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What's For Dinner? Part LXIII / Part 63

We've hit 250 on the previous thread, so time to start a new one. As we get closer to the Christmas holiday, are you cleaning out fridge and freezer to make room for whatever holiday meal you're going to be making? Baking up a storm for Santa and his reindeer? Or just cooking as usual?

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  1. As for my dinner tonight - all I know right now is that I'll be pulling out several bone-in/skin-on Frankenchicken breasts from the downstairs freezer to defrost.

    I'm thinking a simple roasting with a paste seasoning of salt, pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil and finely minced garlic will work. Roasted brussel sprouts and basmati rice alongside. B&J's Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch ice cream should I want it for afters. :-)

    32 Replies
    1. re: LindaWhit

      Mm, brussel sprouts - another thing the husband doesn't like. Maybe next weekend while he's at work I'll make some for myself! I have Coffee Heath Bar in the freezer - I can't wait until after dinner :)

      1. re: krisrishere

        I never *used* to like Brussels sprouts, but then had them roasted at a restaurant - and fell in love with them! (I wish I could remember how to spell it too - will have to try and remember that it's "Brussels" like the city in Belgium!) I have some pancetta that I think I'm going to fry up and sprinkle over the caramelized roasted sprouts.

        And enjoy your Coffee Heath Bar as much as I know I'll enjoy my Vanilla Heath Bar ice cream. ;-)

        1. re: LindaWhit

          Well, I have to admit, I've never had Brussels sprouts. But, I've read so much about them on this board that I bought some to make later on this week. I figure I will roast them as well. I've been inspired. DH said he is game.

          1. re: LindaWhit

            well, "I' have to admit that i had no idea of the real spelling of Brussels sprouts!

            1. re: LindaWhit

              Forgive me for asking - and, of course, I've no wish to embarass anyone so will understand if my question is ignored - but how did folk think "Brussels sprouts" was spelled?

              FWIW, my own alternative spelling of them is "Vile tasting farty things"

              1. re: Harters

                LOL on the "vile tasting farty things", Harters. ;-D

                I thought it was spelled brussel sprouts - without the "s" on the Brussels part. ;-)

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  I've been sitting here, whispering, "brusselS sprouts, brusselS sprouts" for the last few minutes. It was awkward at first, but I think I'm getting the hang of it.

                  1. re: onceadaylily

                    I think we're all sitting here practicing and sounding like Gollum - "ssssss" "sssss"...

                    1. re: mamachef

                      ROFL!!! And OADL, it's hard to say it "BrusselS sprouts", isn't it? Easier to write vs. pronounce.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        We could all just start referring to them as sprouts de Bruge. ; )

                        1. re: mamachef

                          Cor blimey. We're getting all multilingual now. And isnt Google brilliant when your Dutch isnt up to much. Apparently in that part of Belgium, they'll be "spruitjes", so you can see where the English camne from. The French apparently is "Choux de Bruxelles"

                      2. re: mamachef

                        Except me. I'm sat here whispering "Brussel sprout, brussel sprout, brussel sprout". I've been spotted once and was given a funny look.

                        Over here, we actually never really use the Brussel/s bit, they're just sprouts.

                        1. re: Harters

                          I thought it was one word when I was little (and already skilled in sprout avoidance) - brusselsprouts...only when I learned there was a city named Brussels did the penny drop.

                          1. re: Harters

                            But when American say "sprouts" (or at least those Americans *I* know), we're referring to alfafa sprouts.

                            Sprouts de Bruge. I'm likin' it. ;-)

                             
                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              Damn! I wouldnt want to confuse the two. I might think I was ordering a nice bowl of salady stuff and then the farty things appear.

                              There's a fatal flaw in the "sprouts de Bruge" idea.

                              Bruges/Brugge ain't Bruxelles/Brussel. Nice town (although I know Zeebrugge - "Bruges on Sea" - much better.)

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                Aaack! Berkeley 1970's flashback! Alfalfa sprouts on everything...

                                1. re: buttertart

                                  It took until the 1980s for them to make their way to the East Coast. Either way - I'd rather have a shroom flashback than a sprout flashback. ;-)

                                  And whoever thought of alfafa sprouts on a hamburger ought to be taken out back and horsewhipped. Gack.

                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                    Me too...any other kind would be better.
                                    Once again the Left Coast was on the cutting edge. Somebody must have made some serious dough selling those abominations.

                                    1. re: buttertart

                                      There's a place near me that sells lots of sprouts - alfalfa, radish, mung and lots of others.

                                      Almost needless to say, the place is run as a vegetarian co-operative.

                                      Now, don't get me wrong. I've nothing against vegetarians but I doubt I'd be able to eat whole one.

                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                          "Eat a whole vegetarian?"

                                          I could probably pick at one half-heartedly but couldnt manage a whole one. I mean - they never look too appetising - all pale and sickly and not enough fat on them.

                                    2. re: LindaWhit

                                      No never on a burger or worse yet, pizza which I've seen done too, I have to admit I'm rather fond of all the sprouts. I regularly eat them on salads, and sandwiches. NO one else in the family will touch them, I just think I crave dirt. They sort of taste like that to me, but in a good way.

                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                        I love sprouts, especially bean sprouts (hard to find here now, after the big recall a few years back). Love, love, love them. I've never equated them to dirt, though. I have never tasted dirt, not that I was aware of. And now I am a bit curious, about how dirt tastes. I'm always fascinated when I read of people craving, and eating, it.

                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                          OADL, my baby sister has pica and has a friend in GA who sends her red river clay. Deb's also been known to eat a handful of laundry starch, claims not to have done this (yet) but says sometimes she smells really good, loamy topsoil and wants to pull over immedately and munch some. Now, good dirt smells delicious to me, but it never translated into me wanting to eat some. I guess I'll get my dirt-taste-lovin'-palate sated by eating beets, mushrooms, and truffle oil ; )

                                          1. re: mamachef

                                            That would make an interesting addition the the 'foods flown in' thread.

                                        2. re: chef chicklet

                                          I love mung sprouts, but I can't handle alfalfa sprouts. They make me feel as if I'm in the yard mowing the lawn with my mouth.

                                          1. re: mamachef

                                            They have a certain unmentionably hairy quality to them that turns me off. Good old beansprouts, A-OK.

                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                Well, I reckon, in a way, your spelling of Brussel is more accurate than Brussels as that's how the country's Dutch speakers would spell it. I guess that they are "Brussels", rather than "Belgian sprouts" because the city has existed long before the country.

                                No WFD dinner tonight at Chez Harters. I've been into the city today doing Christmas shopping (well, I ask you, herself expects a Christmas present *every* year). Nice lunch at one of the backstreet curry cafes - 3 different ones & rice for under £5. And we're back in the centre tonight - place describes itself as "pan-Portuguese" which seems to mean that they'll stick anything on the menu so long as a Portuguese ship once pulled into port 300 years ago.

                                Back with y'all tomorrow.

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  gads me too. and to think all these years....

                                2. re: Harters

                                  Harters - i'm embarrassed enough at myself - i really pride myself on my spelling, so i feel particularly stupid! i just always thought it was Brussel sprouts - not Brussels.

                                  eta: OH gads is right, Chef Chicklet - i just read all the posts above mine - i feel a wee bit better now.

                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                    LOL Well, it's nice to know I'm in good company. I think we all thought it was spelled without the "s" on the word "Brussels" because it's pretty hard to pronounce the phrase with that added "s"! At least that's my train of thought. :-)

                          2. Another dreary, rainy day. I'm going to pull some round steak out of the freezer and make some Swiss Steak tonight. Picked up some nice peppers yesterday so it sounded good. Will make up some nice mashed potatoes and some green beans to go with. Have a little Neapolitan ice cream in the freezer should we feel like it after (taking a page from LW's post) ;-)

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: boyzoma

                              Same weather for us on opposite sides of country, boyz. Comfort food is always good for days like today. And ice cream for afters is always a good thing. ;-)

                            2. The blizzard is moving in, and I think my cold is trying to become the flu. I'm a little dizzy, my coffee tastes funny, and my skin is a little clammy. Well, I have news for this cold: you will *not* be promoted today. We are having a blizzard, and that takes precedence. I have to make beef stew, and bake cookies, and maybe drink a little whiskey in front of the Christmas tree while I watch a movie.

                              I will not tolerate any viral bullying today. I am in a position to ENJOY this blizzard, and I damn well will. And the beef stew might become the spicier-sounding beef and spinach stew recipe another CH linked to (shoko, I think it's called), if I can find it. Apparently my bookmarks are full, and my computer just *acts* as if it's saving things for me, as if I won't notice that the five recipes I've bookmarked during the last two days aren't there. At any rate, there will either be spinach in it, to be served over rice, or a more standard guinness version, with biscuits. And two kinds of cookies: oatmeal coconut butterscotch for him, and oatmeal walnut chocolate chip for me. I would say that the cookies are for 'afters', but it is likely that they will be 'befores'.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                OADL, with a 'tude like that, the flu doesn't stand a chance. Especially with the whiskey to burn it out of you. ;-) Feel better soon!

                                1. re: onceadaylily

                                  Lily, you are a stronger woman than I am and I bow; I succumbed but things are on an upswing. Your attitude will keep you healthy. And that stew sounds delicious. Feel better soon.

                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                    You tell 'em OADL. A good hot toddy would be good for you (however, I can't stand whiskey). And the stew sounds great too. What good comfort food. Stay warm and kick that old virus up the chimney so it goes up in smoke!

                                    1. re: boyzoma

                                      Yeah, I'm real tough guys. I just closed the hall closet, but the weak latch gave way when I walked by, so that the door popped open. I shrieked loud enough to scare myself a second time. I keep looking at the clock wondering if it's toddy time, but it's too early. .:(

                                      I'm glad you're back on your feet, mamachef, and no one would be foolish enough to think you're weak! Oh, could you tell Paulo that I will be needing dinner around seven? Okay. Thanks.

                                  2. Working a lot of closing shifts this time of year (retail..) so I use my trusty crock pot almost every day!!!
                                    Tonight I'm using about 8 boneless skinless thighs (a crock pot's best friend) and I'll toss them with a few splashes of Worcestershire, honey, and liquid smoke, then a dry rub, then toss em in the crock with some sliced onion rings.

                                    I'll be at work but the family will have easy bbq chicken awaiting them!

                                    1. I have some "work work" to do today so although there will be a few things going on in the kitchen today, none will require much of my attention.

                                      A hefty chuck roast made its way into the crock pot along with some garlic, onions, dried wild mushrooms, red wine, veal stock and seasonings. These will simmer away together for the afternoon and will provide a lovely Italian Beef dinner later in the week.

                                      My fishmonger was excited to tell me he'd rec'd a small shipment of conch so I'll be creating a little island vibe and making some Bahamian cracked conch spritzed with a bit of lime to accompany cranberry-lime martinis for a little pre-dinner treat. Mr bc continues his quest to construct the "perfect pizza" later on so that's WFD tonight! I'll be back to let you know how/if it all turns out!!

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                        Well this was my first off-Island experience w conch and while the lovely flavours were there, in my mind, nothing can compare with eating it within the hour of it being plucked from the ocean. I’ve prepared this dish in the Caribbean on a number of occasions but always after a visit to the fish market and we definitely missed the sweetness of freshly caught conch. Nonetheless, the dish had the right balance of crispiness and tenderness and it was nice to be able to finish the dish w my wonderful pink salt.

                                        Mr bc’s pizza was really tasty. He was working w a dough we picked up in New York from a fave pizza joint. The crust was a strong point but perhaps a bit over-worked as Mr bc felt it was a little tough and, it did shrink back during the baking process. The sauce, yummy good and the toppings to taste.

                                        A wonderful dinner, especially since mr bc did most of the heavy-lifting tonight!!

                                         
                                         
                                         
                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                          i've never had conch, and even though you say this wasn't the best, the pics look VERY good and make me want to try it! the pizza looks yummy too.

                                          we had very regular take-out pizza tonight, but that's what dad wanted.

                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                            I've never had conch either, but I *do* have pink salt. I looked at those photos and 'oohed'. But I am in the Midwest, and the conch is not in my budget.

                                            But my favorite local place does dough for sale, and that caught my attention. We never take advantage of it, but always mean to try it. Playing with pizza is so much fun . . . when the harder equations are removed, and it's all about taste!

                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                              Thanks Maria and oadl. When we buy freshly caught conch in the Bahamas we can get 2 and sometimes 3 for $5 so although I begrudgingly paid top dollar for this little treat I tried to rationalize it by averaging the cost out over all my past purchases as well!! I wouldn't make the same investment again though as I think this is one of those things that are best enjoyed on vacation. I do love it though. The flavour reminds me of crab and the texture is more like a scallop, once well pounded of course.

                                              As for mr bc's pizza, I don't think he'll ever be satisfied unless he gets a wood oven as that's his favourite kind. I downloaded some instructions for him to build his own outdoors (and far away from the house) but so far all he's done is glance at the plans!! He does make a great sauce now but after several attempts at his own crust, he prefers to purchase the dough from pizza spots that he loves. Much, much less mess as well!!! ; - )

                                          2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                            I have a funny picture of my husband with a conch sex organ hanging from his mouth* after he cracked his first conch. *There was tequila involved and the local ladies were egging him on.

                                            Anyway, did not get around to getting to eat them until well past pitch dark. Best conch we ever had. Your conch looks so crunchity delicious. Mr. BC's pizza may have been a little tough, but isn't it pretty. Mr. Vanilla does not do black olives on pizza. I put double on my half.

                                            1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                              That's hilarious Sal, I know exactly what you're talking about. Every time we go to buy our conch on the islands the fishermen take great fun in promoting that "thing" as an aphrodisiac! That' great that you captured the moment!!

                                        2. After an astonishing dinner out last night, tonight will be v simple - roast chicken (or poule au pot if I get ambitious, have a nice big chook), taters, salad, maybe some frozen peas.
                                          The apple walnut pie is still lurking mostly uneaten, himself (the pie-lover in the family) saying he finds it sweeter than the pecan one I made for Thanksgiving...WTH???

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: buttertart

                                            Perhaps he should make his own pie next time buttertart! ; - )

                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                              Ain't gonna happen!
                                              I've been craving Indian flavors so I made a lemon rice to go with the chicken - butter, 1 onion, chopped, a few peppercorns, cloves, cardamom pods (need to buy new), cumin seeds, bay leaf, black mustard seeds, 1/4 tsp turmeric, bunch of dried curry leaves (which are good in quantity, otherwise you might as wll not bother). Chicken broth powder and salt. 18 mins, juice and grated rind one lemon stirred in at the end. Yum.

                                          2. I'm *finally* making that pot roast that I was craving last week.

                                            I browned a chuck roast along with some carrots, onions, celery and garlic. I chucked everything in the crockpot and deglazed the saute pan with wine and beef stock; dumped that in the crockpot along with a can of whole tomatoes. A couple of hours before it's done I'll cut up a turnip and throw that in there as well. When it's done, I'll puree a 1/4 of the sauce/vegetables to thicken everything up. I'll serve the pot roast with some mashed potatoes. Dessert, like many others, is ice cream; Coffee Heath Bar Crunch.

                                            Time to get back to baking...I've made marshmallows, fudge, Snow Covered Chocolate Cookies, Coconut Macaroons and M&M Pretzel candies so far. Phew!

                                            1. Snowing like gangbusters here in Chicago, so I baked a dutch apple pie and have gumbo simmering away on the stove.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: tzurriz

                                                A friend of mine was lamenting the snow on FB, and someone posted that they *loved* snow, and winter, and scarves and hats, but that the last time they were in Chicago it was (quote) "snowing SIDEWAYS", and I laughed. Stew and pie keep one upright in such conditions.

                                                1. re: onceadaylily

                                                  Indeed. The problem is that if you eat to much of the foods necessary to stay upright in a Chicago winter, come spring upright doesn't matter because you look like a bowling ball. ;)

                                                2. re: tzurriz

                                                  That sounds like a wonderful dinner tzurriz, hope you didn't get too much snow!

                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                    not too much, total right now is probably only 5 inches. The problem is that the temp today is about 10F. That's mighty cold. :)

                                                3. Dinner at church today; there are the usuals, chicken & pastry & fried chicken but other offerings included beef stroganoff, roast beef w/ potatoes & carrots, green beans with potatoes, cream of potato soup with bacon & shredded cheddar, roasted mixed vegetables, etc. Someone brought a "Pillsbury" cresent rolled chicken appetizer which was really good. The assortment of desserts: brownies, fruit crumb bars, pig pickin' cake, peach cobbler, jello molds, etc. graced the table. My contribution was a pasta salad with chopped ham, smoked gouda, various veggies & seasonings dressed in a mixture of mustard & Italian dressing; german chocolate cheesecake and frosted & decorated gingerbreads baked in Christmas tree molds. And as usual, I had to take a nap afterwards.....

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: Cherylptw

                                                    If this is the dish I am thinking of, I have to say that I have had that Pillsbury chicken thing. I have *made* that Pillsbury chicken thing. Chicken and cream cheese filling, rolled in the crescents? If so, I lost the recipe years ago, but still remember it. Was it that recipe?

                                                    Your contribution makes me think the choir sang when you walked in.

                                                    1. re: onceadaylily

                                                      I think so...except I think they pieced all the crescents together and made a big ring and cut it into pieces...it was really good but as far as the choir singing....today was a good day; impressed them with the desserts but these people are a tough crowd. One thing is, they're older southern folks who are not too open to dishes other than what they're used to so it makes it harder for me to be creative. Last month, I took a slowcooker of chili and it was barely touched because it "smelled" spicy but in truth, knowing how picky they are, I didn't make it that way, although it's the way I like it. Today, I brought 1/3 of the pasta salad home but I have to admit there is always a TON of food at this monthly thing. I guess I should make the same thing to take every month, but to me, that's boring. Oh well, there's always next month....

                                                      1. re: Cherylptw

                                                        If I had a church, I would just put you in charge of the dinners, really. I'm thinking back to some of your dishes that members of CH love, and it's a balance of spice that won them over. You really seem to be both *and* inventive in the kitchen, which is a difficult balance to strike.

                                                        Crescent rolls are interesting. They really are a decent sort of ready-made dough. I've done an obscene amount of things to it (using it as a crust, or as a dough for pot pie), and it always finishes well, as long as I factor in the excess moisture it has.

                                                    2. re: Cherylptw

                                                      You had me at "Fried Chicken" ! ! ! What a great spread, no wonder you were sleepy!

                                                      I think I've also had that Pillsbury crescent ring . . . at a Pampered Chef party I believe. I was surprised how good it was. We don't get the variety of Pillsbury products in Canada that you do in the US but crescent rolls are a staple. oadl, good to know you've had good results w them, I'll have to dig out my Pampered Chef recipes and take another look. I tend to buy Tenderflake pastry products or President's Choice puff pastry here.

                                                      1. re: Cherylptw

                                                        I once was going to a church covered dish and had a big pot of chili already made so i put it in a baking dish covered with corn bread batter and baked it off...no need for bowls at the dinner; served by the "wedge" ...worked out well

                                                      2. Today begins some serious baking (I know, another topic entirely) but I do need to go to work. After a consult with my trusty kitchen spy, I pretty much know what's available to me without needing to hit the Bowl before work. So a vegetarian minestrone and one with some Italian sausage, both made out of a pasta sauce base that I made and froze; both with added broth, spinach, and pasta. A make-it-your-damnself sandwich board will be served alongside, with a great big bowl of chips. There apparently has been an influx of baked goods, (thanks, moms girlfriends and little sisters!) so not to worry about something sweet. All in all about 2 hours work, which is what needs to happen here because in about three hours, 3 friends are coming over to attack the baking duties. Mr. has wisely planned to find "something to do" today; namely shopping for a nice gift for the Missus. At home, I've got the spaghetti sauce from yesterday's mini cookathon, and it's going to be pretty basic: Spaghetti, meat sauce, garlic/cheese/basil bread, salad. Decaf with Tia Maria and cream for whatever delightful show we decide to watch tonight, along with a plate of bakery.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                          I am quite certain I would gladly eat at either residence tonight :) Both sounds quite yummy!

                                                        2. Woke up at 8 am, let the dog out then fell back asleep....woke up two hours later and it's snowing...no, no, no! It's not Christmas eve! It's only supposed to snow on Christmas eve and be gone the next day! Okay, I'm finished ranting....I'll make myself feel better by making a pot of shrimp & okra gumbo and some cheese biscuits. NO dessert today; I went overboard yeasterday.

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: Cherylptw

                                                            LOL re: only allowed to snow on Christmas Eve. I feel the same way! Living in New England, it ain't gonna happen though. Enjoy your gumbo - that's a very "warm weather" meal to put you in a better frame of mind. A more southern frame of mind. :-)

                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                              Lol, I know..I'm from NY and snow is one thing I don't miss about not being there anymore.

                                                            2. re: Cherylptw

                                                              Tell me about it! Weather forecast called for no precip. today....there's at least 2 inches on the ground and still snowing.

                                                              Your dinner sounds fantastic. What kind of cheese do you put in your biscuits?

                                                              1. re: krisrishere

                                                                My cheese varies; this time I just used extra sharp cheddar but sometimes I'll add a couple different kinds. Smoked gouda is fantastic.

                                                            3. Yesterday the hubby pulled a couple of nice ribeyes out of the freezer and he hit them with the bbq. He misses summer and his everyday grillin' - me not so much. I do enjoy cooking, simmering, braising and roasting much more so.

                                                              So he grilled the ribeyes and claimed that the salad that was already made was enough. I felt guilty... so I got out the fresh broccoli put it in wok like pan with a little water, sugar, salt and then when it was bright green pulled it and dropped butter on it. Then thinking the little one needs something to mask that broccoli, I made fettucine alfredo. This is so easy, so delcious and works wonders with little kids to get them to eat healthy. On his plate I mixed tiny bits of broccoli with the cheesy noodles and he loved it. I don't know why I don't make this dish more often its really excellent.

                                                              1. the extent of tonight's cooking was rice. made it solely for the sake of making fried rice tomorrow, with leftover pork tenderloin for my dad. and there's defrosted spag sauce in his fridge. tonight was take-out lasagna. bleaaah. very unmotivated. just reading over all your wonderful posts to inspire me! i'm going out to dinner tomorrow night (Laotian), however, so inspiration will have to be held at bay for a day or two....

                                                                1. Good Morning Y'all!! Yesterday's baking session went off without a hitch but it was sort of a frenzied day. I did however come home to a clean kitchen and a plethora of really good cookies, courtesy of my buds who held it down while I went into work for a few hours. Got some things done ahead for today because manoman is time getting precious around here. Tonight's.....Tuesday! So we are once again headed South of the border with Picadillo, black beans, yellow rice, salsa and fried bananas with lemon. I started the rice, beans and salsa, so the picadillo and bananas are the only really hands-on things today. Good deal, because tomorrow is Birfdayday and I've got some figuring to do. On the trusty magical blackboard are two requests - Casserole and Flan. (?) Birfdayday boy's a language major from Wisconsin, so I'm racking my brains on how to vary a few casseroles to suit the bill. One is definitely Harter's veg.-and-lentil stew with the cobbler topping, but I'm a little stuck because I don't want the rest to be all about cream soups and egg noodles. Maybe a tamale pie and a chicken divan, with one classic tuna-noodle thrown in? Suggestions? Please?
                                                                  Casserole and Flan. Just you watch; next month it will be grilled cheese, tomato soup and jello. (And if it is, hell yes I'll make it!)

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                    I'm honoured you'd select one of mine for Big Day meal.

                                                                  2. We're going into the city late afternoon to visit the German style Christmas market. We shall gaze at overpriced festive trinkets, made in China, and decide not to buy. We shall gaze at overpriced non-festive gift-buying opportunities, made in China, and decide not to buy. We shall gaze at overpriced bratwursts cooking over coals. These we buy. Of course.

                                                                    And there'll be Dutch pancakes, Spanish paella, French flammekuechen, Swiss raclette, German potato casserole, English pork baps with apple sauce. All this we'll gaze at. And possibly eat.

                                                                    So, dinner, on the remote assumption that more food might be needed, will be nothing more than a bowl of the carrot & coriander soup that's defrosting as we speak. If not, it's tomorrow's lunch

                                                                    Now I must awaaaaay. There's Xmas chestnut & mushroom stuffing to be made and squirraled away in the freezer.

                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                      Gazing and grazing. Sounds like my kind of day, Harters! :-)

                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                        Would be nice if some entrepreneur would do one of these in our neck of the woods. About all you get is mulled cider and "crafts" usually crafted elsewhere and not by the vendors.

                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                          Someone needs to talk to Frankfurt city council. I was reading about the markets the other day. Apparently, the first German-style one in the UK was in Birmingham (England's second city) and there was some tie-in with Frankfurt. Many towns and cities in the UK are "twinned" with similar European places - my own borough is twinned with the French town of Beziers and Heilbronn in Germany.

                                                                          Anyway, long story short is that it was a success and apparently Frankfurt now organises several markets in the UK, in conjunction with our local councils. Here's ours in Manchester
                                                                          http://www.manchestermarkets.com/Spec...

                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                              OK, I just LOVE this Christmas Market, Harters! Eight different little marketplaces wending their way around the streets - great idea!

                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                'Twas a pleasant wander about.

                                                                                Overpriced crap made in China.

                                                                                Had a bratwurst (very nice). Frikadellen (sp?) - overpriced crap possibly also made in China. A potato dish (name escapes me) - OK. Herself just had roasted chestnuts (overpriced and overcooked).

                                                                                Bought some Belgian cheese (Passendale - seen this before in Belgium and was really surprised to see it here. Small producer in the village of the same name. Know the village well - it has great resonance for those of us who study the Great War. So many men from my town died trying to capture it in 1917).

                                                                                Came home and ate a Gruyere & radish sandwich as still had a little corner needing filling. And the last of the cheesecake.

                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                  Minor correction for accuracy of the story - although Passendale is still small production, it hasnt been a farm produced cheese for some years.
                                                                                  http://www.cookipedia.co.uk/wiki/inde...

                                                                        2. re: Harters

                                                                          That sounds like my idea of a perfect day in a perfect world in a perfect universe, Harters.

                                                                        3. Rain, rain and more rain. Mudslides and flooding. Just going to stay in and cozy with some chicken and rice with some mixed peas/carrots/corn/beans for a side. Might even build a nice fire to cozy up to with a nice glass of wine. Tomorrow comes soon enough and there is still some shopping to do for the grandsons.

                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                          1. re: boyzoma

                                                                            Stay safe, boyzoma. I haven't had a chicken and rice dish in forever. It was one of my favorites growing up (my mom made a creamy version).

                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                              Glad we are staying in for dinner. Just had word that a tornado touched down just about 60 miles from us. This never happens in Oregon (well, almost never). Horrible - my niece lives in that town and we don't know what's happening and there was some major destruction of businesses and homes (but no major injuries). Now I don't really even feel like dinner. But will make it anyway so DH has something to eat. I'll be on pins and needles for a while.

                                                                              1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                boyzoma I'm so sorry to hear this. Take good care, we'll be thinking of you and your niece.

                                                                                1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                  How frightening. I'll keep your family in my thoughts.

                                                                                  1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                    Well, luckily for an update, all is well at my niece's house. Close, but no major damage. Wow. Just thought I would do an update.

                                                                                    1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                      Glad to hear all's well, 'Boma.
                                                                                      hugs, Marci

                                                                                      1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                        Great news boyzoma, I hope you get your appetite back and can enjoy that dinner.

                                                                                        1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                          Thanks for updating us boyzoma! Glad she's OK!

                                                                                  2. I guess I should stop procrastinating on a recent chili thread on CH, and start making my own. I had such a craving for it yesterday that I sent the boyfriend to the store to get the ingredients, but I am no longer in the mood. I'm certain the smell of it cooking will perk my appetite up, though. I *did* forget to defrost the sausage, so it will be a beef and bacon chili, with a mix of three types of beans (kidneys, small red, and black), with bell peppers, jalapenos, ancho powder, a bit of chili-garlic paste, cumin and coriander, chili powder, loads of onions, tomato paste and tomato squished with my own hands, a bit of brown sugar, and some beer to deglaze the pan. There will be a jalapeno cornbread to go with (or, in my case, under), sour cream and a good sharp cheddar.

                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                      Yum. Chili sounds good. I use kidney and pinto beans in mine. NEED - TO - DO - THAT soon! Love the leftovers on bake potatoes, etc.

                                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                        When you say "(or, in my case, under') I'm guessing that you drop a piece of cb in the bottom of the bowl? I do that and this for me really makes chili rock. Top it all with sour cream, tomatoes, cilantro, green oinions, and cheddar. Tobasco sauce close by... Not necessarily in that order.

                                                                                        1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                          Exactly. I like to make a generous bed of crumbled cornbread, then ladle on the chili, sprinkle with cheese, then a spoonful of sour cream is either nestled to the side in the bowl, or swirled in. Depending on my mood.

                                                                                          The boyfriend likes diced onion on his, which I usually forget to provide, so that when he saw it on the cutting board last night, his *joy* caught me off guard. And made me feel guilty about the other 867 times I forgot.

                                                                                          We're having leftovers tonight, but last night the boyfriend mentioned that he really liked chili on spaghetti. Called five way? Three way? I don't know, all I've ever had in that manner was at that chain in Cincy, and I hated it. But I will provide a pot of noodles for him to construct that thing full of ways, *with* diced onion.

                                                                                          1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                            It's called Cincinnati Chili when it is on spaghetti noodles. My friend from Cincinnati used to bring it to Super Bowl parties all the time.

                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                              My stepfather always put his chili over elbow noodles, so that's the way I've always made it.

                                                                                        2. Tonight we made an early dinner of an oxtail stew DH has been working on for several days now. The gist of it is beef cooked low and slow with red wine, carrots, celery, and a touch of hoisin. He separately roasted some rutabaga, turnip, and new potatoes and tossed those in at the end after straining the sauce and picking the meat off the bones.

                                                                                          It was delicious, but very rich (despite chilling and removing the fat first). Food coma!

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                            tomorrow I think I'll make something vegetarian---either lentil tacos or chipotle black beans with red quinoa---to counteract the fattiness.

                                                                                          2. It's freakin' freezing out here in the boondocks... but thanks to mamachef, I'll have to give her salmon marinade a try and bake a couple filets in the oven. The original prep would be to grill it, but I'm not THAT mean to send my man out on the patio in these temps.

                                                                                            Side will be either tomato spinach or spinach with a dollop of creeeeaaaam freeeesh and or Indian spices.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                              Spinach #2 gets my vote because the salmon's not all that rich - and I think the Indian spices would be delicious.

                                                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                and how could one resist the buttery, fresh, creaminess of cream freeeesh? how, i ask??

                                                                                                of course, a few cherry tomatoes thrown in wouldn't hurt either.

                                                                                            2. I was hoping for a date out with the hubs and some sushi tonight, but that isn't in the cards (can't find a sitter), so I'm making spaghetti instead.

                                                                                              1. Bourbon.....
                                                                                                Beef/Vegetable/Stuff Soup....
                                                                                                Hot buttered cornbread.......
                                                                                                Chocolate Ice Cream......

                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Uncle Bob

                                                                                                  Too bad you're not local, Uncle Bob. You could've had your cocktail and dessert in one fell swoop in SF at Humphrey Slocombe's Ice Cream, where they make "secret breakfast", which is bourbon ice cream with munchy, crunchy cornflakes thrown in. ; )

                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                    Ah...Thanks, but think I'll just stay local here. ;)

                                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                        Thank you! You're much to kind! After two big bowls, and a large piece of hot cornbread, the ice cream had to wait for another time!

                                                                                                2. Tonight's dinner was surprisingly underwhelming.

                                                                                                  My boss, the fabulous chef, was experimenting with what he called "Italian Paella". He sauteed onions, peppers, fennel, artichoke hearts and garlic then added arborio rice to brown. He then deglazed the pan with white wine and roasted red pepper puree; after that reduced, he added lobster stock to cook the risotto along with a myriad of herbs and spices.

                                                                                                  When the rice was nearly done he added in pompano, abalone, squid, shrimp, mussels, clams and scallops. Overall the dish was OK, but it was pretty one dimensional, which was surprising because of everything that was in it.. Oh well, I guess you can't win 'em all.

                                                                                                  I'm still hungry.

                                                                                                  23 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: krisrishere

                                                                                                    Oh wow. If that's the one dimension your dinner was about, I wouldn't have any complaints! Seafood bonanza!!

                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                      Tell me about it! I wanted to love it... There was only one note to it, all you could taste was the red pepper flake - not that it was spicy, but it overpowered all of the seafood. I'm not sure what could have made it better though.

                                                                                                      1. re: krisrishere

                                                                                                        Oh, I understand what you're saying now. I hate it when I make something that _should_ be awesome and then it's just kinda meh.

                                                                                                        1. re: krisrishere

                                                                                                          <I'm not sure what could have made it better though.>

                                                                                                          Saffron? More salt?

                                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                            I'd have added a dollop of aioli with lemon on top as well.

                                                                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                              Something acidic was definitely needed! Again, it was my dish, my boss/chef made it for me. I told him it was good, but it needed something - he disagreed :)

                                                                                                            2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                              It definitely needed more salt, but I'm not sure saffron would have done the trick.

                                                                                                        2. re: krisrishere

                                                                                                          That's too bad kris, I can imagine how you feel. Great expectations and then a big let down. I think when we love cooking, its even tougher when things underwhelm. Do you have any chocolate or ice cream to sooth your soul? !! ; - )

                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                            Oh definitely! I was still hungry after I ate it so I had some crackers with Boursin and then some Coffee Heath Bar Crunch after :)

                                                                                                            1. re: krisrishere

                                                                                                              Heath Bar Crunch to the rescue. Yet again. ;-)

                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                Yes, unfortunately it's gone. It lasted a record 5 days though!

                                                                                                                1. re: krisrishere

                                                                                                                  You know, I don't even know what a Heath bar is! Hard to believe for a chocolate lover!! I'll have to keep my eye out for them next time I'm across the border.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                    Seriously? You can't get them where you are? I'll send you some :) It's English toffee covered in chocolate.

                                                                                                                    1. re: krisrishere

                                                                                                                      Seriously Kris, I had no idea what they were, this is the first place I've heard of them!! Can't wait to try them now though!!

                                                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                        These were the "special candy bar" that my father's parents always had in a cabinet. My grandfather *loved* them...and they've become one of my favorite candy bars as well!

                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                          I can't believe these have been around so long and completely escaped me! I lived in California at one point and have spent a TON of time in the US.

                                                                                                                          I think someone has been hiding these when they see me coming!!

                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                            In Europe, they're known as DAIM bars, and any IKEA store carries them. I know that b/c my mom is addicted to them.

                                                                                                                        2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                          I thnk you may know them as Skor bars? I'm sure I've had them in Canada.

                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                            Ahhhhh, Skor bars! So delicious, and one of my favourites! I'll be in Chicago next week so I'll pick up a Heath or 2 for comparison though. . . . for sake of research of course!!!

                                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                              Every great cook/chef MUST do research! Let us know how your taste test(s) turn out! :-)

                                                                                                                              1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                You know, every now and the, I don't mind taking one for the team!!! ; - )

                                                                                                                                My fellow Canadians are counting on me!

                                                                                                                              2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                I think they may even be the same thing, just with a different name. Both yum.

                                                                                                            2. I have been too busy for serious cooking, but with nearly 4 lbs. of cheese leftover from my Christmas party, I will need to get back in the game if I am going to clear out the fridge before I leave for the holidays. First up: smoked gouda. I decided to go the pasta route and made a cheese sauce with the smoked gouda with some Sriracha and white wine for acid. A touch of nutmeg added some interest while peas and diced red pepper added color. Toss in some browned chicken breast and mushrooms and serve over pasta and dinner is served. On the side: cucumber salad with dill.

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                Your pasta sounds great; I love smoked gouda...my absolute favorite cheese. I bought a stick of it from the supplier last week. Try it in a grilled cheese

                                                                                                                1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                  I thought I didn't like smoked gouda, but I guess I just didn't like the cheap stuff. This particular product had a very mellow flavor that didn't overshadow the cheese. It made a simple cream sauce wonderfully complex with a full, smoky flavor like bacon minus the grease and heaviness. I'll definitely have to try it in a grilled cheese.

                                                                                                              2. Finally, tonight I cooked from the COTM! I have so many sticky notes in that book but only had the time to sift through everything on the weekend to actually plan some meals.

                                                                                                                It's soooooo COLD here so we needed something to stick to our ribs! Chicken and Corn Stew seemed to fit the bill and, it didn't disappoint. A little crusty bread and a glass of Pinot on the side . . . perfect comfort food!

                                                                                                                Here's the link to my recipe review and photos in the COTM thread if you're interested:

                                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7055...

                                                                                                                1. It's a bone chilling 26 F. degrees here with the wind chill at 16F. Dinner tonight was some of the lentil soup made a couple weeks ago of which leftovers were frozen. To go with, grilled ham, cheddar, granny smith sammiches on whole wheat nut oat with a slather of spicy mustard. Man, were they good! Later I'll eat a hunk of gingerbread when I need a snack.

                                                                                                                  1. Dinner was supposed to be chicken soup with farro, kale and celeriac, but trimming the tree seemed to take all day. Ended up roasting some chicken thighs and sauteeing the farro with roasted tomatoes from last summer. It was satisfying and easy enough. My mind was on all the ornaments from the 60's my parents gave me this year. It was like Christmas morning, unwrapping each box. So thankful for these treasures.
                                                                                                                    The tree didn't turn out half-bad this year, and the kitten quite agrees.

                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                      Your dinner sounds good and your tree. . . spectacular!! What a wonderful gift to have received rabaja, it must have been quite an emotional experience.

                                                                                                                      1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                        Lovely tree, rabaja, and what nice parents you have. My mother always gave us each a new ornament on Christmas Eve, and I still have all of mine. Some are beautiful, and some are silly, but I love them all. The glass ornaments I've collected as an adult stay packed away though, as the cat enjoys my tree a little too much.

                                                                                                                      2. The pre-festive freezer clear-out continues at Harters Hall tonight. There's the carrot & coriander soup that didnt get eaten yesterday. There's a homity pie that we bought from the farmers market a week or so back (see WFD , Part LX). We'll have that with steamed brocolli (well, you can't have exciting food all the time)

                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                          My 12-year-old gets home from school before I get home from work, so I prepared a chicken for roasting, stashed it in the fridge and instructed her to put it in the oven at 5. I'll make a simple rice pilaf when I get home. This will be the first time I've attempted a cooking hand-off like that. We'll see how it works.

                                                                                                                          1. re: NYCkaren

                                                                                                                            Do let us know, NYCkaren! That's a good age to get them started on helping out in the kitchen.

                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                              She does a lot in the kitchen these days, actually. The tricky thing is learning to work together _ tricky for me as well as her. I am so used to cooking solo. But of course there are many tasks that are easier for two people to do than one.

                                                                                                                              1. re: NYCkaren

                                                                                                                                Good to hear she's already helping out - AND that you're letting her join you. :-)

                                                                                                                        2. In order to use some of my black limes (loomi) we are having somewhat of an Arabian Peninsula meal tonight. It is a stewed chicken dish called Arabic Chicken Kabsa and included yummy things such as ghee, chicken, fresh turmeric, a garam masala I've made, fresh ginger, grains of paradise, black lemons, and so on. We're making lebanese flatbread with ajwain and nigella seeds and hummus. Not sure of the side yet. Simple to make using exotic ingredients.

                                                                                                                          1. Pizza night in our household. I'm so excited, we haven't had pizza in ages because of our diet. I bought a piece of whole wheat pizza dough and we're just going to do the standards; pepperoni and onions. After withholding from pizza for so long, purity is key!

                                                                                                                            1. Tonight we will be having a "cleaning out the refrigerator" night. There is some of last night's chicken & rice, the last of some swiss steak, garlic mashed potatoes and a number of veggies to choose from. Gotta love those leftovers, as I have never really learned to downsize my meals much once the little sparrows flew the nest (and believe me, that was some time ago).

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                Sounds good to me! How did you make your swiss steak - I haven't had that in ages.

                                                                                                                                1. re: krisrishere

                                                                                                                                  I used round steak. Pounded with mallet till I got a good breakdown of tissue. Dredged in flour, salt & pepper and quickly pan seared. Removed from pan and added a little evoo & butter to the pan and sauteed 1/2 diced onion, 3 ribs diced celery and 1 whole diced green pepper. Added about 1 tbsp. tomato paste. Added 1 can of diced tomatoes, along with some thyme, oregano, Worcestershire, beef stock, salt & pepper. Add the beef back in and placed in the oven at 350 covered for about 2 hours. Turned out nice and thick for a sauce, the meat was fork tender and served with fresh garlic mashed potatoes an some green beans.

                                                                                                                              2. Beef stroganoff...cleaning out the freezer and I'm also baking up a storm.

                                                                                                                                1. We are staying in after going out 2 nights in a row. Ive made a cabbage, fennel, orange and Spanish sheeps milk cheese salad and then we will have paella with kale and eggs. Should be restorative.

                                                                                                                                  1. Last night I made some wonderful Melanzane Ripiene.

                                                                                                                                    Italian eggplant stuffed with ground pork, breadcrumbs, chile, basil, and pecorino, then baked off with some arrabbiata sauce. Ah, comfort food!

                                                                                                                                    The leftovers made a great lunch for today as well!

                                                                                                                                    1. Tuesday night was lentil soup, turkey pot pies, and a salad of beets, beet greens, and spinach w/pumpkinseed oil vinaigrette.

                                                                                                                                      Last night after a small tree-trimming party, we had lasagna (spinach pasta and bolognese sauce), balsamic-glazed brussels sprouts, and a salad of spinach, red onion, bacon, and satsumas. Cranberry-nut bread for dessert.

                                                                                                                                      My New Year's resolution was to learn to post photos on CH. With roughly two weeks in which to satisfy my resolve, I am finally attempting to post a photo. If it works, that's a photo of lasagna--I'll have to work on actual *photography* in 2011.

                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                        As they say ncw, a picture's worth a thousand words and my . . . . that's one tasty picture!!! I wish I was having that for my dinner tomorrow! Yum!

                                                                                                                                      2. Tonight was another hit from the COTM: Pork Tenderloin in Paprika Cream.

                                                                                                                                        Fragrant bowls of saucy, porky goodness served over steaming hot buttered egg noodles. . . what’s not to like?!!

                                                                                                                                        If you’re interested, my review of the recipe and photos are posted in the COTM thread:

                                                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7055...

                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                          Breadcrumbs, that looks wonderful!

                                                                                                                                          And a hint - if you use the "permalink" on your post, it'll help whoever clicks the link go directly to your post - like this:

                                                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7055...

                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                            Thanks Linda and special thanks for the tip on the "permalink" I had no idea! (clearly!!) I love that.

                                                                                                                                        2. OK, there will be Barnsley chops, browned in a pan and finished in the oven. There will be small cubes of potato tossed in oil and roasted in the oven in the fashion that, at Chez Harters, we call "little crispies". There will be steamed leeks. And a dollop of mint sauce (bottled).

                                                                                                                                          I'm currently making mini-quiche for Xmas Day canapes (mushroom duxelle cools as we speak) and if I ever get them finished with all today's interruptions, I'll make a plum betty for dessert.

                                                                                                                                          (Barnsley chops? I thought you'd never ask. It's a double sided, or saddle, lamb chop. Usually thought to have been first served at the Brooklands Hotel in the town in the middle of the 19th century. Apart from coal mining, it's the town's main claim to fame, IMO. Piccie here - http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyl... )

                                                                                                                                          20 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                            Seriously good dinner, Harters! And I expect to choose the rack of lamb entree tomorrow at our company's Christmas party. I planned the party and chose the menu, so I made sure lamb was one of the choices. ;-)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                              So it's YOU who are "She Who Must Be Obeyed"!!! Good work, Ms. Whit. (No carrots on the menu, I hope?)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                Don't know - perhaps in the vegetarian fettucine primavera with roasted veggies. But I like cawwots, so if done properly, *I'd* be OK with them. :-)

                                                                                                                                                Menu choices will be:

                                                                                                                                                1. Pan-seared Sea Scallops, Smoked Cauliflower Gnocchi, French green beans and wild mushroom broth
                                                                                                                                                2. New Zealand Lamb Rack with Sweet Potato gratin, Swiss Chard and Fig Demi glace
                                                                                                                                                3. 10 oz. Beef Tenderloin with Parmesan Asparagus Spears and Mashed Potatoes
                                                                                                                                                4. Prosciutto Spinach & Parmesan Stuffed Chicken over Seasonal Risotto
                                                                                                                                                5. Vegetarian Primavera on Fettuccini with an Olive Oil and White Wine Garlic Sauce

                                                                                                                                                Yeah, I'm *so* going with the lamb! :-)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                  Nice choices! (I may have to go with the scallops and smoked cauliflower gnocchi.)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                    You must, if you had occasion to wonder whether you were a bunny (which still cracks me up). Nice menu, wish I worked at your office! I'd go with he scallops. Or the lamb.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                      I love lamb, but I love scallops, too. The smoked cauliflower gnocchi were what got my attention, tho! Sounds really interesting.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                        Oh my, I had forgotten about those carrot purchases! LOL

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                        I think I would ask for a sampler plate of all 5! It would be hard to choose between that list.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                          Please get a taste of the smoked cauli gnocchi and tell us about it. Sounds rather fab and I wonder if it's recreatable in a home kitchen. I've had smoked mashed potato at a couple of restaurants in the last few weeks and I'm on the track of how to make it - no success yet.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                            I will definitely do so if a dining table neighbor gets the scallops!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                              Harters, I snagged a single smoked cauliflower gnocchi off the CFO's plate last night. These were *not* large - probably no bigger than a fingernail. They were definitely smoky-flavored - not overpowering for me, but someone had ordered the scallops and it *was* too overpowering for her (so she ordered a lamb rack dinner instead when the waitstaff realized she wasn't eating her original order).

                                                                                                                                                              I can only assume they're made with liquid smoke, but I would have no idea of the quantities.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                Thanks, Linda. I must try and track down this liquid smoke - I'm pretty sure it's not generally available here. Any recommendation for a major brand I might look out for?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                  Around here, we have Wright's All Natural Hickory Smoke. Don't know if it is just a pacific thing or not. But it's a start for your search and it's very prevalent around here if that helps.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                    Harters, Stubbs seems to be the brand most often seen in my local supermarkets, and according to this Yahoo UK/Ireland query, in many of your national supermarkets as well.

                                                                                                                                                                    http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/...

                                                                                                                                                                    It also seems to be available on the UK Amazon.com site as well.

                                                                                                                                                                    If you can't find any, please let me know via Email. I'd be happy to send you a bottle.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for that. Stubbs seems to be the only one mentioned on UK sites - a number of posts saying supermarkets used to stock it but have now stopped. However, I've tracked down a bottle on ebay and it's winging its way to North Cheshire as we speak. That said, it isnt coming more than 10 miles - the only listing was a company importing American sodas, chocolate and the like - and they're just down the road near where I used to work.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                        Good to hear you've found it, Harters. Again, take all of the comments given about liquid smoke as gospel - a little goes a VERY long way. A bottle of Stubbs should last years. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                          By the by - how the heck do I actually use it?

                                                                                                                                                                          I was at the farmers market this morning. As usually there was a hog roast. This was a beautiful whole pig, with crisp crackling (although not much fat). It had been long cooked elsewhere and the meat was just "pulling" off the carcass with tongs. I had some on a barmcake, with apple sauce and stuffing (£3). It was lovely but it seemed just the thing that would have benefitted from some smokiness as I'm sure it had been oven cooked.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                            There are some threads here on Chowhound that might help - most people use it as part of a marinade - again, a little goes a VERY long way! And as someone said in the first thread, do *not* measure over your recipe, for fear of over-pouring and ruining it.

                                                                                                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/397618
                                                                                                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/296044
                                                                                                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/660788
                                                                                                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/285545
                                                                                                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/298602

                                                                                                                                                                            The whole Google/Chowhound search: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&am...

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                            Excellent, LW. Have a great evening tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                          3. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                            mmm, love the little crispies - like to toss those into a frisee/lardons salad with a poached egg.

                                                                                                                                                            do you freeze your mini-quiches, then, until xmas?

                                                                                                                                                            a pork tenderloin is marinating since last night, in sambal oleek, and also in a chili garlic sauce (both products are made by the same Rooster company and seem to be different only in the addition of garlic, although the sambal smells more vinegary), xiaoxing wine, fish sauce, lemon juice, br. sugar, and granulated garlic. not sure about anything else yet, but there will be spicy pork.

                                                                                                                                                          4. Tonight I'm going for it. Going to broil up some pork chops. To go with, the famed roasted brussels sprouts (which I have never made before). Not sure how I am going to roast them though. Know there will be some EVOO, S&P - but trying to decide if I want some onion in there or maybe use some maple syrup or some minced garlic. To cut in half or not to cut in half. I'm open to suggestions for a first timer. Along with that, it will be some cheesey potatoes au gratin.

                                                                                                                                                            BTW - I've been reading all the sprout threads on CH I can find. And there are so many choices. I want the first experience to be the best.

                                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                              I'd cut them in half, so you get more of the brown, caramelized bits (which I think are the best part of any roasted vegetable). Depending on the oven temp, an onion might turn into coal....

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                Agreed on the cutting in half. Start them cut side down after tossing with olive oil, salt and pepper to get a good caramelization, boyzoma. I'd skip the onions, but perhaps drizzle them with a bit of maple syrup towards the end (stir a couple of times to get the browning all around).

                                                                                                                                                                I often just add a 1/4 cup of white wine towards the end, cover the pan loosely with foil, and let them finish roasting while the wine reduces and adds a nice glaze.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                  The white wine sounds good. Wouldn't have thought of that. Would you still add a little maple syrup as well?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                    No, I wouldn't. The wine actually reduces/evaporates to practically nothing, but it adds to the slight sweetness of the brussels sprouts themselves. For me, it would be an either/or. When I made them this past weekend, I used the wine. And if you have bacon, chop it up, pan-sauté it (I used pancetta), and sprinkle it over the top of the sprouts when serving. That adds a nice slightly salty counterpoint to the sweet roasted sprouts.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the info. I'll check with DH and see if he has a flavor profile he wants to try most as he is doing the chops. I really appreciate the feedback.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                Agree about cutting in half, especially as it's the first time--they're easier to judge when perfect, and you do have more caramelly edges. Maple syrup sounds really good for glazing them, esp. since you're having pork chops. Whole dinner sounds great.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                  Good point - the maple syrup would be nice with the pork chops.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                  i often toss them with olive oil and brown sugar, and then when they're almost done, squeeze a bit of lemon juice over them.
                                                                                                                                                                  and of course, chopped bacon strewn over the whole shebang never hurts....

                                                                                                                                                                3. Last night I tried a new Julia Child recipe - chicken ballontine. A whole breast is boned, stuffed and rolled with a sausage stuffing, and roasted. We both thought it was delicious, especially with the pork sausage I used, and it's pretty enough for company. I also like that you can prep it ahead of time and when guests come, just throw it in the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                  Details and more pics here:
                                                                                                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4463...

                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                                        wow, that's impressive. nicely done!

                                                                                                                                                                      2. I defrosted a one-pound piece of beef tenderloin yesterday, intending to roast it and have it on a Thai-inspired sald, and in lunches over the next few days. Got dragged out to dinner and what did we split? The hangar steak. I love me some red meat, but try not to eat it everyday. Still, it's a nice piece of filet and I don't want it to go to waste. This says to me, Dinner Party!
                                                                                                                                                                        Any ideas, other than your standard roast and slice? It'll be nice to have a couple friends over to see the holiday decorations and spread some cheer.

                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                          For hors d'ouevres, you could cook it rare, slice it, and then cut the slices into rough squares. If you had some onion jam or caramelized onions, put a dollop of that on each, top w/a piece of blue cheese and (a) stick a small skewer or toothpick through it, (b) stick a toasted baguette slice and a piece of arugula under the little piles or (c) serve the steak and cheese in an endive leaf or on a slice of radish.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                            rabaja, you could cook it mid-rare, shave it as thin as possible, and serve as small prime-rib sandwiches, with horseradish cream or mustard - or if you have better than bouillion or leftover gravy from something, small French dips. But wait...there's more! It just occurred to me: 1 lb. tenderloin, some good bread, a big salad........Fondue Bourguinonne!!!!!!!Screams holiday to me!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                              Oh my goodness, you had me at French dip. Thank you!!!

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Well, since we had roast chicken last night, tonight it'll be the Nigella Lawson-via-Claudia Roden dish called tagliatelle with chicken from the Venetian ghetto. Pasta, chicken, rosemary, golden raisins and pine nuts. Tasty and fast if you've already roasted the chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: NYCkaren

                                                                                                                                                                              Is there a sauce as such, or just those ingredients mixed into the pasta? This sounds pdg.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                The sauce is mainly the pan drippings from roasting the chicken. When I'm going to make it with leftovers I save the drippings in a jar.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                    mmm is right. i'll have to look up that recipe. (unless you have it handy?)

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Comfort food: Roast chicken. (Molly Stevens's) braised cabbage. Tiny lima beans (cooked w/onion, garlic, speck, and chicken stock) and brown rice. Sliced cold beets and red onion in orange vinaigrette.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. I joined forces with three friends for a complete clean-out-the-fridge dinner. We ended up with mahi-mahi covered in mushrooms and onions, sauteed green beans, potato cheddar soup, and spring mix salad with dill, cucumber and tomatoes. It was a bit of a weird combination, but still tasty, and we used up all our odds and ends!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Pork tenderloin posted upthread was spicy and vinegar-y, and tender too. Served with plain white jasmine rice, drizzled sauce over, and a salad of romaine, juicy papaya, shallots, mint, and peanuts in a rice wine/ginger/lemon dressing. Since we also made a pork tenderloin the night BEFORE (not quite as tarted up), tomorrow night: "fusion carnitas" tacos! somehow not as excited about this prospect as that exclamation point would seem to indicate.....

                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                    I know what that exclamation point meant, g/f. I can see your face when you typed it!
                                                                                                                                                                                    When I saw the pork upthread I knew it was going to be good, now her, oh my goodness; oh my goodness. And that salad sounds like just the thing, with the crisp and the crunch of the peanuts. I'm going to have to tell you that I am stealing the last from you, and I am adding cucumbers and mung sprouts, and then I'm putting prawns on top. I don't know when or how, but I'm gonna do it, and I'm gonna eat it an it will be all your fault. : )

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                      i like being to blame for your meals!

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Sorry to post late re: Wednesday and Thursday - this is just about the first chance I've had to take a deep breath and do this wonderful thread justice instead of being totally terse:" chilecornbreadsalad, chickensaladpotatoes." So, to re-cap: I had but one lone Birfday request this month, "Casserole and Flan." Certainly do-able; a little offbeat. When I asked him about it, he told me that his mom's best friend made the world's best flan, and that his mom had never gotten the hang of it but he loved and craved the stuff, and as for casserole (no kind specified on board or otherwise) he almost never got to eat them 'cause his dad was all about meat and potatoes and on their board casseroles did not appear. I ended up doing Harter's Root Veg. and Lentil Stew with chive/cheddar cobbler topping. I chunked potatoes, onions, carrots, parsnips, rutabagas and turnips and braised them in a bit of vegetable broth after which I added 6 cups cooked green lentils and a combination of tomato puree and crushed fire-roasted tomatoes. I seasoned with s&p, thyme, marjoram, and some garlic.I baked off a pan of cat's-head size biscuits and added chopped chives and finely-shredded extra-sharp cheddar, and served them on the side so the vegans could have at it. With the rest of the double recipe of dough, I added some dill and used it to top a pan of chicken pot pie filling: combo of white and dark meat, frozen pearl onions, pimientos, mushrooms, peas, carrots, celery and potatoes, with thickened chicken stock finished with evaporated milk because I forgot cream, and then used the rest of the chicken to make a Jambalayastyle rice casserole, with rice, trinity, garlic, onion, chicken, hot smoked sausage, small shrimp, and diced tomatoes and juice and clam juice, seasoned w/ thyme, lemon thyme, crystal, salt and pepper, picante, worcestershire and lemon juice. (Remember, I said -STYLE, not the genuine article.) And finally, beef tips and mushrooms over noodles that I started the night before. The flan was purchased from a Mexican restaurant in Fruitvale that didn't flinch when I explained poorly that I wanted some 30 of flans in not much 30 cups. Not quite sure what I said, but a great laughing time was being had by all when their 5-year-old adorable grandson came upon us to translate. So. Ok. Happy B-day, Ben!
                                                                                                                                                                                    Dinner that night at home, by some mysterious coincidence, were these VERY SAME CASSEROLES, addition green salad addition white wine subtract flan add See's candy. Today (Thurs. the undisputed champs - no leftovers - were the veg. casserole and the pot pie.) Tip o' the hat to Harters. I finally got big shopping done for them (they take care of their own house and other meal supplies and basics) which necessitated another fast meal: Burger Bar!! Beef, Ground Turkey, and Bocas on the flattop, buns and garnishes; Copycat KFC slaw by me, Garlic Fries with vinegar andn parsley by whoever it is that Costco sells in the oh-my-god sized bag (s), baked beans by B&M, and ice cream by Dreyer's. Got home to Mr.a little before eight; dinner for him apparently consisted of an apple, a chunk of sharp cheddar and some caramel popcorn with a beer back, so he won't be enjoying these pork, green chile and green olive tamales I just bought off an abuela's hand truck on the way home. More for me, with a squeeze of lime and some chopped cilantro. A beer. Goodnight, y'all.

                                                                                                                                                                                    11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                      G-DAMN!!! should we just close this board down, right here and now??? Amazing prowess, deliciousness had by all, you are the Queen of WFD tonight!! Drooooooling over those biscuits....

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                        SERIOUSLY the Queen of WFD - amazing post, mamachef - the guys must love having you cook for them!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm with all of you! mama's the best. I'm drooling just looking at that list of foods. It truly is AMAZING. You get the Medal of Honor for that.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                        When I see "flan", I usually think of of what that is in Britain - a custard filled pastry case, often topped with fruit. I also think of what it is in Spain - the French dish of creme caramel (although in the part of Spain we often visit, it's "crema catalana"). Is it one of these in America or something different again?

                                                                                                                                                                                        John

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                          Flans in the United States are usually of the Spanish custard variety, although they are sometimes made savory without the caramel sauce. Custard tarts are a comparatively rarer sight.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                            John, we had the creme caramel version. Apparently that was the point for this fella: THE UNMOLDING!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                              One of Mrs H's favourite desserts. Not one of mine, I'm afraid.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                Well, obviously, for more reasons than one, your wife has good taste! (I like flan as well) ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                            Ye gods, girl, you win the culinary Olympics 100 meter dash hands down, Ben Johnson w/o the roids! Love the dinner equasions, especially the See's candy, our corporate gift supplier this year by dictum of me.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                              Love their chocolate-covered almond clusters.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                Nuts 'n' chews, baby, all the way. The hard toffee in milk chocolate, any of the nuts, the walnut caramelly thing dipped in choc, oh yeah. Breakfasting on some "pecan patties" (Turtles type) from Josh Early Candies in Allentown, PA this am, very good indeed too (their licorice is too fantastic).

                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Last night just had to be shepherd's (properly cottage, but shepherd's was what my mom called it and there was never lamb in her kitchen) pie, because it's been ungodly cold and we (neophyte homeowners, clueless and unhandy division, where's the super?) had been suffering from a furnace problem which finally got fixed yesterday. So put 2 small onions and 5 cloves garlic in the fp, browned it up, added 1 1/2 lb of cooked and then ground top round (that made a crappy London broil), 1/4 tsp cayenne, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1 Tb Dijon mustard, 1 Tb (elderly, needs replacing) horseradish, 5 squirts Worcestershire, 1 Tb dark soy sauce, 1 Tb balsamic vinegar, a Maggi beef cube (it wasn't terrific beef to begin with), 1/2 cup good tomato sauce frozen in the summer. Topped with microwaved and mashed spuds with butter and buttermilk in them, s&p, bits of butter, and a very fine dusting of cayenne. Baked 20 mins at 375 - would have let it go longer but we were starving - had broken into the new crop Antep pistachios a former colleague had brought us a while back.
                                                                                                                                                                                            My verdict: m-m-good, especially with some nice squirts of ketchup (can't help myself).
                                                                                                                                                                                            His verdict, verbatim: "Compares favorably with the one at Sir Dan's..." (our residence at UofT, dining hall of horrors, the shepherd's pie made with instant mashed and the beef tasting of the grinder and exuding a nasty liquid on your plate). It was meant ironically. better have been, anyway.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Some Chinese cucumber salad on the side. For him.
                                                                                                                                                                                            PS my mother's had a (very very small) onion ground up with the meat, leftover gravy, and MAYBE a squirt of Worcestershire if she was feeling posh-y. Salt and pepper. Butter and paprika on top. Excellent mash though and it always hit the spot.

                                                                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                              "some nice squirts of ketchup (can't help myself)."

                                                                                                                                                                                              I'd regard ketchup as an essential condiment with cottage pie.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                Me too. There was a nice hot one in Canada we used to get. It's not a favored condiment with himself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tempt himself with a bacon sandwich (bread must be crappy white supermarket variety); big dollop of ketchup. I can almost promise conversion to the cause.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  As for hot ketchup and other stuff, I'm a very big fan of Tracklements - a smallish producer of, erm , tracklements. Including a hottish tomato & red pepper ketchup. Available your side of the pond from these good folk:
                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.belgraviaimports.com/Produ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Actually, there isnt much about Tracklements' products that I dont like :-
                                                                                                                                                                                                  )I can also thoroughly recommend the cranberry sauce with port - which often finds it's way into a sauce for duck at Casa Harters.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.belgraviaimports.com/Produ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tracklements is available in non-high end supermarkets and gourmet stores as well. Perhaps not the full line, but definitely you'll see a few of them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'll have a shuftie around these parts for the Tracklements items.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tomato anything is a bit of a no-go with himself (more for me department).

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Perhaps try their brown sauce for himself. Whilst it's made mainly of tomato, it's heavily disguised by vinegar & spicing. My BiL who claims to be allergic to tomato, happily eats this (the arsehole lies about other things as well). Brown sauce is the alternative bacon sandwich accompaniement and goes well with sausages. I have a feeling that the sauce tends to be marketed in the US as British " steak sauce" or similar (although we don't really have it on steak)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                          He was raised on A-1 steak (family name "snake") sauce so would probably like it. Tamarind in it, too? (We always had a bottle of HP on the table, my dad loved it - beef was always well-done by my mother - my dad and I liked it medium, but if it were the slightest pink my mom was not happy - ao it went a long way to jazzing it up).

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Probably tamarind. Havnt got a bottle at present, so can't check. Very similar to HP but a better kick, IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Grilled mahi mahi with pineapple salsa, jasmine rice, and julienned veggies (carrots, pepper, zucchini).

                                                                                                                                                                                                Tonight I'm going to go ultra-gourmet with hamburger patties (at least it's grass-fed beef), roasted potatoes, and green beans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                We have had a zillion parties to go to this year, so I'm keeping things pretty plain at home, so I don't get gout.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Tomorrow night is potato-leek soup from David Lebovitz's blog. http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2010/01/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: dalaimama

                                                                                                                                                                                                  "so i don't get gout" - love it! 'tis the gout season....

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Today is my 3 year old's birthday, so she got to choose the menu (with a little help from mom) and we are having all of her favorites.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Challah, popcorn chicken, mac n cheese, corn on the cob, and baby carrots.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The challahs just came out of the oven. The popcorn chicken I caved and bought the frozen stuff. It's a first for me buying it, but she loves it and has been talking about it ever since she had some at a friend's house. Seriously, 6 months of begging for popcorn chicken! Homemade baked mac n' cheese (with pumpkin - I've shared the recipe before), corn on the cob has to be frozen at this time of year, but she'll be so excited to see it on the table, and baby carrots that I'm debating between steaming and roasting. Our table will be very yellowish tonight. LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, and of course, cake!

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tzurriz

                                                                                                                                                                                                    A very happy birthday to your 3yo! Enjoy the yellow dinner tonight! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tzurriz

                                                                                                                                                                                                      a three year old who knows her culinary mind! happy bday to her!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. A virtuous supper tonight. A freezer brown gloop - ragu. Pasta. Parmesan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Egremont Russet & a satsuma for "afters" (that was the virtuous part).

                                                                                                                                                                                                      We've done the Christmas decorations this evening. And, right on cue, it's snowed. Awwwwwww.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sleighbells ring, are you listenin'...

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Making spinach fettuccine (store-bought) with mushroom sauce - got a bunch of oyster & shiitake shrooms as well as one portabella cap. All will be chopped up and added to a pan (most likely my wok) in which a shallot and some crushed red pepper have been sautéing in rendered pancetta.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Deglaze with some red wine, add a chunk of my Knorr porcini cubes, a little bit of crushed tomato, and perhaps some cream freeesh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Undercook the pasta a minute or so and finish in the sauce, add some chopped parsley. Some parm will be grated over our respective bowls. Yowzah. Good sustenance for a late night gig that will involve a few beers '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. i've probably mentioned that I buy a baquette of bread called sourdough french bread just about every single morning. I love this stuff. 110 for 6 inch cut, makes for a better sandwich than most breads I find. Anyway. My dh and I both love it, and sometimes about half will sit, and then I have to either eat it or throw it in the freezer. Yesterday we had about that amount left and I just can fit another thing in my freezer.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Think Think Think. I cooked some mushrooms with onions and wine and garlic. The butter made them saucey and plump. Then I cooked turkey burgers of all things. The bread mind you at this point is so hard it really looked like I should make crostini. So I grilled the burgers seasoned with all sorts of good spices, and when they were just about done put the bread that was now cut into sandwich size and sliced open over the burgers. Then put a lid on the pan.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          This softened the bread right up. Who knew turkey burgers could be so good. Swiss cheese, and good Dijon mustard. That's a burger. I served Italian flat beans, and some mac and cheese for the little one. I hate wasting food, and I found this to be a good save rather than the freezer for the bread!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I hate wasting food too and I also hate putting it into the 'depths of the freezer'. Good job CC!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Took the leftover apples and pears and made a crisp. Made a fairly pathetic (1st try) fettuccine alfredo w/ condensed milk, butt load of garlic and onion whirled in the blender and then heated w/ romano. Edible w/ a spinach salad and dried cranberries. Glad there's food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. pork tenderloin tacos came out better than expected. made a llajwa (bolivian hot sauce) with the infamous ghost pepper, which i'd read about on another thread, and which by happenstance i found recently in my neighborhood. They supposedly have three times the scoville pts. that a habanero has. Used one whole pepper blended with two toms, one onion, handful of parsley, handful of cilantro, couple three cloves of garlic, good bit of salt - not too shabby, and definitely not too hot. I did take a teensy sliver and tasted it on its own.... the spot on my tongue it hit burned for 15 minutes straight, and i can see how a whole mouthful of that would kill, but in the salsa it was fine - not even that sniffle-inducing. Served the tacos with scallion/cilantro rice, and a simple lettuce/tomato salad in a cumin dressing alongside. simples.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              tomorrow night going to a friend's yearly shabayalda - all night winter solstice party, where there will be oodles and oodles of homemade persian food. so no cooking for me.... but should be great fun. it's a very lively family with offshoots of assyrians and assorted neighbors and music and performances. will see if i make it all night! lots of booze too...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                both your dinner and that party tomorrow sound great! persian food, music & booze.... what's not to love!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Spent most of yesterday evening cookie baking so decided to make a batch of slow cooked bolgnese with beef & turkey sausage; with spaghetti & a salad, it was what dinner was.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tonight, Chinese bbq pork ribs, sauteed mixed mushrooms, broccoli, carrot, green bean with garlic blend and spring rolls. Frozen vanilla custard for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. A simple starter of fried mushrooms on toast - mushies, garlic, parsley, butter, toast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Main course (me) - pheasant, pot roasted with celery, red wine, thyme. Mashed potato

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Main course (herself) - shepherds pie. Peas. (Herself isnt keen on game)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Cheese for afters - the Belgian stuff we got from the Xmas market.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (Went to one of the nearby garden centres today to get some festive houseplants. As with just about every garden centre, Father Christmas is there for the kiddies. This one also had real genuine reindeer tied up outside Santa's tent. I overheard one little one saying "Mummy, mummy - look at the reindeer - it must really be Father Christmas and not some man dressed up." And I'm sure she was right. Awwwwwww)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    awww, reindeer! i hope they don't become someone's dinner!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ah. You're setting me a challenge then :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've never eaten fresh reindeer - but I have had dried meat. Before she retired, Mrs H used to have a job with an oil company which took her to various European cities from time to time. She'd always bring me back a foodie present - invariably something she'd grabbed at the airport before catching the last flight back to the UK. I recall smoked eel from a Netherlands trip. And dried Rudolph from one to Scandanavia somewhere.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A trip to Lidl is called for:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.lemondrop.co.uk/2010/11/15...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Unsurprisingly campaigners have slammed the chain for stocking reindeer in the run-up to Christmas because it is often cruelly treated."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        hmmm... so it's treated less cruelly after Christmas??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        was the dried Rudolph like jerky? or did you rehydrate it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think the "unsurprising" bit is the vegan campaigners objecting to meat in the shops. I would treat, with a pinch of salt, any vague accusations of cruelty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It was exactly like jerky, BTW. The smoked eel was better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            M's sister went to Finland for a conference and was offered reindeer pizza...and turned it down. Honestly. I haven't had reindeer but if venison were to become the only meat available I'd be quite happy.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            (Love the reindeer = real Santa.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. My company Christmas party went off without a hitch last night - lots of great food and drink. Today, I went to a friend's holiday open house - "munchie food" in the mid-afternoon - mac and cheese (I brought), wings, meatballs, mini-sandwiches, and lots of fudge, cookies, and other good dessert-type things. I stuck with water all day...just a *tad* dehydrated from last night. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm not sure if I'm going to be in the mood or just too tired (right now I'm leaning towards too tired) but I might go out to a favorite tapas restaurant for a few tapas later this evening. If not, there's always eggs and an English muffin. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I went with "out" at my favorite tapas restaurant, and wasn't disappointed. I love being a regular. :-) Lomo de Buey (beef tenderloin with dried apricots and prunes in a cognac cream sauce) and Pincho de Pez Espada (swordfish, grapes and onions broiled and served with lemon) did the trick to take the hungries away. Plenty of sangria, and a half-portion of Churros for dessert (along with Licor 43, a vanilla liqueur) and two of my favorite waitstaff dancing to a great salsa tune as my Christmas present. I love these people! :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Trying to cook a little less since we will be eating more - if that makes sense. Tonight will be a T-bone that DH and I will share (although it is about 1/4 me, 3/4 him - but it is my turn to gnaw on the bone, some sauteed mushrooms in butter and Marsala wine and a shrimp salad to round it out. So everything this week will be either on the slim side or able to be vacuum sealed for a later date.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Going to the daughter's for Xmas with the grandson's and son & family and I'm taking the turkey and stuffing fixings. But then when we leave there we are going to our favorite spot on the beach through New Years. Still planning our beach menu since we'll have to buy most of it there. I see variations of fish in our future (and I'm not a big fish person unless it is VERY fresh). But definitely looking forward to Mo's popcorn scallops, Sea Hag Clam Chowder, Tide Pool Pizza and a few other choice places.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        tide pool pizza is very intriguing! sea anemones or pepperoni?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Actually Tide Pool is the name of the restaurant in Depot Bay, Oregon, but they have one of the best pizza places in the area. (And trust me, we have just about tried them all) But anything they have on it is great!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            oh, silly me! new year's by the beach sounds wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Got a nice cod filet (a little under a lb.) which will be pan-fried and maybe finished off with a beurre blanc. Got some fresh peas that will be steamed and then tossed around with some shallots and lemon oil. Plan on making smashed potatoes - the baby red, boiled, then quickly sautéed in some olive oil, sea salt, and leftover scallions, and bashed up in the pan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. i lied. Am cooking even though going to the persian party (after all, that's at like 11:00 p.m. tonight, a girl still needs dinner!) Spatchcocked chicken is air drying in the fridge. Under the skin is fresh thyme and rosemary, black pepper, sea salt, granulated onion and granulated garlic, and toasted hot chili flakes. Over the skin is kosher salt, more granulated garlic, aleppo pepper and sumac. Sitting underneath it is a bed of rosemary and thyme stalks, and purple and rose peruvian fingerling potatoes. Will roast at 450 for about 50 minutes, serve with a salad of some sort. i should probably take a nap at some point...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ooh, do i get to start the new thread? i don't see that anyone else did it yet...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7543...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            done!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You just spatchcocked a chicken? Without me?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm having spicy peanut noodles with steamed broccoli. Spatchcocked chicken. Geez.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i'm sorry! but if it makes you feel better, this time the butcher did it. But i told you, it's super easy! did you get yourself some kitchen shears yet??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                one thing i'll say, the butcher butterflied it without removing the back bone. i usually remove it, and save it for chicken broth. i am not sure if my shears (or hands) are strong enough to cut through the back bone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That does make me feel better. I'm in the midst of buying Dora the Explorer videos, Gorgio perfumes, and gift certificates to the golf course: no money for kitchen shears. But this does inspire to allot more time for Tuesday's market trip.