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What's For Dinner? Part LIX

Here we go again. Thanksgiving is only a little over a week away. Many of you have some tried and true recipes that you make every year. Some may be trying out new ones. Please share with us not only your holiday meal plans, but your every day menu's to help us improve or inspire us to try new things.

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  1. Tonight will be simple. We will be having some braut"s DH got from the local stupid market as well as some sauerkraut to go with. Some slaw on the side. Still have a lot of Turkey leftovers, but last night I made up some freezer meals for the MIL to deliver to her next week. A couple of different turkey dinners, some lasagna, enchiladas and enchiladas suiza's as well. Tomorrow I will be making turkey stock for the day!!!!!

    1. Well, yesterday DH went to the market and brought me back a gift. Some guys bring flowers, but mine brings a duck. Truth be told (and of course he knows this), I much prefer the duck. So despite the fact that we've been eating lots of chicken lately, I've been cooking w/ (too much) duck fat, and next week is another big one for poultry, tonight what's for dinner is . . . duck!

      I'm doing it according to "The Amazing Five-Hour Roast Duck" recipe (lots of slits in the skin; garlic & thyme in the cavity; 300 degree oven, finished at 350). I'm also going to take this opportunity to try the recipe for Fatty 'Cue's brussels sprouts (bacon, garlic, maple syrup, chile). I'll probably make a basic risotto as DH will be wanting his starch, and since my arugula is still nice, I'll make another very simple salad of it dressed w/lemon-OO.

      19 Replies
      1. re: nomadchowwoman

        I made that duck once. I can't say that I was amazed. Make sure you don't slice the meat by accident (it only happened in one or two spots, but it happens easily). I'll be curious to see how it comes out. Hopefully, yours will live up to its title :-D

        At casa lingua, we're having a pescetarian over for dinner, so appetizer will be fried calamari (that recent post by BobB about tubes or tentacles somehow got stuck in my head) - simply tossed with some corn starch, s&p and fried in vegetable oil. Dipping sauces: ketchup/horseradish cocktail sauce type o'dip and sriracha mayonnaise; plus lots of lemon wedges to squeeze.

        Main course pizza with green & red peppers, red onions, and 'shrooms. Simple green salad with toasted pumpkin seeds, cherry tomatoes, dressed with oo & rvv.

        Drinks: Spaten Pilsener followed by white wine. LOTS of wine, as my tolerance for Nyquil really has gone up in the last few days and I could use a good night of sleep.

        1. re: linguafood

          god i love fried calamari. another thing i've never made.

          1. re: mariacarmen

            Oh, honey: 'til you've made it at home, you haven't tasted GREAT calamari. If you need a recipe, ring me!

          2. re: linguafood

            Hi linguafood--I've made this recipe many times, and what I like about it is the crispy skin it yields and the fact that the recipe is pretty easy, no pre-drying required. But the success of the recipe, I think, depends upon how plump the duck is, and mostly here, we don't get fabulous ducks. The last time I did it, my duck was really scrawny and the meat was somewhat dry for my liking (I got so spoiled by the ducks available to the average shopper in Europe . . . sigh.)
            But after one meal of roast duck, what I really look forward to is making stock and cannelloni or enchiladas from the leftovers.

            Now, calamari is one thing I've never been able to master. Mine are either tough or greasy or both. Tried grilling after marinating, also tough. You use only corn starch, s & p? Is that the secret? How was it? Sauces sound great.

            1. re: nomadchowwoman

              mariac & ncw - you wouldn't believe how incredibly easy the calamari are. in fact, they came out so awesomely that i will put them in regular rotation. 1 lb. is $8.99 at wegmans which comes to a *very* generous appetizer portion for 3 people and is probably enough (with sides) as a main dish for two.

              it really couldn't be any simpler: cut the tubes in 1 inch strips. cut off the one or sometimes two really long tentacles of the tentacle pieces. in a bowl, mix cornstarch (lots of it) with s&p. don't be shy about the salt or pepper here.

              now, i fried them in a pot, but next time - and, oh, will there be many next times '-) i may well use the deep fryer so i can make a larger batch. the deep fryer will give you the appropriate temperature, but i find that if the oil starts bubbling along a wooden spoon, the temp is just right.

              toss the tentacles and tube rings in the cornstarch mixture. don't worry if you don't get all the insides of the tubes. shake of excess. throw in the hot oil (in batches, obviously).

              fry for 1-2 minutes at the MOST. take out and let drain quickly on a paper towel.

              put in bowl. grab as many as you can before the others do, squeeze some lemon juice, dip in your choice of sauce - the sriracha mayonnaise was my fave, didn't even bother with the cocktail sauce. my man loved them just with lemon.

              the key is to absolutely not overcook, really, a minute and a half will do the trick - and you can't really let them sit long. we have a counter in the kitchen so i just threw new batches in the bowl for us to eat right away.

              it was absolutely fantastic, if i dare say so. can't wait to make it again.

              1. re: linguafood

                I've never made this either. I thought I saw somewhere they were very spitty to fry (Bittman maybe) and not worth it. Must try. "grab as amany as you can before the others do" - kitchen wisdom.

                1. re: linguafood

                  Does frying calamari "pollute" the oil the way frying other seafood might? As I have a deep fryer, this seems like a great idea for a cocktail party given the short cooking time, but I'd like to segregate it from everything else if it will impart a fishy flavor to the food.

                  1. re: JungMann

                    Hmm. Hard to say. Haven't tasted the oil (shudder) afterwards... it does leave a lot of cornstarchy crud in there, so you may want to fry those little suckers last.

                    1. re: JungMann

                      It does...I worked on many a restaurant line and used to fry cook a ton of calamari as apps..keep in mind that we fried probably more than you will but it does impart a fishy taste to the oil.

                    2. re: linguafood

                      just copied this down. thanks much, LF, sounds great!.

                  2. re: linguafood

                    Barkeep, gimmee a glass o' that there NyQuil. Onna Rocksh, pleesh.

                  3. re: nomadchowwoman

                    Well, first off, gotta say something about the flowers. I met DH in Aug. 1984. Married exactly one year to the day later. DH has brought me flowers on the exact day of the month - every month since we met for over 26 years now (and sometimes I have been in other countries - he delivers)! So, don't underestimate the power of flowers! But - that being said, he is so willing to let me try other dinners and ingredients at will. Lucky me! I may have to now go for the duck!

                    1. re: boyzoma

                      WOW = THAT is impressive! my wonderful BF is not that way. i have received TWO red roses (you'll notice i didn't say bunches) in the 8+ years we've been together. he's just not that way, but i'm totally ok with it. Still, VERY impressive.

                      1. re: boyzoma

                        Wow, boyzoma--that is sooo romantic; sounds like you have yourself a wonderful, thoughtful guy. For all his sterling qualities, my husband has trouble remembering our exact anniversary date once a YEAR (in fairness, there are a couple of other family b-days and anniversaries in a four-day period; he really is the classic absent-minded professor!) And don't get me wrong, I do love flowers and will accept them gladly on the rare occasions they appear--but if it's a choice between a favorite food or flowers, I'm going to go for the food every time. : )

                        1. re: boyzoma

                          Seriously WOW on the flowers, boyzoma - but I've got to say I love that ncw's guy brings her a duck! I'd be in love either way! :-D

                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            I was happy that the boyfriend brought me creme brulee scented candles and four boxes of Triscuits when he got in the other night, and then this one starts talking about her duck, and that one about her flowers. Geez.

                            1. re: onceadaylily

                              OADL, candles that smell like food? AND some Triscuits? You've also got a keeper. ;-)

                        2. re: nomadchowwoman

                          NCW = i'm gonna confess - never made duck before. although i have used purchased duck fat, from the butcher. did you really start the 5 hour duck at 3 in the afternoon? did you eat at like 9? your dinner sounds divine.

                          1. re: mariacarmen

                            I started it at exactly 3, and we ate at 8:30, which is pretty typical around here. The recipe is pretty easy. Everything was good, but the BS (which I realize did not fit into the menu); they were pretty much inedible (my fault, not recipe; I'm going to try it again.)

                        3. Stuffed cabbage in the oven, (savoy cabbage leaves, ground chuck, cooked rice, tomato sauce, seasonings) oatmeal raisin cookies cooling, I'm done, mrbushy better like it, current knee issues made cooking tough today.

                          17 Replies
                          1. re: bushwickgirl

                            So sorry to hear about your knee. But I hear you there. Have those occasionally as well. But it's all weather dependent.

                            Stuffed cabbage. What time is dinner and can I come? Have not had that in years, but I love it.!!!!!

                            1. re: boyzoma

                              Me, too. Used to love when Mom made stuffed cabbage rolls. Also haven't had it in years.

                            2. re: bushwickgirl

                              I'm sure he'll love it. I have to make these soon it makes me think of home. I think my mom made the best stuffed cabbage ever, the sauce was perfect, light not to tomatoey. I have a great big cabbage in the fridge too. Sometimes I forget about these meals and they're perfect for the cool weather.

                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                  Thanks, all, the cabbage was great, and I hadn't made it in some years either. Next time, I'll use hearty green cabbage leaves, the more tender Savoy melted away while baking. I combined tomato sauce and cream and poured it over the rolls. I had a Polish BF who's mom made SC with a can of condensed tomato soup and the cream, she said it tasted like how it was made at home in Poland.

                                  Cookies are fini. Knees are better as well, thanks.

                                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                                    The cream sounds like the perfect touch. What spices do you use?

                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                      I used onion and minced garlic in the meat mixure,and basil in the sauce, very simple, along with salt and pepper. I got the stuffed cabbage from my Polish long time ex-boyfriend's mom's kitchen. She was a very simple basic cook but her food was great. I think the part that m,akes a good golumpki is the long slow braise. Cooked rice, ground chuck, roll it up, that's it.

                                      1. re: bushwickgirl

                                        ok - that's it - I never got out to go to the store for ingredients for a frittata that i had a mind to try - so I am moving to the freezer to take out a container of stuffed cabbage - I was really saving it - not sure for what! - but defrosting in the micro with some mashed potatoes for the gravy will make for a great dinner tonight.

                              1. re: bushwickgirl

                                feel better! those rolls made my mouth water.

                                1. re: bushwickgirl

                                  When I was in Egypt, I couldn't help but noticing all of the absolutely enormous cabbages everywhere. They are sort of football shaped and a good 2'X1'. Seriously. Huge. One of the real 'baladi' or peasant dishes is called mashie, and it is cabbage rolls stuffed with a rice and onion mixture. The rolls are very small -- sort of cigar shaped -- and they are packed together in a pot and then they have chicken stock ladled over them and they are cooked on the stove top. I asked my housekeeper, Nasra, if she would make us some, and she set about the task with much enthusiasm. I was surprised to go into the kitchen and to see her on the floor, merrily rolling the mashie. I kept on saying 'sh-woi-a, which means just a little, but she proceeded to make us a huge pot full. They were very tasty, but we wound up giving most of them away. Though stuffed cabbage has never been a big favorite of mine, I enjoyed these.

                                  1. re: roxlet

                                    thanks for the visuals! interesting story!

                                    1. re: roxlet

                                      That is a nice story, Roxlet. No meat, just onion and rice? What kind of seasoning?
                                      I ususlly make a big potful, as they improve with age.

                                      1. re: bushwickgirl

                                        I think that garlic was the only seasoning -- along with salt and pepper -- and the chicken broth had tomatoes in it as well.

                                      2. re: roxlet

                                        those sound so tasty..... so is the rice pre-cooked (and seasoned, presumably with cooked onion, garlic, s&p) or is it cooked in the broth in the rolls?

                                        eta: ok, as i started scrolling down i thought about how ridiculous that question was - stuffing cabbage leaves with uncooked rice and forming them into little footballs - how unwieldy that would be - rice everywhere!

                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                          No, the cabbages were like footballs, and the cabbage rolls were like cigars! And yes, the rice was all cooked up and seasoned before being rolled up in the cabbage.

                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                              Yes, the rice is cooked first. I can't imagine using uncooked rice, and the timing and amount of liquid it would take to make a decent cabbage roll, to say nothing of the difficulty rolling it.;-) I'm sure someone does it that way, just not me.

                                    2. After a long day of classes, and a test to boot, I wasn't in the mood to do much cooking. So leftovers it was. Leftover slow braised pork over rice, with a side of leftover buttered corn. Nothing fancy, but I sure cleaned the plate of every last bit. :)

                                      1. Home alone...made the next two weeks of my dog's food,didn't feel like cooking atfer that, so I opened a bottle of red and made a grilled cheese with bacon and tomato...that's all she wrote!

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

                                          i LOVE that making your doggie's food took up all your energy to the point you had a sammie for yourself! but that sandwich sounds really yum. i have to try that combo again, haven't had one in years.

                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                            My dogs (2 labs) almost died when they had the dog food recall a few years back, theyboth got deathly ill so from that point on we make their food...chicken, brown rice, peas and carrots (or some other green veggie) apples, sometimes eggs, sometimes chicken livers...it is all well balanced and they have never been healthier

                                            I love bacon and tomato sandys so just threw some cheese on it and grilled it up, I also forgot how darn good they are!