firm mango is key here...I used a firm Ataulfo, but it still produced a lot of juice in the shredding...which I just added to the mix. :-)

                                                                                                                                And I think your satay-like chicken will be just fine with the slaw - enjoy!

                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit


                                                                                                                                  With a firm mango, will you not lose out on ripeness whilst you're gaining on ease of shredding? Or does the under-ripe taste work - like with papaya in a Thai Som Tum salad?


                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                    Harters, the mango I used was ripe - just not overripe and squishy to the touch. I was able to peel it without any issue (losing a lot of juice)...it was just while shredding it off the pit that I encountered a good bit of liquid - which I expected. I just would like to know how smittenkitten got her shreds of mango so uniform - mine definitely weren't.

                                                                                                                                    SK said that she understands underripe and slightly sour is what is considered "traditional" (not sure if she means for this recipe or in general for mangoes, as I always go for the sweet!)

                                                                                                                                  2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                    Linda, SK said she julienned hers, and I did the same. Wish I'd just used the box grater as you did; I had so much to do yesterday, I should have just gotten over my OCDness in the name of my sanity, haha.

                                                                                                                                    Like you, my mangos were pretty firm, and I had mountains of juice at the end! (Cue me trying to resist drinking the stuff straight.) This slaw was WONDERFUL. My cashews toasted beautifully and really tied everything together. Just enough lime, and I added a pinch more red pepper, because I do like it spicy.

                                                                                                                                    My chicken turned out pretty well; my husband liked it better than I did. Next time though, I'm going to go simple, and copy your Herbes de Provence idea! I also saw another person on SK say that they served this with some sort of tequila chicken; that might be really yummy the next time around.

                                                                                                                                    Glad to hear you liked yours too! :) And you know, next time I'm also going to use regular cabbage instead of heading out for the Napa.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jadore

                                                                                                                                      Two successful dinners last night, Jadore, so thanks for posting yours. It solved my dinner "what am I going to have?" question! :-)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                        Any time, Linda! I love this site because of threads and experiences like this. :)

                                                                                                                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                Nerd alert on my end: you just replied above, lol. Never mind!

                                                                                                                              3. re: Jadore

                                                                                                                                I just bookmarked that one. On to grocery list: mangoes.

                                                                                                                              4. Headed up to Sonoma tonight and I have a lot of prep to do for a party tomorrow (not mine, sadly), but I hope to finish in time to sit down to a nice dinner with a few friends.
                                                                                                                                Got a good deal on some spot prawns yesterday at my local Japanese market, so I will probably find a recipe in the COTM Italian Easy that translates to these.
                                                                                                                                Also have chard, garlic, beautiful little red onions and green beans, savoy cabbage, squash and fennel. Oh, and parsley and limes. Sounds like a good night for tapas!
                                                                                                                                I like to clean out my fridge before I head North for the weekend.

                                                                                                                                1. Maine scallops w/ fresh picked chanterelles w/ olive oil & butter. Garden Swiss chard & fussili and a tomato w/ feta & oil cured olives as a salad. Pear & bleu cheese for dessert.

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                    Oh, that sounds lovely! I absolutely love scallops, and I can eat mushrooms with just about anything. DH and I are going out tonight so might just have to see if any scallops are on the menu.

                                                                                                                                  2. Seems like it's been a long week of waiting for the sun. I'm envious of all the warm weather every where else but here!!

                                                                                                                                    Tonight we're grilling some carne asada, I have sweet Vidalias and bells sauteeing now, and throwing some black beans & hot sauce to bake together in the oven. Avocados, cheddar, warm flour tortillas, and I'm happy. Kids can have some ice cream.

                                                                                                                                    1. Tonight has been a wonderfully simple and delicious dinner. Softly scrambled eggs on buttery toast with a small sprinkling of truffle salt and a drop of truffle oil. Mmmmm, perfect rainy weather "I can't be bothered" food.

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. Tonight my parents are having everyone over for a cioppino dinner, and I'm planning on baking some no-knead bread in my Le Creuset to go with it! This will be the second time I use my favorite wedding gift (well, my favorite kitchen wedding gift, that is) and I'm excited to see how this recipe works. I'll be sure to report back later!

                                                                                                                                        17 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jadore

                                                                                                                                          Please do report back on the bread. I've had my eye on that recipe for quite a while.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                            You really should try it. It is so easy, and you won't believe the results. After trying to bake bread--and almost always failing--for my entire cooking life, the no-knead/Le Creuset method was a revelation. I make bread all the time now, and with this technique, it has always come out well--even when it didn't look right, and I was SURE I had failed.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                              I was just never certain if my metal dutch oven would perform the task as well as a Le Creuset. I worry that the heat will be conducted too unevenly. Then again, the total cost of the bread is less than what's in my penny jar.

                                                                                                                                              (I am currently being offered a present by the boyfriend, I have to choose between the Le Creuset oven or the Kitchen Aid mixer with dough hooks. It's like choosing a child).

                                                                                                                                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                That's a toughie. I'd go for the mixer. You know you can buy a cheaper enameled cast iron DO for the task--the Martha Stewart line at Macy's is always on sale, and if you have a coupon, even better. And the no-knead bread doesn't have to be done in enameled cast iron; a ceramic pot works, too.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                  Do you have a casserole or a Pyrex dish? I've heard you can pull off this recipe in either one.

                                                                                                                                                  And, ohhh, what a nice boyfriend! And I laughed at the child comment; this is all very Sophie's Choice. ;D

                                                                                                                                                  Do you bake a lot? Or do you think you'd be into the bevy of attachments the KA offers? (The ice cream, pasta, and juicer attachments are all on our list of items to buy once Macy's sends us a gift card in a few months from our registry!) (That is, if I don't blow the balance on cosmetics instead.) I'd go with the mixer if you do. Otherwise, get the LC. It will last and last and last, as everyone tells me, and it's obviously very versatile; everything from this amazing bread, stews, pasta sauces, etc etc etc can be done in it.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Jadore

                                                                                                                                                    really? I've got a large oval pyrex casserole with a lid, will that do?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                      I think so--anything w/good fitting lid that can take the high temperatures will apparently work.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Jadore

                                                                                                                                                      Ha ha! When the boyfriend asked me , "Which would you rather have?" My mouth dropped, and I said, "That's like Sophie's Choice."

                                                                                                                                                      I do have a Pyrex. I also have a larger casserole that is metal, but has conducts heat *very* evenly, and nothing ever sticks to it (it's actually become my go-to roaster).

                                                                                                                                                      I love to bake, but my dough mixing skills haven't improved much since the EZ Bake Oven days, so the dough hook is very attractive. As is the pasta attachment. And the ice cream maker. And why do I feel like I've just made up my mind?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                        As mentioned above, there are lots of LC knockoffs that are really pretty good quality. I gave my sister one from Target several years ago that was only around $50. I just returned from a visit to her recently where I ate many delicious meals cooked out of that pot and she definitely puts it through its paces! Also, I bought my LC on Amazon for a great price several years ago compared to what I could get it for around here. And I believe Lodge makes one as well.

                                                                                                                                                        So maybe you can have both your babies!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mebby

                                                                                                                                                          We looked at the ones at Target, but the boyfriend wanted to wait awhile longer to keep playing our weekly TJ Maxx/Marshalls lottery. I love the jittery, suspenseful feeling I get during the drive over.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                    Okay, now I may have to try this. I've never looked at the recipe before, but I may have to consider it seriously now!!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                                                                                      You won't believe the results--or how easy, Phurst. (See Jadore below).

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                      Ahhh, you too?! I thought I'd ruined it completely when I threw it in the oven; it just doesn't seem like it will work, you know? Maybe that's part of why it's so amazing. You throw in this mess and pull out a golden crusted loaf of deliciousness and you can't even believe it actually worked.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Jadore

                                                                                                                                                        I had to talk a friend down from throwing out her dough the first time she made it after I'd yammered on about it so much. She phoned and said "This can't be right . . . ," but I assured her it would work--and it did, and she too is a convert.

                                                                                                                                                        And, Jadore, try some of the variations. I've tried several, and they've all been good. In my recent WW/white mix (I used 1/3 WW flour, 2/3 white), the loaf was somewhat flat, but still delicious. Next time I try that one, I'm going to try a smaller dutch oven and hope for a little more height.

                                                                                                                                                    3. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                      Seriously? This bread is INCREDIBLE. I really thought I'd botched it; my husband was like, "Stop stressing, it'll be okay, I promise," and I didn't believe him until it was time to take my Le Creuset out of the oven. OMG, it was so beautiful. It had that round, rustic browning and slightly crackly top you see in fine shops all over the place. We had to really restrain ourselves from not cutting it up until we got to my parents' house!

                                                                                                                                                      When we finally did cut it open, the inside had airy holes, and it was spongy with a little chewiness. It tore apart really easily. We brought over some Kerrygold butter (my Irish in-laws were there, and they were so impressed!) and everyone just raved. It mopped up plenty of cioppino goodness and all 8 of us devoured the whole loaf in seemingly seconds.

                                                                                                                                                      Give it a try! If you use a Le Creuset that isn't very well seasoned (mine's only been used twice now), use parchment paper. greygarious here on CHOW told me to use a double layer, and it worked like a charm.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Jadore

                                                                                                                                                        Yep, warm with Kerrygold--what simple goodness.
                                                                                                                                                        When my mother had the ciabatta I made w/the (Lahey) NK technique, she didn't believe I had made it!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                          mmmm heck yeah to the Kerrygold! I love that stuff. I spot it every now and again at the Grocery Outlet, hard to find though.

                                                                                                                                                  3. I think I'm on the mend, so I'm going to test myself with meat and spice. The weather here is cooler than it's been in a while, so I'm going to roast enough chicken for two meals.

                                                                                                                                                    Tonight, I'll use half of the chicken in a chicken tortilla soup, with diced green chiles, green peppers, and a little jalapeno in a broth of chicken stock and tomato, with fried tortilla strips as a garnish. I forgot to buy cilantro, so I'll probably sneak some chili garlic paste into the onion and garlic sautee so give it a bit more flavor. I have the remains of a jar of red pepper garlic salsa that I want to combine with butter to fry some corn. I have a large jar of cheap salsa in the pantry (I have no idea where this came from), so I'll use that as a base for Spanish rice, so the boyfriend has a full meal on his hands.

                                                                                                                                                    1. Onceadaylily, glad you are feeling better. Just don't go too fast.

                                                                                                                                                      Tonight we will grill some nice bacon-wrapped fillet mignons, some mushrooms in the grill basket and have a nice shrimp salad on the side. Nice and simple but great for this beautiful weather.

                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                        Thanks! And I have my eye on your dinner. After our grill purchase was stalled by an ugly gas vs. charcoal debate, the neighbors solved it for us by giving us their gas grill (because the husband wants charcoal). So, the boyfriend won by default.

                                                                                                                                                        But now that I actually have a grill again, I find I am so excited to cook on it, that I don't care if it's gas. Bacon wrapped filets with mushrooms are in my near future.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                          I'm glad you have your grill! I actually like our gas grill now. It makes it so easy, and I have not found anything I really can't cook on it. It does a great rotisserie chicken and I have a recipe for rotisserie turkey breast I want to try this summer. It also has a side burner if I need it. Good luck with it and just enjoy it!

                                                                                                                                                      2. Sausage sandwich. And a nice bit of Red Leicester to nibble on afterwards.

                                                                                                                                                        1. Spent most of today prepping for my sister's birthday dinner tomorrow night, mainly stuffing squash blossoms, which she loves; I'm surprising her with them as they were $3/basket at the Farmers Market. Are they ever a pain!

                                                                                                                                                          So tonight it will be something quick and easy--shrimp scampi, which mcel215 got me thinking about a couple of weeks ago, w/linguini and a simple salad of lettuce and tomato w/garlicky vinaigrette. I also bought a beautiful baguette today so I'm going to make some toasts spread w/goat cheese and topped w/roasted red pepper and basil. That should do it. Leftover blueberry cobbler if anyone's up for it.

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                            Tonight's supper is NY strips and baked potatoes

                                                                                                                                                            Tomorrow's lunch is ham biscuits and hash brown potato casserole

                                                                                                                                                          2. Last night veal chops med-rare, crimini mushrooms quartered and cooked in butter over high heat, covered until they "threw their water" as my mom used to say, then uncovered to cook it off, nice-sized russets "baked" in the mic (sprinkle them with salt just before cooking and the peels are dry and almost as good as oven-done ones), with greek yogurt and chopped shallot with s&p on top, and baby arugula salad. A nice Friday night dinner, done in 1/2 hour.

                                                                                                                                                            1. I just pulled some country style ribs (pork shoulder ) out of the oven where they've slow roasted in apple juice & cider vinegar for 4 hours. DH will put them on the grill to smoke a bit, then crisp with some bbq sauce. I've also got some greens to braise, collard,mustard, turnip & kale. I usually just chop a shallot to go in and let them cook down for a while. We have fresh corn to steam, and some new potatoes that were cooked, that we'll put on the grill for a bit, then top them with some basil oil. Think I may do peach tartlettes with frozen puff pastry & the super ripe peaches on my sill.

                                                                                                                                                              1. The old stand-bye, pork pernil,which proved to be a bit challenging. It was the first time i'd used our funky old Western Holly oven in our new apartment - have used the stove and the broiler but not the oven. I put the roast in at noon today at 325 degrees, and expected it to be done around 5-ish, with another hour uncovered to crisp up the fat. About 45 minutes in I heard really loud sizzling and a kind of acrid smell, and upon checking found that the marinade at the bottom of the le creuset casserole had blackened! i turned the heat way down, to 250, and two hours later that roast was totally done, falling apart, and even though it had been covered with foil, the fat on top was already crisp and crackly! So our oven cooks way hot, but the roast turned out very good, and only the bottom was a bit overdone. Served that with a vegetable braise - quartered potatoes, leeks, fennel, carrots, and cauliflower, in a bit of chicken broth, dijon mustard, and a mustard and herb salt mixture I bought, and a little bit of grated Parm Reggiano to thicken the sauce up. The veggies were wonderful, the mustard went perfectly with the sweetness of the fennel. Salad consisted of romaine, red cabbage, shallots, little chunks of blue cheese, red wine vinegar, evoo, salt & pepper, and minced up fennel fronds.

                                                                                                                                                                1. I've been a little under the weather this week so have not really been doing much cooking lately. This evening, I made a warm tomato salad with tomatoes from my neighbors garden; sliced and cooked in a skillet with olive oil on both sides then sprinkled with oregano, crumbled queso fresco and drizzled the warm oil from the skillet over the top of the tomatoes. It was so good! I pan cooked some pork burgers that I had frozen from my burgerfest a few weeks ago and served those on toasted potato bread. Simple tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                    From one felled woman to another, I hope you feel better soon. Your menu sounds far better than what I've managed to drum up in the last week.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. hebrew national hotdogs on chunks of grilled italian bread, little new potatoes, blanched and sliced and browned with onions and peppers in duckfat, coleslaw.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Completely forgot to post WWFD last night - my local farmers market had FINALLY opened (godawfully late in the season!) and I picked up some fresh (never frozen) scallops from Globe Fish. Also got some local corn-on-the-cob with which I had planned to make a mango-corn salsa, but never got around to it - and after dinner, I was glad I didn't! So I just threw the three ear into boiling water for a few minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                      The scallops were dried on several layers of paper towels, and then seasoned with salt, pepper, and some Penzey's Parisien Bonne Herbes mix (a blend of chives, dill weed, French basil, French tarragon, chervil and white pepper). Melted a bit of butter and olive oil in a hot sauté pan and cooked the scallops until seared on both sides. Removed the scallops, added about 1/3 cup of white wine and maybe a half-Tbsp. of lemon juice and let it reduce to almost nothing (maybe an 1/8 of a cup total). Finally, added a scant Tbsp. of heavy cream, whisked it in, returned the scallops to the pan to rewarm, and served them over leftover Trader Joe's Harvest Grain Blend.

                                                                                                                                                                      The scallops were, quite simply, the BEST scallops I've ever made. Could be that they were even more fresh as compared to what I usually get in the stupidmarket (I gotta find a local fishmonger!). Could be that I did something right (and of course will probably never be able to do it again, even with as simple as the dish was!). But oh my - sweet, tender, no grit, lovely sauce. Simply fabulous.

                                                                                                                                                                      And the local corn? After I buttered one and sprinkled it with some Maldon sea salt for dinner...just as good. I'm going to make sure I go back for more. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                        I lurrrve just seared through scallops.

                                                                                                                                                                        They've recently become a very fashionable restaurant starter dish* in the UK - sat on a cauliflower puree. Oddly, it works quite well and I keep promising to try it at home.

                                                                                                                                                                        * i.e. a starter almost impossible to avoid ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                          I know. I see "scallops" and I almost don't see anything else on the menu, unless it's prepared with something else I don't like. :-) They do make a very nice, light start to a meal, don't they?

                                                                                                                                                                          And you're having my other favorite dish tonight - lamb. That's the other item whereby I seem to go menu-blind after seeing it listed on a menu. :-) Enjoy, enjoy.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                            I just love a good scallop as well. I've done them with a roasted red pepper puree as well and they are fantastic. I'll have to try the cauliflower puree now. Yum.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                              I've done that too, BZ over some liguine, with a roasted red pepper pesto. Delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                                                                                                                I just did some over linguine a couple of weeks ago. Just love that stuff. Pasta or scallops, the sauce just is plain wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                  yes, I agree. I should make that this summer, thanks for the nudge!

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                              Me too. DH even moreso. The good ones are so godawfully expensive here. But I have a hunch we'll be getting more NE seafood down here, so maybe the price will drop a teeny bit. (Or is that being truly Pollyanna-ish?)
                                                                                                                                                                              Anyway, your prep sounds delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                Menu-blindness. I like that!

                                                                                                                                                                                Yep, I could walk into many places, spurn the offer of a menu and just say, "Bring the scallops, followed by the lamb, cheese if you got it out of the fridge an hour ago; and then the chocolate dessert".

                                                                                                                                                                          2. The fillet end of a leg of lamb is getting butterflied and quickly roasted. Some spuds will get sauteed. As will some courgettes (with garlic and loads of thyme and marjoram). Some spring greens wil get steamed. There'll be mint sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                            For "afters", there's the first of the English cherries and some strawberries and some very early raspberries.

                                                                                                                                                                            And it's possibly going to be warm enough to eat outside.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Tonight will be BBQ Chicken Breasts, diced BBQ Red Potato's with some red bell pepper and onions in the grill basket and some fresh grilled corn on the cob. I just love summer, and so glad all that rain is gone.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. Still trying to eat that humonous zuke. I finished it off last night in a stir fry of zucchini, onion, scallion, carrots, fresh garlic, soy sauce, bean sprouts and chicken. Served over jasmine rice then sriracha sauce & cilantro over all.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. I'm going to use the rest of yesterday's chicken for a spicy chicken corn chowder. It needs to be very heavy on the vegetables, so I'll split it into two pots while I cook. In the first pot, I'll sautee onions, celery, red peppers, jalapenos, carrots and garlic, then scoot everything to the sides to make a roux before I add the garlic chili paste, chicken stock, a diced red potato, and the corn. The second pot will have onions, celery, another potato and garlic, then more stock and corn. The second pot will be pureed and added to the first pot along with the shredded chicken. Then I'll probably do the thing I usually do: stand there for five minutes debating whether or not it needs a slurry. It always needs a slurry. When it's thickened enough, I add a cup or so of cream, and some cayenne. I'll garnish with crumbled bacon, and some sour cream mixed with the last of the red pepper salsa.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, and the appetizer, side dish, and dessert will be beer. If I would have forgotten to say that, the recipe above would have made no sense at all!

                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, that sounds sooooooo good. Except the beer part (upsets my tummy) - but maybe I could sub some white wine? Do you have a specific recipe or do you just use your instincts for the chowder? I'm looking for more ideas for left over chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                      I have a 'master' recipe for corn chowder that I'm always playing with, but it's more complicated than what I have the energy for today (I usually roast some chiles and peppers for my heat base and cut my own corn from the cob-this time I'm just using jarred jalapeno, cayenne, and Huy Fong's garlic chili paste, and two bags of frozen corn). I went online and found a very simple recipe on FN from Down Home with the Neely's. I think it's called Gina's spicy corn chowder.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I'll double it, and add chicken, celery, carrots, and garlic chili paste. I know I'll sautee my vegetables for a heck of a lot longer than she calls for. I'll use less flour since she doesn't call for a puree, which is a thickener on its own, and if it looks too thin (you add cream at the very end, so the chowder needs to quite thick) I'll add a slurry of butter and flour and let it simmer before I add the cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                      The two pot sautee thing is just what I do in order to not only be able to double it without having it slow my sautee time down too much, but to segregate the vegetable I want in the puree from the ones I don't. I'm adding the garlic chili paste and likely will double the jalapenos, because I like mine very spicy, and her recipe seems to rely too much on the cayenne for that (I like my heat to have a bit more depth). I've glanced over the recipe, and scribbled the ratios of veg to broth, but doubt I'll look at it again as I cook.

                                                                                                                                                                                      The only 'rules' I have for corn chowder are 1) corn is too delicate for a lackluster stock, so make sure you use one you like, and 2) don't skimp on the bacon. You need those drippings for your sautee, and the bacon itself for garnish.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh, and the salsa is store bought, Fronterra. It is way too garlicky, so I've been using it in cooking instead. Other garnishments that I love for this dish are diced tomato, shredded cheese, corn bread or tortilla chips, and avocado.

                                                                                                                                                                                      As to left-over chicken, Mark Bittman's chicken and black bean soup is requested every other week in this house.

                                                                                                                                                                                      And, yes, feel free to sub in some wine. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, and in the thousand word essay above, you'd think I would have mentioned the chicken. I always roast thighs separately, in a 450 degree oven (a bit of butter melted in the pan, then add the salted-and-peppered chicken, roast for ten minutes, then brush with either oil of butter, flip, roast fifteen more, then flip and brush again, and then roast until done, about ten or fifteen more minutes. Cool slightly, then shred, and add to the soup with the pureed veggies.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I am not a fan of breast meat unless there is mayo involved. And with thighs, you have lovely skin and bones to use in your next stock.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                          Thank you so much. This is definitely going into my to make list (once it cools down a bit). And of course the bacon. Who doesn't like bacon????? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Celebrating my youngest sister's b-day tonight (love celebrating THEIR birthdays ;)) w/her most-requested feast: Tacos--pork (pibil-style) and a vegetarian option w/creamy chard, potatoes, and roasted poblanos (Rick Bayless recipe); corn and flour tortillas (both storebought); pickled onions, chunky guacamole, and crumbled queso fresca as condiments; blackbeans and a platter of tomato slices for sides. Mom will bring a cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                    But before we dig in to the tacos, I'll be serving the fried squash blossoms that I spent waaay too much time prepping yesterday. Those are stuffed with a puree of corn, shallot, thyme, goat cheese, and pecorino romano to which I added some diced porcinis sauteed in garlic. (The stuffing was delicious, but I had way too much, so the rest went into the freezer, and I will use it for chile rellenos when I return from the trip I'm leaving on tomorrow.)

                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm feeling pretty wiped out already.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                      I like the sound of your vegetarian tacos; I'll have to try it when I have vegetarians at my table. I also LOVE fried squash blossoms...ummm!

                                                                                                                                                                                      Dinner today was spaghetti with homemade marinara; I cooked the pasta with just enough water to cover and let it cook down then threw the sauce in it without draining the little water that was left. I added some low fat garlic herb cheese and it came out nice & creamy. Topped that with pan seared sweet Italian turkey sausage links and served with garlic bread sticks. Still not feeling like doing too much cooking but maybe tomorrow...

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. My parents are angels; the sent us home from the cioppino feast yesterday with a bunch of extra scallops, so that's what DH and I will be having tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm kind of leaning towards this recipe from Steamy Kitchen: Scallop Salad with Sweet Vanilla Chili Dressing http://steamykitchen.com/202-scallop-...

                                                                                                                                                                                      But my husband's like, "That sounds inherently bad, I don't know..." So we'll see, lol. I may end up searing them and serving them with some lemony rice if he whines too much. ;D

                                                                                                                                                                                      19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Jadore

                                                                                                                                                                                        That recipe looks good. I braised scallops in a caramel-ly sauce last December that were really good although I was initially put off by the recipe ingredients (I'm guessing your hubby is put off by the "sweet vanilla"?) and the caramel aspect, but the dish--also an Asian one--was very tasty. Our guest ate three helpings (not that I'm counting . . . but it's always a gauge as to whether they really like the dinner!).

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                          Yesss, the vanilla wigged him out, so he ended up taking me to grab some Chinese and beers instead, lol. The caramel scallops sound delicious! If I were your guest I'd ask for more too. ;D Do you happen to have the recipe?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Jadore

                                                                                                                                                                                            I am going to think about this; I'm sure it'll come to me where the recipe is from. I'll get back to you on it (but I'm out of town this week).

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                It was definitely Asian and could have been a COTM recipe, but I still can't remember exactly where it came from. When I get home, I'll be able to find it.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jadore

                                                                                                                                                                                              Buttertart was right; it was a Vietnamese dish and it was from a COTM--All About Braising (Molly Stevens). I just found the recipe online.
                                                                                                                                                                                              I remember it was pretty simple to prepare.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Here's the link:


                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                Ooh! I have this cookbook - will have to try this (once I get the fish sauce <g>).

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                  If I recall correctly, this was one of those dishes that did not smell terrific (the fs) as I was preparing it, so don't be put off by that. (Someone told me Three Crabs is an excellent brand, so I will look for it next time I'm shopping for fs.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for the additional info re: the smell. I've held off buying "fish sauce" just because of the name and very little reason for buying it, as I don't cook Thai dishes. Although I do have oyster sauce in my pantry. I see from this link that they *are* different, however.


                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                      It smells strong but it tastes great in food, I use it in savory dishes of all sorts to give them oomph (rather than anchovies or paste). Most recent brand I bought is Tiparos, from Thailand - a bit less whiffy than Squid brand. It's dead cheap, you could try it and chuck it if you don't like it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks - I have an H-Mart near me, I'll check them out for what will probably be a very varied selection.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        One question - I really don't like anchovies on my Caesar salads - am I going to really dislike fish sauce? :-X

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't like anchovies themselves either one little bit so I don't think so. But try it in things, not on its own. Then you can graduate to sliced Thai chilis in fish sauce yum yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for the info! As for the sliced Thai chilis....me not think so. :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Me like muchly. Hot + salty = happiness!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                            (Although I do like anchovies) I want to second Buttertart's advice--don't expect to like fish sauce on its own (and some brands small really bad)--but it does wonderful things *to* dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm envious of you folks who have so many choices. I don't have too many choices of FS brands here, though I'll be in two (really) big cities in the next couple of weeks so I'll see if I can find a selection.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Jadore

                                                                                                                                                                                                Didn't someone do a sauce for a lobster dish on Top Chef? I forget the outcome, hmmm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                                                  You know, I think maybe they did? I'll bet it was good, if the sweetness was done with a light hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Jadore

                                                                                                                                                                                                    One of the best lobster dishes I'd ever had was a semi-tapas of grilled split lobster tail (still in shell) with a vanilla beurre blanc. The vanilla was ever so light, but really complimented the lobster.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's not as uncommon as one might think:




                                                                                                                                                                                                    God....now I want that dish. :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Tonight will be Thomas Keller's Favorite Simple Roast Chicken, which is MY favorite too, and a potato/cauliflower/leek curry - no recipe yet, we'll see what happens. heirloom toms/basil/garlic bruschettas to start. i know, it's all over the place, but . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                                                                                                                                    you're so nice. it ended up being aloo gobi, just the potatoes and cauliflower, and i grilled radicchio and the leeks on the grill pan. when they were all wilty and browned i sprinkled a little balsamic on the radicchio and added a little sweet butter and lemon to the leeks. didn't end up getting heirlooms because just 3 of them were $7.50 and i just had to say no. i should have purchased them at FM this week, buying them at our local fancy food corner market is ridiculous. Pine nuts too - $35.00 a lb.! Anyway, good on-the-vine tomatoes sufficed for bruschetta.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow, I have two or more pounds of pine nuts in my freezer right now - wish I could send you some!! I don't use them as much as I should!! I forget! Should have put them in the ziti salad I made!! D'OH!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                                                                                                                                        you're so sweet! i only bought them from that place once, when TJs, and the local hispanic markets were all out at the same time for some reason. i've since restocked!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Got some more gorgeous greens from the farmers market today, along with some corn, peaches and strawberries. Will make a large farmers market salad with soem bibb lettuce, romaine & frisee, radishes, carrots, corn off the cob, olives, tomatoes, red onion. Maybe throw some bacon & blue cheese in too. Think I'll make a fresh buttermilk herb dressing to go over it. We're planning on grilling a London Broil, that's been marinating in oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon, peppercorns & garlic. Going to grill some fresh asparagus to go along with that. And I've been contemplating making a caesar pasta salad with some ziti, olives, lemon, parmesan, basil & capers in some bottled dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  We still have two peach tartlettes from last night. So maybe just some strawberries & whipped cream for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                                                                                                                                    that salad sounds great! can i get recipe for fresh buttermilk herb dressing, please?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Since I have lots of basil right now, I used a simple basil buttermilk dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 clove garlic, minced
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Large pinch of salt, about 1/4 tsp
                                                                                                                                                                                                      2/3 cup buttermilk
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/3 cup of mayonnaise
                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mince garlic & mash with salt to become a paste. Then whisk together the buttermilk, mayo, garlic paste, and basil in a small bowl. Chill, covered for an hour to let flavors meld.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Would be good as well with any other fresh herbs you may have on hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Finally figured out dinner. I had a comfort food craving. Plus it'll give me some leftovers for panino sandwiches later in the week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I had picked up a humongous whole breast of chicken yesterday; simply rubbed it with olive oil, seasoned with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper and some dried Meyer lemon zest, and then drizzled about 1 Tbsp. of Meyer lemon juice over the top. It's roasting in a hot convection oven for 20 minutes, and then I'll turn the heat down to finish roasting, basting as needed to crisp the skin. I will deglaze the roasting pan (a round cake pan) and whatever drippings are in the pan with some chicken stock and white wine and reduce it for a pan jus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yukon Golds will be boiled and mashed with salt, pepper, 1% milk,sour cream, and chives.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sauteed red bell pepper strips, locally grown green beans and garlic scapes tossed with olive oil and Penzey's Tuscan Sunset seasoning (with some additional Aleppo pepper thrown on for good measure).

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Some chocolate ice cream or TJ's Triple Gingersnaps should I need something sweet afterward.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Used up the last cup or so of lobster stock to make the sauce pancit palabok. Typically the sauce would be made from the liquor extracted from shrimp heads pounded in a mortar and pestle with hot water. Sadly, I was fresh out of shrimp heads, not to mention the smoked herring that usually goes on top of the noodles. So we subbed and supped on noodles dressed in a creamy lobster garlic sauce, topped with sauteed shrimp and cod, slices of hard boiled egg, garlic chips, scallions and a dusting of crushed pork rinds. Lemon juice on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      For dessert: pandan-flavored agar-agar gelatin suspended in sweetened coconut cream and milk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Grilled trout with fresh oregano and shallots, accompanied by corn on the cawb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. The leftovers from yesterday's lamb are going to get finely chopped, mixed with rice, herbs from the "back door plot", stuffed into some halved peppers and baked. Alongside, the leftover courgettes & cabbage will get warmed through. And we've discovered a portion of something in the freezer, described only, in my writing, as "spicy tomato sauce" that'll get thrown over everything. Yummy, eh? Or not - I remain unconvinced by my thoughts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Some fruit to finish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I would say yummy. Stuffed peppers were one of the horrors of my childhood, but those were meatballs with huge hunks of onion and grains of rice that managed to stay pretty raw.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            The chopped lamb sounds wonderful. What kind of herbs?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Herbs are the only edibles I have room for in the garden and I grow them in amongst the ornamental flowers and shrubs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Looking good right now are thyme, marjoram, mint, chives and garlic chives and I think some, if not all, of these will find their way in. Fennel is also looking good but doesnt seem right (very good with lambs liver although not the finer cuts, IMO).

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                              yep, yummy. this sounds like something i can make the parents.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. I'm meeting a good friend for the Monday night prix fixe menu at Jardiniere in San Francisco! I've never been there before. She invited me (and generously offered to treat me) because she has 'big news' and I'm thinking she's engaged - so excited! I went online and I guess we'll be eating Pâté de Campagne, Roulade of Hoffman Hen, and Blossom Bluff Plum Tart. I hope it's good, but I hope the good news is even better. :D

                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Jadore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lucky dog!! Um, Yeah, it'll be good!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sadly, my review is mixed. The pate was very good, the hen was just fine, the accompanying gratinee and haricots verts were lovely, and the tart was a bit burnt on the bottom. My friend DID get engaged (!!!!), and she was treating me, and she was talking with such excitement over dessert, that I didn't say anything. Her's didn't seem burnt, so I guess it was just mine. Eating upstairs was fun, and we had a very, warm attentive waiter, but the accompanying wine pairings weren't really to my liking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Maybe I'll go again with my husband some night? Is there anything else there you'd suggest? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Jadore

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh jeez, it's been sooooo long since we've spent time up in the SF area. I know where I'd like to go, but haven't necessarily been there already.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I do remember having an unbelievable dinner at Boulevard. Hope that is still there. But, like I said, it's been a while, we usually pass through the city on our way up to Mendocino each summer with the kids in tow, so we don't get to stop and savor the city anymore. I'm sure you can get recent recs on the SF board.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. The boyfriend asked for a batch of tuna pasta salad, but I still have chicken to use up, so I'm going to pull a fast one on the man.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Campanelle, shredded chicken, tarragon, sun dried tomatoes, black olives, and green beans in a mixture of balsamic vinegar, mayo, celery salt, and pepper. We'll have yet more corn chowder, plus a batch of those 'arepa-like' corn cakes (NYT recipe) to round out the meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                For dessert, I'm borrowing Katty's Nanny's crisp recipe: apple blueberry crisp with butter pecan ice cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Would he notice??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  PS - Can you share the link for the arepas recipe from the times? I have one from Gourmet that calls for special Colombian corn flour that is even hard to find in LA, maybe this will have a sub I can find. TIA!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lol, his palate is that discerning, yes, but I know that by the time he gets a bowl in his hands, all he cares is that there is *food* in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I would love to share the link, but technology and I are at a standstill: I won't try to learn anymore than I already know, and it will stop crashing IE. I have to restort to the lowly copy, paste, and paraphrase.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And do I ever know what you mean about that flour. I can't find it anywhere. Let me warn you about this recipe though. First) I use harina de maiz, which is a cornmeal more finely ground than, say, Anson Mills. If yours is coarse, give it a whirl in a food processor. Second) I altered this recipe after the first batch fell flat. The ratio of milk-cornmeal was *way* off, so I reduced the milk in the recipe by a fourth. After the resting period, be prepared to add more cornmeal until the dough looks right. And third, let's call these corn cakes, to avoid the ire of all the chows who who have had the real deal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 cup yellow cornmeal, finely ground
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 cup grated cheese (Cheddar or Monterey Jack)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3/4 cup of milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 tablespoons butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 cup fresh corn kernels, or frozen kernels, thawed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/4 cup chopped scallion
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/4 cup chopped cilantro
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 small chili, minced
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 tablespoons neutral oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Put cornmeal, salt and cheese in a large bowl. Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium-low until steam rises, add butter, and stir until melted. Remove from heat and add to cornmeal mixture, stir until a thick batter is formed. Fold in the corn kernels, scallion, cilantro and chili.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Let batter rest about 15 minutes, or until it thickens into a soft dough. (this is where I had to add more cornmeal before I cut the milk back). Gently form 3- to 4-inch balls from mixture and flatten with palm of your hand to a 1/2-inch-thick disk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Heat oil in a large skillet and cook arepas about 5 minutes on the first side, then flip and cook for another 3 minutes on other side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Good luck!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks so much! (don't worry, I still cut & paste!!) But I do know what you mean, a couple of years ago we hosted a party with a Havana Nights theme, and I found a great recipe for the arepas with carnitas & pickled onions in Gourmet (where else?!) that I just had to try. I spoke broken spanish to my housekeeper and asked her to try to find the flour, figuring she had better access to latino markets in LA than I did. Well, she came over (20+ miles out of her way) to tell me she couldn't find any, and we subbed the harina de maiz as well. Then we followed the recipe (picture that, me barely able to converse in Spanish, she knows no English :)) and I believe she did the same thing, added more cornmeal, etc and made mini tortillas her "Guatamalan" way. They were delicious and everyone was clamoring for more. Thanks for the heads up, I'll compare it to the recipe I already have!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Tonight we are having some chicken sub gum chow mein, some fried rice, and sweet & sour chicken. Have lots of fresh veggies to use. I think I'll make some spring rolls as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Home again and pretty wiped out from the weekend.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Defrosted some chicken tenders and still have lots of veg to use up...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thinking about simple roasted veggies (summer squash, fennel, mushrooms, red onions and cherry tomatoes) with thyme. It's cold here today so I'd like to turn on the oven, throw dinner in to do it's thing and take a loooong bath with my new Vanity Fair.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Figure I can throw the tenders in once things are close to being done, and I may even finally cook up some of the Anson Mills polenta integrale I've been hoarding.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I always enjoy returning home from the country. The cat's worn out and things do stay cleaner in the city. My feet, specifically.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Cleaning out the fridge before a trip: red beans and rice with andouille (which tasted more like bratwurst; grr store brand), ranch cole slaw, steamed snow peas with butter, steamed corn on the cob. Some chocolate ice cream is calling my name now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Something light to follow a decent bistro lunch:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Grilled mackerel - a Nigel Slater idea from Kitchen Diaries. Tomatoes get sliced and arranged on a plate. Fillets of mackerel go under the grill for a short while (he suggests till the skin burns a tad). They go onto the toms. Over goes a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, garlic, salt & pepper. Probably some crusty bread will be needed - possibly not ('twas a largish lunch).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Today while I was getting dressed, an oooold episode of Everyday Italian came on TV, and I ended up watching the whole thing, and then decided that I like Giada again! Woohoo! (Well, I like the old Giada again. Her new show, not so much.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          She made Tilapia with Purple Potato Crust and Rosemary Chive Oil: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gi...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And tonight, so will I! I'm also going to make a simple arugula salad to go with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dessert will be leftover Coconut Lime Flan: http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recip...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I made that yesterday afternoon for DH, because I felt guilty going out to dinner with a friend and leaving him all by his lonesome for the first time in our 1.5 month marriage! ;D He survived, and he said the flan helped.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. We've hit 200, so I've started a new thread here:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Herbed cheese balls and a green salad of some sort. Still trying to decide what dressing would work best. Perhaps simple oil and vinegar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Will be making an asparagus & mushroom quiche for dinner tonight patterned after this recipe but without Gruyere...I have some herb & garlic pub cheese that I'll use. I think crispy crumbled bacon is just crying out to be used in here as well. :-)


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A small side salad with homemade maple balsamic vinaigrette, and it'll be dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I finally succeeded in tracking down the elusive Tropicana orange tangerine blend and so tonight's dinner will be a Chinese chicken salad with shao bing (sesame buns, bought), marinated cucumbers (that Plenty recipe probably) and the pièce de résistance, lotus root peeled and sliced thin, blanched a minute in boiling water, and marinated in the juice with a tiny bit of salt. A delicious appetizer from the wonderful Wang Si restaurant in Suzhou.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That is definitely worth reposting! You should shout it from the rooftops.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It impressed me. I've never seen a lotus root in a market here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Off topic: how do you manage to get accent marks into your CH posts?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You mean like in the word sauté? Hold down the ALT key and use the number keypad (ALT- 0233 will give you the accented é).


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                They should have them in Asian markets, no? That dish is so refreshing. The place serves it on dishes shaped like lotus leaves, am trying to find one. (pic here)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                (On Windows, go to: programs/accessories/system tools/character map. The only one I have memorized is the é because it's in my last name.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wow, that meal looks great! Is that lotus root just blanched and marinated?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'll have to look for one next time I go to the Asian market. I'm sure they're probably there, but I've never noticed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes it is. I use a Kyocera or Benriner mandoline to cut them (about 1/8" in thick). Lotus root is usually with the other root/long keeping vegetables, looks like light-colored smooth-skinned yams that are joined together, usually in 2s.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh geez. *I* was the one who created the WFD XXXIX thread. I'll repost there. :-)