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What's For Dinner? Part LXV / Part 65

OK, we've hit 250 on the previous thread - lots of great cooking going on during the Christmas week on that thread!

So - what's everything thinking about doing for the upcoming New Year's Eve celebration? Are you still trying to work your way through the leftovers from Christmas? :-)

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  1. As for me - it's the final night of leftovers - beef tenderloin with cognac sauce, half of a baked potato, and roasted brussels sprouts. I *almost* took some meat sauce out of the freezer, as I was craving pasta, but I'll go with the leftovers and do some actual "cooking" tomorrow. :-) I do know I'll sleep well tonight with the shoveling I've done today!

    1. i'm am trying to decide what i should do with the trimmed of side from the tenderloin. so far someone echoed burgers, stroganoff or carne asada. i'm thinking of just trimming these up for grilling and throw it on a salad. i haven't had steak salad in a long time.

      i have a seafood risotto on my brain, or maybe pizzas also...

      1. Sea scallops: seasoned with a seafood blend & pan seared in a bit of olive oil; scallops removed and pan deglazed with chardonnay & chicken stock then a couple cloves of garlic was tossed in and everything simmered before the scallops added back to warm through. To go with, I made roasted tomato & oregano rice; browned rice in olive oil before adding chicken stock and the tomatoes, which I oven dried then packed in olive oil over the summer and a parmesan broccoli puree. Dessert will be leftover toasted walnut chocolate tart.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Cherylptw

          your broccoli puree is so bright green! how do you do that? is there another herb in it? looks yummy.

          1. re: mariacarmen

            I bought fresh broccoli and quick blanched for 30 seconds then drained and froze it a couple months ago. Tonight I just simmered it a few minutes in a little water until hot through, drained and tossed into a food processor with butter, parmesan and pepper. The quick blanch preserves the color. It was simple but so delicious.

            1. re: Cherylptw

              great idea, i never think to do something like that. thx!

        2. defrosted a pork tenderloin that had been cumin-ed and braised, sliced into chunks. took some pork fat (leftover from xmas biscuits) and sauteed sliced onions and celery, fresh thyme, s&p, and then added parboiled sliced potatoes. deglazed pan with a little balsamic then added in the pork. Don't know what I'm calling that except Oldster's dinner. See what he has to say. Oh and with that he can have some sweetened red cabbage leftover from a local German restaurant we went to last night. For me and the BF, leftover Honeybaked ham and a general cleaning out of the fridge will be WFD chez nous. i'm so glad i finally ran out of chips and smoked trout pate....

          1. Tonight's dinner is chicken Parm. One of my kids mentions wanting it the other day and now suddenly I am craving it too. Seemed like a nice thing to make on a snowed in day.

            1. Got up, oh boy, 2 feet of snow on the porch, no way to get to work, what am I going to make? Bake something? Bread? Freezer full and following on hand - quarter amaretti torte, 1/2 chestnut pound cake, 1/2 RLB Grand Marnier cake, fruitcake of several vintages, and chestnut cookies...not a good idea...OK let's cook - a Dorie daube, just the ticket...sat down with the yellow Gourmet cookbook.
              Sloth set in - found a recipe in the book for beef in tomatoes and garlic (rolled chuck roast + 1 28 oz can of tomatoes cut up with juice + 1 head of garlic separated but not peeled, s&p, 3 hrs at 300 deg F) - I had 2 lb of chuck blade steaks, browned them, did the tomato and garlic (1 1/2 heads of the latter), then couldn't leave well enough alone so put in a bay leaf, some oregano, and probably too many hot pepper flakes, was a bit dull-tasting so added a few squirts of fish sauce and a glug of Chinese black vinegar. Smells v good approaching end of hour 3. Noodles and the sempiternal arugula salad with it.

              4 Replies
              1. re: buttertart

                You done good dealing with all of that snow, buttertart! :-)

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  We had to get professionals to deal with it - our tinpot electric snowblower wasn't going to cut it. First time we've ever had to deal with our own snow removal...yuck.
                  That beef dish is great, by the way. The gristle in the blade steaks completely dissolved (I had made daube with them before and diddled around cutting it out for a long time. No need.

                  1. re: buttertart

                    Haha. Welcome to living in a house! In the past, I have shoveled until I cried when the DH was out of town. No more. If he's not here, I wait for someone to ring the doorbell!

                2. re: buttertart

                  This daube-like thing warms up very well. I think I'll take the rest of it and make it into a chili-ish thing, shredding the meat and adding black beans and chili powder, etc. I don't think I want a third go-round on the same same.
                  Made this salad to go with it last night, at husbandlly urging (I didn't think it would "go" but it was really quite nice with it, v zippy: Tiger Salad - a bunch of cilantro, cut into 2" or so lengths, stems and leafy parts; 1 or 2 hot chilis, slivered; 6 green onions, cut into same lengths and slivered. Toss with salt, black vinegar, and sesame oil.

                3. It's been specifically requested that I hold off on the prime rib hash since Mr. had breakfast out that involved obscene amounts of rich food plus eggs, and it seemed like a good idea to root around and use what needed using. So dinner's prosaic, but a favorite: stuffed bell peppers (basic meatloaf filling; sweet/sour braise. Made too much filling, so 6 cabbage rolls also found their way into a stockpot. We'll eat them with buttered egg noodles and some leftover stringbeans that I've turned into a salad with vinaigrette and some crumbled goat cheese. It smells good in here! I'm thinking about all you snowed-in CH-ers: stay warm, stay fed...good thoughts are coming your way!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: mamachef

                    Well, that was a true disaster dinner for the first time in a long time. Bad recipe or inattentive cooking? I don't know for sure, but they were soggy, sorry, bland, mushy and uggh. We each took a bite and looked at each other; he said, "eh, nothing to write home about, huh?" and we sliced up the rest of the damn prime rib and had sandwiches. Oh well.

                    1. re: mamachef

                      you didn't get your hash! sounds like a little saboteur action on the party of hubby??? ( :

                      1. re: mariacarmen

                        That's twice now he's struck me out on the hash! Man'll be lucky to eat anything cooked by me today, though we have lots of stuffed bell pepper that I'm trying to figure out how to incorporate into quasi-borscht, or throw away. Or give him for lunch! Instant replay! How'dja like them apples, Mr.?

                  2. for me its gonna be leftover for the rest of the year. My fridge is full of leftover and stuff that i bought for xmas but never had time to make. I have cold smoked salmon, hot smoked salmon and gravad salmon. red cabbage, kale, a lot of cheese, sausage, ham, ribs, eggs (but used most of them by making icecream and some kinda meringue cake), ground meat and chocolate.

                    well since i was tired of all the meat i decided to do a kale and västerbotten cheese quiche. it was pretty tasty, but next time i skip the crust, it just gives me problem

                    1. Spicy Thai fish soup. I've been craving homemade Thai soup, so tonight's the night.
                      I have scallops, salmon and a chiuicken breast to use up. I think I'll start with onions, garlic and ginger and just start adding in lemongrass, kaffir leaves, chiles and see where it takes me.
                      Bamboo shoots, mushrooms, baby corn and water chestnuts will go in, along with the (for me) requisite peeled winter tomato. And cilantro and jalapenos too.
                      Brown rice at the bottom of the bowl, with a spicy chicken/coconut milk broth. Thought I had red curry paste, but it's green. Hope it's good!

                      1 Reply
                      1. To beat the East Coast blizzard, I made some mixed mushroom-barley soup, a quick beer bread and an iced chocolate cake. We sadly ran out of milk, which was desparately needed to counter the rich cake, and our local bodegas were all closed.

                        I have quite a bit of ham left from Christmas, so it looks like Hoppin' John with the leftover bone, braised greens and cornbread for New Year's day.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: bushwickgirl

                          Try a little bit of the ham "pickled" with onion and white vinegar, a tasty bite of Iowa Amish inspiration.

                          1. re: buttertart

                            That is a hard sell, BT. My FIL used to go on about his wonderful memories of pickled ham, and I never could wrap my head around it.

                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                              Isn't pickled pork a NO specialty? Maybe I'm mistaken, but isn't pickled pork used for seasoning dishes, like red beans? Are we talking about the same thing? Btw, I think I'm going with a bourbon milk punch for New Years, since I didn't get my eggnog at Christmas.

                              Bt, are you talking about this Amish inspiration?


                              1. re: bushwickgirl

                                I don't think pickled pork and pickled ham (as BT describes) are the same thing. Pickled pork is a regional thing, yes--but not the same as "pickled ham," which (I thinK) is a very specific regional undertaking,

                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                  Yes, I haven't even seen the pickled stuff from Iowa in other Mennonite or Amish areas.

                                  1. re: buttertart

                                    My FIL lived not too far from an Amish community in the midwest so it's quite possible that that is where he succumbed to the mysterious allures of the tart pink flesh that is pickled ham.

                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                      Aha. It is a good thing - and a great ham user upper.

                        2. Had some sirloin that "needed eating," and I'm feeding my father right now (who is close to the pickiest grown up in the world but has a HUGE sweet tooth) so seared sirloin sliced thin across the grain with a made-up "smother" made of pantry foods--mostly onion with some golden raisins, dried apricots, and two dried peaches that were hanging around from a recipe lo these many months ago. Some homemade chicken broth and apple cider vinegar thickened with flour gave me a thick sauce/side that made everybody happy.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Henny Penny

                            awesome! my dad has a sweet tooth too, but fruited meats get met with a "too sweet"! so for him there's a difference in what he wants for dinner and what he wants for dessert. good for you that your dad can meld! sounds yummy.

                            1. re: mariacarmen

                              He's still talking about it! I've never seen him shovel away so much. The ratio of dried fruit to onions was 10:1, so it wasn't cloying, though it was hardly subtle!

                          2. We had fried turkey for Christmas and we ate from it only twice. Now planing our New Year's Eve, thinking on Oysters Rockefellers and Porchetta.

                            1. Homemade pasta "handkerchiefs" with browned butter and sage; raw shaved asparagus salad with Gorgonzola and toasted pecans, pears and honey vinaigrette.
                              Apricot Clafoutis.

                              7 Replies
                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                  Unique and also loads of fun to make! :)

                                  1. re: chefathome

                                    chefathome, I just made some browned butter and sage to go with the frozen homemade gnocchi I found in the freezer. Added some roasted butternut squash (at least I think it's butternut, the outer skin is green).

                                    I have some baby arugula in the fridge and your salad sounds very appealing. Except I have no pecans or gorgonzola in the house. Have you ever made the Gourmet Gazelle pear dressing? It's one of my favorites . . .

                                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                      How wonderful! Man, I love gnocchi! Especially when it is pillowy and light from ricotta.

                                      Although I have heard of the Gourmet Gazelle pear dressing I have never actually made it. I will definitely look it up! Thanks for the reminder. I love anything with pear.

                                      If you have walnuts, almonds or even pine nuts you can still make the salad. Many kinds would work - just to add some crunch. Just an ordinary blue cheese or even chunks of goat cheese would be nice. Something creamy to contrast with the crunch.

                                      1. re: chefathome

                                        If you love pears you might want to try roasted pears (2 Bosc pears halved and cored lengthwise) in butter (2 tbsp.) and balsamic vinegar (3 tbsp.), with cracked pepper, honey (1/4 cup) and goat cheese (4 oz.. cut into 4 pieces). Takes about 28 minutes and it's simple and delicious. I discovered the recipe in the Gourmet Oct. 2000 issue and it was attributed to Chef Alain Rondelli:


                                        Marscarpone also works.

                                        I miss Gourmet magazine . . .

                                        I defrosted some smoked duck and currant sauce yesterday. Had leftover puttanesca sauce and gemelli for a late lunch/early dinner. Not sure what if anything to have for dinner tonight, maybe more Christmas cookies :)

                                        1. re: chefathome

                                          I posted the Gourmet Gazelle Pear Dressing recipe below . . .

                                    2. Homemade spaghetti and meatballs with a green salad.

                                      1. Can you crave chicken? I guess you can after 3 days of beef tenderloin. :-) I wanted crispy chicken skin (sometimes the best part of the meal!) but didn't have time to defrost the whole bird in the freezer. So I took out several large bone-in/skin-on chicken breasts last night to defrost.

                                        They're marinating in a mixture of 2 Tbsp. Meyer lemon juice, 4 Tbsp. of a fruity extra-virgin olive oil, about a 1/2 Tbsp. of Dijon mustard, one big-arse garlic clove, finely minced, about 2 tsp. of minced fresh rosemary, and salt and pepper.

                                        I'll drain them from the marinade and roast them in the oven over high heat, basting a bit with the leftover marinade that's been boiled to kill any little chicken germies. Sides will be basmati rice and wilted spinach with caramelized shallots.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                          I crave chicken ALL THE TIME. But, I'm a bit weird that way...
                                          I really wish I didn't make more than two quarts of Thai soup last night. Usually this would be a good thing, but it was an experimental batch and I think I would have preferred a red curry base.
                                          I am going to have a bit for lunch now, and if I don't warm to it enough to face it again at dinner, I will definitely be defrosting some chicken!
                                          Yours sounds lovely, btw.

                                          1. re: rabaja

                                            Can you freeze the soup, rabaja? And can you change the flavor at all by adding some red curry? Or would that just make it too strange because of the original way you made it?

                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                              Maybe I'll freeze one quart and see how long I can forget about it for :)
                                              Adding a bit of red curry is a good idea, I'm headed out now before the storm comes in this afternoon, so I'll pick some up. This storm will be nothing compared to what you all are living with, but they expect flash flooding, so I'm off to get wood and what I need for my next catering gig.
                                              I went with chicken and scallops in the soup. I think it's the scallops that I'm not loving, along with the murkey green curry.

                                        2. The last of the Xmas turkey got seen off tonight. With chips (that's Brit chips), peas and a big dollop of homemade mango chutney. The chutney was all but essential as the turkey was now as dry and boring as cardboard.

                                          The trifle got finished off as well.

                                          1. Gourmet Gazelle Pear Dressing (from The Gourmet Gazelle Cookbook by Ellen Brown, 1989)

                                            2 ripe pears
                                            5 tbsp rasberry vinegar
                                            1 tbsp Dijon mustard
                                            1/4 cup canola oil
                                            salt & pepper to taste
                                            1/4 cup cashews (I prefer raw)
                                            1/4 tsp dried thyme
                                            1/2 tsp dried marjoram
                                            1/2 tsp dried oregano

                                            Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

                                            These are some of my favorite salads using the dressing:

                                            *Add sliced pears, cashews (or sugared cashews) and chopped crystalized ginger
                                            *Same as above plus add grilled chicken
                                            *Add sliced pears, cashews, grilled chicken, strawberries, steamed/blanched/cooled green beans or asparagus (great in the summer!)

                                            2 Replies
                                              1. Roasted chicken leg/thigh quarters basted with an herbs de provence & honey sauce rendered from Thanksgiving's duck that I saved. Wow..crispy skin, succulent meat, just all around yum! Pan seared yellow squash to go with and some of last night's roasted tomato rice.

                                                1. Finally getting to the end of theXmas rib roast. I had a 2-inch thick portion left, which tonight I seared quickly on each side to heat through. We had this w/brussels sprouts w/lemon and pecorino, beets and chives in vinaigrette, and the buttermilk potato "souffle" often cited on this thread.

                                                  1. Still cooking for ultra-picky, if-it's-green-I-don't-eat-it Dad. Got at least 2 servings of veg and one of fruit down him yesterday. Am spending all day out and about.

                                                    Meal: Bagged butterhead salad (he hates spicy salad and normally has just iceburg lettuce, but butterheads are inoffensive) and the chicken pot pie from the CIA's One-Pot Meals. Verdict? He said it was the only pot pie he's ever eaten that he likes--and that one he loves. I made it thick with only about 1/3 of the crust in situ. The rest of the puff pastry, I cooked on a cookie sheet separately so it won't get sad and limp for reheating.

                                                    Personally, I think the recipe is pretty awesome, even if its one of those, "Well, who needs a recipe for THAT?" kinds of things. It's a chicken pot pie--a GOOD one. Hearty, predictable, yummy, and perfect for winter. Personally, I would have snuck some turnip in with the potatoes, but I think that would have been pushing my luck with Dad.

                                                    My father ate carrots, celery, and peas with relish, which is the first time that I've ever seen him eat a vegetable other than onions, potatoes, and salad in a way other than drowning it in hot sauce. So, while the dish wasn't terribly exciting, I definitely declare it a triumph.

                                                    My mother loved it, of course, and so did my DH and my 2-year-old. My 7-y-o, predictably, hated everything but the puff pastry.

                                                    My parents were given some Harry and David's pears for Xmas. They don't like pears, so I cooked them gently on the stovetop, sliced and peeled with butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and a cornstarch slurry to thicken until they were very tender but not disintegrating. I poured them into puff pastry shells, and everyone licked their plates. I used little enough cinnamon to not overwhelm the more delicate pear flavor.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: Henny Penny

                                                      sounds like you are successfully dragging your father into CH-edness! good for you! i know how challenging it is to keep the parents healthy and yet palate pleased. hmm, chicken pot pie ... I'm lucky that my dad actually likes the Marie Calendar frozen ones, so I don't have to force feed him everything (because let me tell you, it gets tiring!) but it's been awhile since i made a homemade pot pie..... after the new year!

                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                        This is the first one my dad's ever liked! Of course, he's now hugely over-eating, but at least there are veggies in there, right?

                                                    2. Tonight's going to be a TV plate made up of scavenging round the fridge for the last of the ham, pork pie, bits of salad, pickled walnuts, chutney and the like.

                                                      1. Every year my employer gives everyone a spiral sliced ham for Christmas. I picked the smallest ham of the bunch - 9.2lbs. There's only 2 of us, so there are going to be a ton of ham sandwiches and anything else ham I can think of :)

                                                        My husband loves really crunchy and sweet glazed hams, so I'll make a mixture of honey, brown sugar, water and a touch of corn syrup to pour on top. To go along with it, au gratin potatoes and roasted cauliflower. Dessert might be some Pez candy that my husband got in his stocking.

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: krisrishere

                                                          Have you got a small kitchen torch, krisrishere? Because you can make that lil' piggy piece incredibly crispy with the glaze you're describing, though it'll be just as yum in the oven.

                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                            It was poster roxlet who quoted Dorothy Parker on another ham thread here, "Eternity is two people and a ham." Since I have about 6 lbs leftover in the frig right now, I, like krisrishere, am facing eternity.

                                                            1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                              I think the Becker girls quoted that in Joy of Cooking too, I ALWAYS think of that.

                                                              1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                I eat ham for the sole purpose of making ham salad sandwiches the next day, and the day after, and the day after that...

                                                              2. re: mamachef

                                                                No, I wish I did though :( Maybe I can turn on the broiler for a minute??

                                                            2. I wish I had leftovers from Christmas dinner. I have chicken relleno so rarely that I forget what a magical transformation occurs when you combine butter, soy sauce, lemon and chorizo. And even the side dishes of orecchiete and lobster or the Italian beefs brought back from takeaway would have had welcome spots in my carry-on luggage and my dinner table tonight.

                                                              But as it is, I'm going to have to make my own meal. I'm thinking back on all the great tucker from the past week -- amazing tortas at a Rick Bayless restaurant, pork belly in blood stew, breathlessly soft pretzels shot through with pizza filling in the middle, but nothing stands out more than the semi-annual dinner at Dad's and the table laden with the typical spread I was raised on: kheema and burnt pitas masquerading as roti, shrimp and salmon biryani with raita, fish kababs, bhindi masala and Karachi karahi gosht. The gosht will be the inspiration for the two lamb chops I have defrosting in the refrigerator. They'll get rubbed down with lemon peel, allspice, cinnamon, smoked paprika, garlic and soy sauce. Seared in a bit of butter an oil they should be a great main. As for vegetables, I'll have to figure out what to do with the half a red bell pepper that was lurking in the back of the crisper while I was away.

                                                              7 Replies
                                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                                i am literally salivating. what a blessed childhood table you had!

                                                                but, chicken relleno with soy sauce, lemon and chorizo??? please explain yourself, JungMann! what is this delicious concoction of which you speak?

                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                  Yes please, JungMann! We must needs know more of this!
                                                                  Just a word to the ham-havers: Pimiento cheese (pahmennacheeez) mixed with ground ham makes a fabulous broiled sandwich, esp. with a slice of decent tomato if obtainable, or a scattering of b&b pickle chips....
                                                                  Working hard today on next week's menus. It's been a nice time-out but I'm ready to get back into the action and cook for them there kids. I'm considering switching out taco Tuesday for International Tuesday, but them rascals might mutiny. We'll see what happens, but it would open up the parameters a little. I like the sounds of Cuban Tuesday, and Puerto Rico Tuesday.
                                                                  Tonight at home I'm sorta exercising the muscles by making a moroccan-spiced rack of lamb that I'm doing with dried apricots and dried cherries, sided by freekeh, which is smoked green-wheat kernels made into a kind of pilaf. Side of braised greens with a little garlic and ginger, and some gooood Shiraz. Dessert's baklava i bought at the Oasis, perhaps with a shot of espresso so we can manage to stay up all the long way through Top Chef. Cheers, y'all.

                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                    Blessed, yes; healthy, no. Dinner was was a leisurely walk down memory lane, but Memory Lane at my house dead-ends in Carb Corridor. Rice and bread, 2 meat dishes covered in oil, 1 vegetable also swimming in oil -- it's little wonder I was such a fat kid!

                                                                    As for the chicken relleno, imagine the most delicious sausage you've ever had, filled with pork, chicken, coarsely ground ham and chorizo, hints of garlic and onion and sweet flecks of pickle relish and rasins. Now imagine if the sausage casing was a whole, boneless chicken. That ridiculous concoction would be chicken relleno, or as we call it at home, rellenong manok. I hear it told that you can get a butcher to debone the intact chicken, but I've always done it myself on Christmas Eve, followed by an overnight marinade in citrus soy and pepper. The next day, the whole chicken is stuffed with the meat, sausage and eggs so it looks bone-in, rubbed down with butter and roasted. The bones I removed from the chicken have already been made into stock so while the cooked chicken rests, it is an easy few more steps to make gravy with a garlic butter roux, soy sauce, sugar, pepper and a bit of lemon juice for balance. The soy sauce and butter on the chicken are seriously beyond words and with the spicy chorizo packing some heat I've obviously got to get out to Queens and get my hands on some rellenong manok before the restaurants stop making it for the season.

                                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                                      I am seriously salivating. I want this, and I realize I can't have it NOW, but I want it NOW. Thank you for sharing, JungMann.

                                                                      1. re: JungMann

                                                                        oh wow. just wow. ok, am i asking the obvious, or maybe i'm showing even more of my ignorance than any thought possible, but your background is filipino and indian? damn. there was no way you were NOT going to be a foodie!

                                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                                          Everytime I read your posts, I be wishing I'm at your dinner table, yes I do! I'm going to seriously give that chicken recipe a try in the next coming few weeks. It sort of reminds me a bit of the ingredients in Puerto Rican pastelles....

                                                                          1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                            Cheryl, the feeling is quite mutual. Your comparison to pasteles is interesting -- I always thought the filling for rellenong manok tasted like my grandmother's embutido or empanadas, but the sweet and savory interplay of pasteles is definitely the right idea for a good relleno. Some people go the all-mince route, but I think the dish is only half as satisfying without the sweet and sour elements and of course the spicy chorizos.

                                                                            MC, there is good food to be had across the globe, but I was lucky enough to be born into two of the best cuisines out there.

                                                                    2. Slavishly following a friend's FB sugestion, going to do smoked spareribs and pork chops with sauerkraut tonight, rye bread and whatever. Choucroute demi-garnie.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                        Wot, no sausages?

                                                                        Drools uncontrollably anyway...................

                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                          No sausages to hand, unfortunately.

                                                                      2. Hooray, Linda! "Part 65" is a lot more computer friendly than "Part LXV!" For some strange reason, software engineers never taught computers to use Roman numerals. MUCH easier to find things this way. Thanks!

                                                                        Okay... Not dinner, but today's lunch... Corned beef and cabbage! Haven't made it in years. Maybe not even in decades! But for some reason, it popped into my head yesterday, so it was off to the market for brisket and cabbage. Started simmering the beef around 8:30 this morning and we ate a bit after noon. Have you ever put food in your mouth and suddenly you were awash with the feeling of having just come home? Well, lunch today was the ultimate comfort food experience for me. Delicious! <sigh> So now what am I going to fix for lunch tomorrow? Not much chance of topping today. Maybe peanut butter and jelly is the safest way to fly? '-)

                                                                        1. Great Northern bean soup from the freezer; turkey Italian sausages, pan cooked with onions & peppers and made into sandwiches with mustard & cheddar.

                                                                          1. Tonight, I let my Dad choose. Unsuprisingly, no greenery! He doesn't get to choose tomorrow. ;-)

                                                                            He chose Pork Tenderloin with Honey Mustard Sauce from Gourmet in Minutes/Cooking at Home with the CIA. It was good, but cooked to 164F (they suggested 160F), it was a bit overcooked, Next time, I'm yanking it at 150 and letting it continue to cook, since I'm using an enameled cast iron casserole.

                                                                            I think I'm going to try something from Bayless's Mexico One Dish at a Time tomorrow!

                                                                            1. We had what I call empty the fridge night. So: Potato and cabbage soup with cheeses. Giant garlic croutons for snacking. Avocado, endive, blue cheese and bacon salad. Croissant bread pudding with chocolate pieces.

                                                                              I love holiday/winter fridge.

                                                                              1. No dinner at all tonight. Took the kitten into the city at 8pm after observing listless behavior. His vet there decided to keep him overnight. Hopefully it's just an upper respiratory infection and he'll come home tomorrow. Really killed my appetite. A dull appetite will be a good thing once I get the vet bill. Ouch.
                                                                                Actually, I just want my little buddy home.
                                                                                I promise to cook him dinner every night. Steak, crab, lobster. Whatever.

                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                1. re: rabaja

                                                                                  {{{{{{rabaja}}}}} I do hope the kitty is OK!

                                                                                  1. re: rabaja

                                                                                    (((((Hugs to you my friend rabaja))))) and a little prayer for the kitten and you both. I know you were being sad and funny too but please remember you need to eat and stay well.

                                                                                    1. re: rabaja

                                                                                      Oh oh, kitty woes will kill an appetite, hope ok?

                                                                                      1. re: rabaja

                                                                                        oh i'm sorry rabaja! so sad, especially a tiny kitten! hope he'll be home very soon. and that the bill isn't too horrifying.

                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                          Thanks to you all, the kind words really do help.
                                                                                          Temp has gone down a bit and he may come home this evening, fingers crossed.
                                                                                          To be fair, he's just over a year old, but he'll always be my kitten.
                                                                                          I think some light chicken broth and poached breast meat is in order for the homecoming. Matzo balls will be added for the humans.

                                                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                                                            One is still a baby. I hope he feels better soon.

                                                                                            I love that you are planning chicken soup for your sick kitty.

                                                                                            1. re: rabaja

                                                                                              OK, I just gave a BIG grin at the chicken soup for your purr-kid, rabaja. ;-) I do hope he's doing better - with momma's good cooking and love, he'll be purring in no time!

                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                agree - right on with the chicken soup for kitty! love it. what a good mommy you are!

                                                                                        2. Need a break from meat!

                                                                                          Going to do some spin on our root veg and lentil cobbler. Got parsnips & carrots. Got butternut squash. Got leeks. Got green lentils. Got cheese for topping.

                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                            How do you use the lentils in a cobbler, Harters? I have lentils planned for sometime this next week, and always feel a bit bored with lentil stew.

                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                              The root veg get cooked in stock and a tin of tomatoes until they're getting on for tender. Separately the lentils are cooked and then mixed in with the veg (or, more usually, at Casa Harters, a tin of them gets opened and mixed in). It all goes in a casserole, topped with the cobbler and into the oven.

                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                This sounds delicious after the holiday meat-fest. The boyfriend loves the lentil sausage stew, but I get bored with it after just a single bowl, but I know he'll like this just as well. Thanks!

                                                                                                1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                  We men invariably like sausages. Try this one.

                                                                                                  Fry some onion and garlic. Add some green lentils and cook for 20 minutes or so. Then add the same quantity of red lentils and cook till they're done. Then add parsley and chopped tomatoes. What you've got by way of texture is something quite solid, yet still quite moist. Goes great with simply fried sausages (and big dollops of mustard, of course)

                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                    On another thread a poster refers to bacon and sausage as "man meat". Good one, eh?

                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                      The boyfriend would like that, I think. Thanks. When you add the lentils to the onions, are you adding a liquid, or are you adding already cooked lentils to the fry pan?

                                                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                        Apologies for the lack of clarity - you need to add some stock to cook the lentils. We usually use a veggie stock (from bouillon powder), but ham stock would be great if you had it.

                                                                                                2. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                  Lily, I made this for the fellas on "Casserole night" and they plumb loved it. Best recommend.

                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                    Good to know. I don't know why lentils don't excite me more. I think it's the texture. But they're so healthy (and cheap, and filling), that I feel compelled to keep trying recipes, especially since the boyfriend *does* like lentils.

                                                                                                    Thanks for the clarification, Harters.

                                                                                              2. Went into work yesterday to get some end-of-year stuff done, and met up with a coworker. Neither she nor I felt like cooking, so we met up later near where she lived and walked over to a Moroccan chophouse restaurant, Tangierino, where a friend of mine now works (former bartender at Dali). It was dead quiet in there, so we got attentive service from Juan. ;-)

                                                                                                I had a couple of appetizers/tapas - Merguez and then duck confit b'stilla with a harissa-infused vegetable spring rolls. The harissa caught me by surprise as it didn't say anything about it on the menu, and the heat was a bit overwhelming, but it was good! My friend went with Chicken B'stilla (which oddly had powdered sugar on top? I'm not sure if that's typical, but it seemed very odd) and then chicken brochettes with a 7 vegetable couscous. She's got enough for lunch today.

                                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                  Linda - we spell it "pastilla" this side of the pond but I'm sure it must be the same dish. And, yes, it's usual for it to be heavily sprinkled with sugar. I've had it once, made as traditionally with pigeon, and have to agree the sweetness is odd - and not to my taste.

                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                    Interesting on the powered sugar. I had a finely minced eggplant "side" that came with my merguez, and I tried a bit of the b'stilla with that, and found the flavors much better matched. The slight spice to the eggplant mixture worked well with the ground chicken in the b'stilla (which I think also had a bit of sweetness in the ground chicken mixture). But if it's traditional, I guess next time I can just ask for less or no powdered sugar. :-)

                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                      It's the cinnamon that gets me, not fond of it anyway and less with savory foods.
                                                                                                      Jack's Restaurant in SF (old-school French restaurant beloved of old posh SF Families - and us, long gone now) used to serve fried eggplant with powdered sugar - the evanescence of it on your tongue with the melty eggplant and crisp outside was fantastic.

                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                        That sweet touch is characteristic of Moroccan food... and typically why I don't like to do Moroccan or b'stilla in particular.

                                                                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                          I don't mind a *bit* of a sweet touch, JungMann - but the powdered sugar seemed...well, just wrong. :-) It was more like you were having an appetizer-dessert.

                                                                                                        2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                          Linda--eating eggplant and liking it? Can we call you a convert yet?

                                                                                                          I, too, was not crazy about b'stilla w/the sweet; I've had it without that dusting--and it was much tastier, imo.

                                                                                                          However, Galatoire's here in NOLA also dusts fried eggplant w/powdered sugar (like BT's late lamented Jack's), and for some odd reason that works very well. It's one of their most popular dishes.

                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                            No kidding, huh? But I doubt I'll EVER like eggplant parm, ncw. But I did like whatever this mix was.

                                                                                                        3. re: Harters

                                                                                                          that's interesting that the name would be something other than the the real name, as you are closer to the actual source than we are. also funny, "pastilla" in spanish means "pill".

                                                                                                          oh wait just googled it. Duh, "pastilla" is also diminutive for "pie" ("pastel") which makes sense - meat pie. So it has a Spanish derivation. love getting to the bottom of such things!

                                                                                                        4. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                          Love harissa. you can get it in a tube for home use...

                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                            I didn't mind the flavor overall, mc, just that it was spicier than I had expected. I've often looked at tubes of harissa, but have never bought it. And if I ever do, it'll be used in minute portions until I get comfortable with the heat. :-) (Yeah, I'm a relative wimp when it comes to spicy-hot - I want to TASTE the food, not just have my tongue burn off! LOL)

                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                              I probably use harissa for heat about as much as everything else put together. I use Le Phare du Cap Bo, which is Tunisian and is the one you come across in all the middle eastern shops here.

                                                                                                              There's a Claudia Roden recipe for omi houriya (carrot dip) which is a standard "use up" for leftover carrots at Casa Harters. http://www.cookipedia.co.uk/wiki/inde...

                                                                                                        5. The DH outdid himself last night. On a visit to Arthur Avenue, he picked up some skate, and we had sauteed skate with brown butter and hazelnuts over haricots vert with boiled parsley potatoes. The night before, we made Thanksgiving dinner for our departing Egyptian guest. We always make Thanksgiving dinner at least once when we have Egyptian visitors. This current crop is much more with it and will try almost anything. They're from Alexandria and adore fish, so the skate was a huge hit.

                                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                            About my favorite fish, especially with brown butter. I bet they loved it.

                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                              Love skate, what a great fish. Especially with brown butter. Your guest must have been delighted!

                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                Yup, we're down to one guest, and he loved it.

                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                  Add me to the list of skate-lovers although I so rarely encounter it. I first had it in Boston, at Olives, prepared in brown butter and capers. I thought it was divine and still think about it, all these many years later. Every other time I've been to a Todd English restaurant, I've left vaguely disappointed--and I think it's b/c that original skate set the bar too high.

                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                    The first time I had it was at a great restauurant in Québec City, le Laurie-Raphael. Reminded me a bit of crabmeat (the sort of threadiness of it, I guess). Get it whenever I see it on a menu, but have't cooked it (am not a big fish cook although I love to eat it).

                                                                                                                2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                  oh yum. i would be intimidated to make skate, don't know why.... good for you and the more adventurous visitors!

                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                    Nothing but nothing fazes roxlet's DH. The man can cook rings around anybody.

                                                                                                                  2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                    Gosh that sounds really good. You are a fine host.

                                                                                                                    1. Crab and something... my sister and i thought we'd have a last nip at the season's whole crab. probably steamed with some type of butter sauce. i'm thinking a thai-spiced butter this time. and something much tamer for the oldster. chicken thighs. then no cooking for me for the next few days, leaving for Austin for NYE long weekend! checking out the 'cue and trailer scenes (aided by CHrs, of course.)

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                        Oooh! Enjoy the various barbecues you get to nosh on, MC! And the music scene. :-)

                                                                                                                      2. I went a little nuts at the Seafood counter of the supermarket today - everything looked so darn good! I bought a 50 count bag of little neck clams, a pound of fresh head-on North Carolina shrimp and a pound of sea scallops.

                                                                                                                        I have a problem though...I have no idea what to do with it. Oops!! :) Any suggestions?

                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: krisrishere

                                                                                                                          I would be tempted to make a stew, if I was planning on using them all in the same meal. Although a pasta dish would be delicious as well.

                                                                                                                          1. re: krisrishere

                                                                                                                            Lucky you! Clams--I always make linguini and clam sauce, but they're great steamed, of course. And I like my scallops seared, w/ a nice crust and some lemon butter . . .
                                                                                                                            Large shrimp? New Orleans-style "barbecue"--or scampi--or roasted, w/ aioli or cocktail sauce.
                                                                                                                            If you're trying to use them all in one dish, you could make a big seafood paella. Or an all-shellfish bouillabaisse or cioppino.

                                                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                              You hit the nail on the head - I made a fantastic paella! It was perfect...just wish I had a really paella pan instead of my large skillet

                                                                                                                          2. Last night, as we were nearing Chicago, I said, quite firmly, how good it was to be coming home from our trip. The boyfriend agreed, and then reached over to the CD player to play a song for me: Cornbread and Butterbeans (cornbread and butter beans and you across the table, eating beans and making love as long as I am able). He said it always made him think of me, and then he had to stare at the road hard without blinking so that the tears in his eyes didn't fall. And *that* was my best Christmas present this year. Nearly a decade together, and we're still squishy about each other.

                                                                                                                            I don't have any butterbeans, but I do have black beans. So, tonight, I'm going to make cornbread with a simple black bean stew, and hope for a knowing smile from the boy. I have cheese and sour cream, but I'll have to squeeze a little lemon (instead of lime) into the soup, though, which I think will be fine. I'll tuck some chopped jalapenos into the cornbread batter.

                                                                                                                            This was the first trip I've taken since I got my cat, and her eyes are drooping with the need of her midday nap, but she won't let me out of her sight. It is so good to be home.

                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                              OK, your squishy love is just WAY too cute, OADL. :-D I do believe you'll get much MORE than a knowing smile upon dinner presentation tonight. ;-) Perhaps you could take a mini-nap with both the guy and the kitty. :-)

                                                                                                                              ETA: naptime now. Extra-extra AFTER the dinner presentation. Sans kitty, of course. ;-)

                                                                                                                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                that made me watery OADL! what a sweet, sweet man. i'm happy you two are so happy, all these years later. enjoy your warm house, your yummy stew and cornbread, your grateful kitty, and your love.

                                                                                                                                eta: ok, i like LW's train of thought. take it to the next level!

                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                  It makes me watery too. And you two are bad! ;)

                                                                                                                                  But I guess taking it to the next level is one way to get the cat to stop hunkering down a foot away and staring at me as if I'm about to disappear in a puff of smoke.

                                                                                                                                  And, as Sal pointed out the holiday looming, happy New Year, everyone.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                    And now I want to send you my butterbeans stashed from last Fall. You guys are adorable.

                                                                                                                              2. Chicken thighs became a sort of chicken peanut stew, a take on the peanut soup my parents loved so much. onions, potatoes, carrots, celery, thighs seared in pork fat, chicken broth, bit of heavy cream, unsalted peanut butter, cumin, s&p, all simmered, and frozen peas thrown in at the end-dad loves them. i also just HAD to add a bare whisper of some hot sauce, because it just needed something, and i'm hoping he won't detect it but i will know it's there.

                                                                                                                                also, he had a bunch of apples he bought but can't eat because his teeth are giving him so much trouble, so i've turned them into an apple crisp with raisins, and a touch of cardamom (another thing i'm hoping will escape his notice) - my first crisp ever. look at me, i'm baking - wheeeeeeeeeee!!!!

                                                                                                                                (btw, i do know this doesn't count as real baking!)

                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                  Oh pooh it doesn't count as real baking, mc! It's a dessert that you actually put together yourself from fresh ingredients and BAKED. It's real baking. :-)

                                                                                                                                  And the chicken peanut stew sounds very good - I hope Dad enjoys!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                    ( : (pssst - don't tell anyone that instead of rolled oats i used a packet of instant oatmeal for part of the topping!)

                                                                                                                                2. Thick boneless pork chops seasoned with h.d.provence, seasoned salt, pepper, and a touch of sugar and pan-cooked. Cauliflower puree (prepared as mashed potatoes) and a white wine pan sauce. DH (who's low-carbing) was a big fan of the puree.

                                                                                                                                  I made a load of honey oatmeal wheat bread to take to work.

                                                                                                                                  1. We are having freshly snagged dungeness crabs. We like to steam them up and eat as we pick, drink beer and pretend it is summer. No veggies. Just standing picking, dunking in butter or cocktail and washing it down with beer. Tomorrow we are having 4 friends over for dinner and celebration. So we are having the little legs and making crab cakes with whatever we do not eat (which will be tons) and my husband is making some sort of crab dip and a bag of crab meat that we will send home with our friends. Tomorrow we are having some hand cut, giant filet mignons with bearnaise, potatoes and kale/chard from the garden and some dessert containing figs that my girlfriend is surprising us with (yeah!). We are total, unabashed pigs.

                                                                                                                                    Happy NY everyone!

                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                      what you are is my hero! Following up the crab fest with filet mignons and bernaise.... genius!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                        You are heading out of '10 with my two favorite meals on your plate: crab meat and beef filet. Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                          Will do. Right now I am porked out from eating them. I will be glad to have them in a different form tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                          Where did you snag them from? Sounds so delicious!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                            We live out on the Olympic Peninsula. We get them from a bay that is on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Season closes Jan 2. Boo hoo.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                              I suppose you have to put up with oysters there too. Miss freshfresh Dungeness...

                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                Yes. It is a miserable life. We just got saddled with a razor clamming weekend too. The agony.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                                                                  By the way, big-time props to you on your word "omniyum" - I totally love it. The best CH word coinage ever.

                                                                                                                                        3. I was really wanting some seafood. So I picked up some sea scallops, and they're drying out on paper towels in the fridge.

                                                                                                                                          I'll season them with salt and pepper, and dry-pan sauté them until they're nicely browned and just done. Just before I cook the scallops, I'm going to make an orange cream sauce to drizzle over the scallops - minced shallots that'll be sauteed, to which I'll add a bit of orange juice to then reduce. A Tbsp. of heavy cream at the end will be whisked in, and then on to the drizzling.

                                                                                                                                          The scallops will be served on a bed of rice pilaf with steamed green beans alongside.

                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                            What a lovely meal. The orange cream sauce sounds fantastic with the scallops. I planned on picking up some scallops the next marketing trip, and I'll have to keep that in mind.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                Love that sauce. I find that drying the scallops that way (which I saw here, from you, thanks a million) enhances them enormously.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                  Unless you're getting dayboat scallops, I find they're all a bit soggy - but letting them sit on paper towels really seems to help - and they actually BROWN the way they're supposed to! Glad you like the tip as well!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                    You are 100% right. It makes them somewhere near the texture of the wonderful ones I had in Paris last January...like little marshmallowy puffs of scallop heaven.

                                                                                                                                              2. Last nights dinner was the leftover veggie tray from Christmas Day. I made an excellent shrimp stir fry, with the addition of white onions, scallions, garlic, ginger root, and a few other goodies. The sorry little veggie tray came back to life. The stars were those wonderfully crunchy sugar snap peas, I love those stir fried! Over fragrant jasmine rice the meal just hit the spot after a week of rich and heavy foods.

                                                                                                                                                1. Pear/bleu cheese salad for starts, boiled lobsters (big guys) for main.

                                                                                                                                                  Left-over lobster pieces parts (shells, meat) will go into tomorrow's bisque. Lobsters are pretty cheap right now so I took advantage.

                                                                                                                                                  Jasper White (Lobster at Home) has the best boiling timetable (used it successfully Christmas Eve). We'll try his bisque recipe for the first time tomorrow. We have lobster stock so maybe we can exceed his basic recipe. We'll see.

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                    Sounds like the perfect meal; my perfect meal.

                                                                                                                                                  2. Tonight we are having asparagus parmesan as a first course followed by grilled veal chops with a ragu of mushrooms. The DH cleared a path to the gas grill...

                                                                                                                                                    1. A small sirloin roast was thickly sliced and stovetop braised in tomato broth and a jar of chopped tomatoes, onions, celery, bell pepper & vinegar which I canned over the summer. A heaping tablespoon of chopped garlic went in then the whole thing got covered and simmered for nearly two hours. On the side, mashed potatoes, pan cooked green beans and homemade biscuits. Perfect!

                                                                                                                                                      1. There's pate to start.

                                                                                                                                                        And a roasted pork loin joint to follow. With roast spuds, roast parsnips, steamed greens, apple sauce, gravy.

                                                                                                                                                        And cheese.

                                                                                                                                                        And a lemon sponge pudding (bought) to finish. With custard.

                                                                                                                                                        Happy eating in 2011.

                                                                                                                                                        1. Two nights ago, my brother's GF arrived, and he'd requested I make something "Italian." We decided on turkey-arugula-pancetta meatballs in a butter-based tomato sauce w/thyme and cognac. They were delicious; even my niece loved them (though we didn't mention any of the ingredients other than meatballs to her). That, a simple salad of tossed greens, and ciabatta was what's for dinner.
                                                                                                                                                          Out to restaurants for both lunch and dinner yesterday has me feeling especially porky today.

                                                                                                                                                          But I need to muster up my energy as we're having a small party here. It'll be all apps (which I'm realizing is a crazy idea. I love eating them, hate making them).

                                                                                                                                                          Baby crabcakes
                                                                                                                                                          Oyster "patties" (I'm using mini phyllo cups)
                                                                                                                                                          Lamb meatballs w/yogurt sauce (thankfully, I made these earlier and froze them)
                                                                                                                                                          Smoked salmon, capers, mustard sauce on rye
                                                                                                                                                          Mom's bringing a crudite tray
                                                                                                                                                          I just send DH out on a (probably futile) quest for mini-muffalettas as my brother never gets these and expressed a desire (and I AIN"T making 'em!)
                                                                                                                                                          And I'm going to pull a plate of spinach-artichoke dip I have in the freezer and heat that up for the wee ones, who I hope will crash and burn well before midnight.
                                                                                                                                                          Lots of bubbles will perhaps make me forget the insanity of NYE parties.

                                                                                                                                                          Happy New Year Hounds. To those of you who will be ringing in 2011 more sanely, with well-made feasts (which all sound wonderful) for a few of your nearest and dearest, I'm envious.

                                                                                                                                                          But whatever you're doing, wherever, enjoy! May 2011 bring lovely dinners, high spirits, warm feelings, excellent health.

                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                            Those turkey-arugula-pancetta meatballs and their sauce sound SERIOUSLY good, ncw - can you perhaps link a recipe or write it up?

                                                                                                                                                            As for me, I'm on my own for New Year's. I came down with a cold. I went out for a quick drive to my sister's this morning to feed their cats while sister/BIL are in the boonies of Maine, but then came straight home after mailing my bills.

                                                                                                                                                            Tonight will be pork tenderloin with a gingered mango sauce (recipe from Eating Well). There were some lovely mangoes at my local Roche Bros. for $1.00 each, so I got three, a half of one to be used for this easy sauce.


                                                                                                                                                            Sides will be roasted brussels sprouts and roasted Yukon Gold potatoes. If I'm up for it, some pumpkin ice cream with crumbled TJs triple gingersnaps on top. But it'll probably just be a Nyquil and an early bedtime.

                                                                                                                                                            I do hope that all of the 'hounds have a wonderful, safe, and TASTY New Year's Eve, and may 2011 be all that you wish for.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                              Here it is, Linda. I usually make 1 1/2 X or double the recipe as this freezes beautifully. This doesn't make a lot of sauce, so if you like a lot of sauce, make more sauce. I always do--if I do 1 1/2 recipe of meatballs, for ex., I double the sauce amounts.

                                                                                                                                                              Turkey-Arugula-Pancetta Meatballs in Tomato Sauce w/Cognac and Thyme (adapted from a "Food & Wine" recipe ) Serves 4-6.

                                                                                                                                                              2 T olive oil, plus more for sautéing meatballs
                                                                                                                                                              2 oz. pancetta, chopped
                                                                                                                                                              2 garlic cloves, minced
                                                                                                                                                              5 oz. arugula, stemmed and finely chopped
                                                                                                                                                              1 lb. ground turkey, preferably not all-breast
                                                                                                                                                              ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs
                                                                                                                                                              ½ cup freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese (about 1 ½ ounces)
                                                                                                                                                              2 T drained capers, chopped
                                                                                                                                                              1 large egg, lightly beaten
                                                                                                                                                              ¾ tsp salt
                                                                                                                                                              ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

                                                                                                                                                              3 T unsalted butter
                                                                                                                                                              2 large shallots, minced
                                                                                                                                                              ¼ cup brandy or cognac
                                                                                                                                                              One 35-oz. can Italian peeled whole tomatoes with juice, coarsely chopped
                                                                                                                                                              1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
                                                                                                                                                              Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

                                                                                                                                                              In a large non-reactive skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the pancetta; cook over moderate heat until crisp. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Add the arugula and cook, stirring, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
                                                                                                                                                              In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, bread crumbs, cheese, capers, egg, salt, and pepper. Add the arugula mixture and mix until blended. Roll the mixture into small (1 to 1 ½ -inch) balls.

                                                                                                                                                              In a large skillet, heat some more olive oil. Brown meatballs in batches, in a single layer, over moderate heat, turning, until browned all over (3-5 minutes, depending on size). Using a slotted spoon, transfer meatballs to a large plate. Discard the fat and wipe out the skillet.

                                                                                                                                                              In the same skillet, melt the butter over moderate heat. Add the shallots and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the brandy or cognac, raise heat to high, and cook until evaporated. Add the tomatoes and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens, 8-10 minutes. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes. Serve with pasta.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                  Ditto on the sounds great, ncw, thanks!

                                                                                                                                                            2. Last night M had just been to the dentist for a cracked tooth (temporary crown installed at eyewatering cost, why are dentists so fiendishly expensive?), and was advised to go soft on the food, so we ended up with frozen soup from the summer (veg and brisket in brisket broth), the Ronneburg cottage cheese (cottage cheese with buttermilk except it was sour cream because we were out of buttermilk, sliced scallions, s&p), excellent 6-yr-old Canadian Cheddar, saltines, and rye bread melbas (not soft but preferred to saltines by certain people).
                                                                                                                                                              Tonight is a party to which I'm contributing Canadian Cheddar (not the good stuff) - Parmesan gougeres and a "Very Chocolate" loaf cake, both from the Canadian Living Baking Book that came out in 2008. Pics on the current Baking thread. Other people who can really cook will be cooking the main event. I love to be cooked for.
                                                                                                                                                              Happy "omniyum" year, all - thanks to Sal Vanilla for that divine word coinage!

                                                                                                                                                              1. Traditional New Years Day supper- country ham, fried potatoes, black eyed peas, fried cabbage, and cornbread

                                                                                                                                                                1. Crayfish tail quiche. Rocket & tomato salad.

                                                                                                                                                                  Fruit for afters.

                                                                                                                                                                  A kindness to the digestive tract which has suffered so much abuse in recent days.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. I have wanted to try making tilapia with turmeric and dill for the longest time and with a surfeit of dill and scallions to use up, I thought last night would be as good a time as any. I did have to substitute ginger for galangal and shorten the marination time to 30 minutes, but even half-assedly, this recipe came out great! It hardly seemed like a combination that would work, but turmeric and sauteed dill are a blessed union. Over noodles with a little nuoc cham, this dish is a keeper.

                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                      I have tilapia on the market list, and I'll keep that combo in mind. It sounds delicious. What else was in the marinade besides ginger, turmeric and dill?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                          That looks really nice. Thanks for the link, JM. I'm off to the store to buy fish in just a few minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                          This is going to be my year for fish, people. Fish and I are going to do some exciting things.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                            I just wanted to let you know that this was fantastic. We both really loved it. I did make a change, as I was not able to present as the recipe suggested. I added a few cups of rice to the vegetables, along with a tablespoon of the dipping sauce, ladled that onto plates with the fish on top, and additional dipping sauce on the side. I made sauteed green beans to go with. There were *no* leftovers. Thanks, JM!

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Leftovers.
                                                                                                                                                                      Leftover onion soup and leftover lobster claws soon to be a salad. There may be some leftover port, old stuff, after the dishes are cleaned. Maybe a little roquefort, too. We'll see.

                                                                                                                                                                      edited to add: the port and roquefort were pretty good.

                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                        But the lobster claw salad was just "meh", steve? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Last night I made stuffed peppers and cabbage with a Mexican spin. I browned some ground chicken with shallots, onions, green pepper, garlic, and a little tamari and tomato paste. Then I stirred in some cooked red quinoa, a (drained) can of black beans, a few tablespoons of pureed chipotle pepper en adobo, some chopped cilantro, and a spritz of lime juice.

                                                                                                                                                                        I stuffed blanched green peppers and cabbage with this mixture and simmered them in a sauce of chicken broth, tomato puree, tomato paste, a little cumin, cinnamon, butter, and more chipotle puree.

                                                                                                                                                                        Delicious, and spicy! If I had to do it again, I might keep the chicken in the filling mixture raw before stuffing so that it would hold together better.

                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                          What a great idea!. I want to do more healthier recipes and your idea would be perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks! We are trying to swap refined carbs for healthier ones in our diet lately. These were tasty, although, I think I'd probably thicken the sauce a bit next time for serving.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                              Oh, I forgot to mention: I added about 1 tsp. of bittersweet chocolate chips to the sauce, too. Was thinking: mole!

                                                                                                                                                                        2. No dinner yesterday; went out for a Chinese lunch buffet and was too stuffed for a proper dinner but I did bring home two egg rolls for late snacking.

                                                                                                                                                                          Todays dinner was fried chicken, mixed greens (kale, mustard, collards), black eyed peas with peppers, tomatoes & onions, potato salad, biscuits. Happy New Year to all!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. Alton Brown's chicken w/40 cloves of garlic, slow cooker polenta and sesame covered green beans from the Silver Spoon cookbook. Nice easy, homey food for a cold rainy night. Simple preparation for everything yet it tasted like I cooked for hours.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Still trying to use up leftver holiday ham so having ham and scalloped potato and pea casserole for supper tonight. Grilling ribeyes for lunch today and making spaghetti sauce to have during the week.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. It was leftovers for dinner last night - leftover roasted chicken, rice pilaf, and roasted brussels sprouts. Tonight I'll be making a pasta dish that'll give me some easy lunches for work.

                                                                                                                                                                                There was a conversation on another food message board I post on about a pumpkin and sausage pasta and I got a craving for it, so that's WFD tonight (The original recipe below serves 6, but I'll cut the recipe in half). A small salad and some garlic bread alongside. I *think* my friend might have gotten it from Rachael Ray's website, but surprisingly, it's good! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                Penne with Pumpkin & Sausage

                                                                                                                                                                                2 Tbsp olive oil
                                                                                                                                                                                1 lb bulk sausage -- casing removed (I originally used sweet Italian sausage, but will do a mix of sweet and hot Italian sausage this time)
                                                                                                                                                                                1 small onion -- finely chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                4 cloves garlic -- minced
                                                                                                                                                                                1 cup dry white wine
                                                                                                                                                                                1 cup chicken broth
                                                                                                                                                                                1 cup canned pumpkin
                                                                                                                                                                                1/2 cup heavy cream
                                                                                                                                                                                1 bay leaf
                                                                                                                                                                                1/2 tsp ground sage
                                                                                                                                                                                1/2 tsp cinnamon (I omit completely)
                                                                                                                                                                                1/2 tsp nutmeg (I cut back to 1/8 tsp of freshly grated nutmeg)
                                                                                                                                                                                salt and freshly ground black pepper -- to taste
                                                                                                                                                                                1 lb penne pasta -- cooked and drained

                                                                                                                                                                                Brown sausage in heavy skillet. Remove from pan and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.

                                                                                                                                                                                Add 1 Tbsp. oil to skillet and sauté onion and garlic until onion is tender. Add wine, bay leaf, and sage. Reduce wine by half (about 5 minutes).

                                                                                                                                                                                Add broth, pumpkin and remaining spices. Stir and season. Stir in heavy cream. Simmer about 10 minutes until thick. Remove bay leaf and pour over pasta and toss to coat.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. There's going to be Herdwick lamb leg steaks, simply stuck under the grill.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Alongside, a sort of gratin dauphinoise of celeriac. And steamed Peruvian asparagus (yes, I know I'm an exponent of seasonal and local - but when you live on a small cold island off the coast of Northern Europe, you get thoroughly pissed off with eating root veg all the time in winter).

                                                                                                                                                                                  Cheese (local) for afters.

                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                    As usual, yum.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Last night was still in recovery mode from big NYE/birthday party, so just went with leftovers (chicken pie, romaine salad - not leftover - with walnuts.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Tonight will be either veal scallopini with hazelnuts and balsamic vinegar (Marcella's Italian Kitchen) or Geschnetzeltes with added mushrooms, depending on whether I bestir myself to make a mixed nut tart I have my eye on this afternoon (nut tart = Geschnetzeltes, owing to no nuts in it). Not sure of the starch. Asparagus too.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                      Herdwicks are wiry little buggers which, as far as I know, are only raised in the far north west of England. They spend their days running up and down the region's hills and mountains. Makes for a really well flavoured, if not particularly tender, meat. Good as lamb, better as hogget, wonderful as mutton. I lurves me lamb, I do.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. The hubby has a vile stomach flu that he caught from our soon to be 5yr old. who got this a few days before Christmas. Hubby's started just before NYs so we stayed home. Both of them have been soooo sick, nmy hubby really got it bad. I really feel sorry for him. I m trying to dodge this bullet so keep your fingers crossed for me. I sanitize my hands at every chance, clorox the counters, and I won't get near him. I gave him pedialite as a last resort last night. This is day three, he feels a tad bit better and is cautiously nibbling a piece of toast.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Dinner for me last night - Miso soup. Delicious
                                                                                                                                                                                    A spinach salad with a hummus and sweet and sour dressing (experimenting with leftovers) was pretty good as a late night snack.
                                                                                                                                                                                    I will be glad when this all passes and I can focus on real cooking again.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Last night's New Year's Day dinner for the two of us was fettuccine with lobster cream sauce. I seared two lobster tails in butter, added some lobster stock and cognac, covered and steamed until almost cooked. Removed the tails, added cream and a little lemon and let reduce. To finish, added back the cut-up lobster (along with some lobster coral/roe I had in the freezer) and served over fettuccine.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Tonight I'm cooking Chinese from the current CH COTM - Grace Young's "Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge". Not sure yet, but think it will be Kung Pao chicken, stir-fried cabbage with bacon, and sweet rice with sausage and mushrooms.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Cleaning out the coolerator.
                                                                                                                                                                                        All left-over soups must go! Single portions of onion soup and lobster bisque will be heated and dispatched.
                                                                                                                                                                                        A solitary lobster tail of some size didn't make the cut to a higher (newburg) calling and will serve as salad fodder.
                                                                                                                                                                                        Deb has poached the remaining Bosc pear in a broth of red wine, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice and things I didn't notice. This hold-over fruit will be paired with the last of the roquefort and port.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Tomorrow is another day.

                                                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I must say, your clean out the fridge meals sound DAMN good!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                            Left-overs here are pretty good.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Deb's the star. I'm the enabler.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                              The persuasive powers of the enabler is key to a good dinner, steve. So good on ya. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                Howdy LW,
                                                                                                                                                                                                Life's too short for crap food. It's good to work as a team.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Amen to that. I like "enabler".

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mr. Vanilla is a fine enabler... "How about we break out a duck from the freezer? Wouldn't that be good with some crispy duck fat yukons and some of those mustard greens?" All while lip smacking and talking dreamily. Devil.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Leftovers tonight and will have an assortment for at least the next few days.....leftover sirloin roast with vegetable gravy, rice, corn niblets, green beans, salad with ranch. Made two batches of cupcakes in my quest to create the perfect recipe using oatmeal. First up, regular oatmeal cupcakes made with oatmeal stout and frosted with molasses buttercream. Next, chocolate oatmeal made with buttermilk and frosted with ancho cinnamon chocolate. Both tasted great, both ended up too heavy like a muffin in texture. Back to the drawing board.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Things are quietly easing into something that feels and looks normal after the holidays. I don't know what I like more - anticipating them, or that sigh of relief on New Year's Day. Before I forget, I want to wish a healthy, happy, contented and prosperous '11 to my friends and family here.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Yesterday was a first. Mr. asked for beans. Specifically, pinto beans with bacon, garlic and onion. Now, I know how to work with beans of most types, and use them frequently. But Southern Pintos? I haven't had the best luck. I hit up Bushwick girl, who led me from start to finish, and the result was a delicious, creamy pot of beans that I topped off with bacon in the oven, and a pan of cornbread made with Mexican crema blanca; delicious - and it felt good to eat simply, and the house smelled awesome all day long.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Don't know what's up for dinner at home this evening; I may leave it to Mr. to figure it out. I'm back up to Berkeley starting today for work, and we are having a bit of a clean-out-the-fridge switchup: Taco Tuesday has become Whatever Monday this week. I've got some frozen chicken taco meat already up there, so I'll make a carne asada, shred vegies, make guacamole, and season some black beans with corn. Cilantro-lime rice on the side. And dinner's done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hahahahaha, what I get for making plans. I just got to work. The fridge and freezer are completely on the blink and I guess nobody was paying attention. First day of classes, and I'm throwing away at least several hundred dollars worth of food that I'm not at all comfortable serving. Ohhhh this makes me sick.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  So, quick change in dinner plans since my time has been completely overtaken, as I'll need to go shop for several days' food, at least AFTER fridge guy gets here. I think I'm just going to roast some chicken, bake some potatoes, steam some broccoli, make a veggie.tofu stir fry and go home to lick my wounds. : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                      That stinks! When my husband and I first moved down to Virginia, we stayed in a apartment. I think the fridge broke at least 12 times during our stay - all of those times included me throwing away every single scrap of food in it. So, I know how you're feeling! Your alternative dinner still sounds good to me :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh, now that just stinks, mamachef! Your emergency alternative dinner ALWAYS works, so I'm sure the guys will love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. After a month of being (kinda) off our diet, today is Day 1 all over again - but I'm excited. All of that bad food was tasty, but I realized how good I felt when I wasn't eating it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      For lunch I had grilled chicken marsala, steamed asparagus, and a small spoonful of wild rice. For dinner I'm making a garlic and rosemary crusted pork tenderloin and seared green beans. Dessert will be "Caribbean Sorbet" from Trader Joe's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. My houseguest asked me to teach her how to cook something Asian or Middle Eastern so now that the pressure is on, I'm totally choking. I'd like to teach her how to make something that doesn't require a lot of exotic ingredients and preferably something that keeps me from having to go to the market. Pad thai seems like the best choice, but I don't have most of the fresh ingredients. Dan dan noodles would be good, especially since I could pair that with some stir fried broccoli, but I don't have zhu cai. And she seemed to be leaning towards Indian. Perhaps there is a way to cut back on my typical marination time for chicken makhani and prepare it tonight with some dry vegetables or baingan bhartha on the side. Or maybe I will have to stall for time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lines at all the local markets were obscenely long with a flood of returning holidayers, so rather than spend half my dinner in the grocery aisle just to buy milk and vegetables, I am postponing the cooking class until tomorrow. Tonight I made myself odds and ends from the fridge and freezer: halibut with caramelized chorizo in brown butter on a bed of braised romaine. Even with defrosting, it came together faster than that line in the grocery would've taken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Wow - It's been a while. Went to spend Xmas with our kids and grand kids and families. I cooked a 21.5 lb. turkey with all the fixings (and at daughter's request - extra/extra stuffing). Both son's family and daughter's family had many meals to share when done. After Xmas, DH and I drove up the coast to a little beachfront cottage some friends own and spent a week there to bring in the New Year. Only cooked a couple of light meals there (including the leftovers we brought from the holiday), otherwise it was takeout. Now we are back home and have to get back in gear. So, pretty simple tonight. Some stir-fry chicken teriyaki with rice, mushrooms, broccoli, bamboo shoots, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hope everyone had a great holiday season and stayed safe for the New Year. Look forward to many more inspirations in 2011 from the CH group!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                            now that sounds like a perfect holiday!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LaLa

                                                                                                                                                                                                              It was until I turned the wrong way on Christmas evening to pick up the dog and cracked a rib! Still on the slow side! Or maybe it was lifting the huge turkey! But all-in-all, fantastic. I've had some time to recover (and at least I'm not lifting huge turkeys). Next time, it will be a couple of 12 lb. tom's!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Tonight, I'm waiting for DH to fix me a hot toddy, and that will be WF[my]D. The holidays and houseguests have finally done me in, and I'm coming down with something. Drat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Was both sad and glad to see my brother and his GF go. I'm pooped. Last night's farewell feast was an all-day production: New Orleans BBQ shrimp w/local french bread for sopping; fried shrimp and fish (black drum) w/tartar sauce; crawfish etouffee w/brown jasmine and red rice (aka Cajun Grain); buttered and steamed asparagus; tossed green salad. I think Brother's GF's head--and possibly her stomach--was spinning at all the rich food they'd consumed on this trip. He was in heaven. I need a cleanse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            But I'll setlle for the hot toddy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I hope the hot toddy helps you sleep and helps burn the sickies out of you, ncw! Your farewell feast sounds heavenly!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Fried chicken.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              I bought Deb 40 pounds of Thomas Keller books for Christmas: Ad Hoc and French Laundry combo. It seems the little three-pound chicken I bought has been brined correctly (Ad Hoc) and will soon go through the seasoned flour, buttermilk, seasoned flour ritual. Potato salad on the side. Beer for me unless Deb insists on a modest pinot noir.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Kabocha squash roasted. First time I've tried that type of squash. Saved the seeds to do something like pepitas - That'll be a first too. Semi-fried chicken to finish in the oven. Leftover mashed potatoes. Salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. A proper British kedgeree - smoked haddock, parsley, hard boiled eggs, turmeric in the rice, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Thawing out some chicken tetrazzini from the freezer. It's got lots of veggies in it as well. Add a small side salad and some rolls and I call it dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Yesterday, we hit up Trader Joe's, so the boyfriend made a stir fry: onions, mushrooms, garlic, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, red curry sauce, and coconut milk over rice, with a small bunch of basil that went back into the fridge after he forgot to put it in. After chastising him for attempting to throw away the lid from the can of coconut milk without letting me lick it first, I went on to make a very large, and much needed, dinner-sized spinach salad for myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tonight, I'm giving in to the boyfriend's request for French onion soup. Well, my version, as I always leave the bread out of the soup in favor of a bread on the side, and usually shave parmesan on top, instead of that thicker layer of cheese. We usually do bruschetta with this, but I picked up some pizza dough from TJ's (I've never used it before, but it seems to be popular), and now I plan on serving a margherita pizza with the soup. We bought some very nice mozzarella pearls for the pizza, and, after a taste test, agreed that was a wise move. There will be a small spinach salad on the side, and I have a bottle of red wine that might wind up with a popped cork, especially if I think the soup needs a boost. And I am thinking of putting mushrooms in the soup if I use the wine (I think the soup would play better with the pizza if I do).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Who throws away a lid that is *covered* with coconut cream? Who? Who does that?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Last night I roasted some halibut fillets that had been spritzed with meyer lemon juice and rubbed with a 'Tuscan" salt blend---rosemary, dried tomato, garlic, and other good things. On the side: lentils simmered with chicken broth, carrots, shallot, and bay leaves; and roasted butternut squash topped with olive oil, seasoned salt, cinnamon, cayenne, ground ginger, garlic, and nutmeg.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Too bad the fish was horrible, fishy mush from frozen. Never again!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Chicken stir-fry. I was glancing through the COTM, The Breath of a Wok and decided Chinese would be the way to go last night. I needed to use up two chicken breasts somehow and I have been staring at an over flowing vegetable bin for at least two weeks now.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It was your basic stir-fry, sliced chicken gets tossed with soy, garlic, ginger coins and cornstarch and sits for a bit while you prep the rest. Next time I would add some chile sauce or more ginger, it was a bit flat in the end.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I used what veg i had; shallots, mushrooms, a bit of red pepper (I know it's January, but I needed it for the Thai soup!), carrots, and all of the remaining canned veg I opened last week for that soup as well, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and baby corn.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It was quick and easy, and tasty too. Brown rice gave it some bulk and my Yank Sing chile sauce perked the whole thing up. Lots of chopped cilantro and garlic chives over the top.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I just may buy a wok today so I can delve into the COTM a little more authentically.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mmm, that sounds yummy rabaja! Mr bc & I were off today and I spent some time going through both COTM's to mark the recipes we'd like to try. Tonight I'll sift through all those and build some menus for the month ahead. (which will help me plan my grocery shops later)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We're finally getting back into more routine ways after the holidays filled with far too much gluttony and sloth! Last night I made Scallops with capers, anchovies and wine from Biba's Italy cookbook. That was served over spaghetti and, although good, not something I'd make again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tonight we're having another Italian dish, though one that's much heartier. We awoke to about 4 inches of snow this morning so a braised dish seemed to be in order. I flipped through a few of my "Santa-delivered" cookbooks and found "Pappardelle with Tangy Veal Ragu" in "Stir" by Barbara Lynch. The ragu has been in the oven for almost 2 hours now and its meaty-winey goodness is wafting through the air making us very, very hungry! I'll be back to report how it all turns out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wishing all hounds a very happy, healthy and remarkable 2011!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As an update to my post above, the Pappardelle was a big hit, really delicious and something I’m happy to add to my repertoire. This was my first use of this recipe and, the book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Pappardelle w Tangy Veal Ragu – pgs. 138/9 – “Stir” by Barbara Lynch

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Veal shanks are seasoned, floured and browned then removed from the pan to make room for the trinity of carrot, onion and celery, which are softened. Lots of red wine and some balsamic vinegar join in to bubble away ‘til syrupy. The veal is then re-introduced to the pot along with tomatoes, beef stock, water and herbs and I then popped the pot into the oven to simmer away. In the hours that followed our home smelled so delicious! Though Lynch suggests that the braising liquid be strained to remove solids, we couldn’t part with them so we just broke up the meat and served as is. Aside from being truly scrumptious, what I really like about this dish is that it could be made ahead in stages so it would be an excellent company dish, especially at this chilly time of year!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Wow. That looks fantastic. I could eat the picture!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Looks amazing. Did you make the pasta, too?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That looks fantastic. Wow.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Is the "tang" from the vinegar?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks very much everyone! CM, no I didn't make the pasta but I was able to pick up fresh pappardelle at a local Italian bakery. ncw, yes, the tang comes from the balsamic vinegar. The recipe actually calls for 3/4 cup but since my (2cups) wine was very dry, I was hesitant to use that much vinegar. I ended up using 1/2c of balsamic vinegar and that was the right amount for our tastes. I do believe it would have been too tangy for us otherwise. I think it also depends on your balsamic. The one I use for cooking is of lesser quality than those I use for drizzling & salad dressings. Though it is from Modena w an acid level of 6%, it doesn't have the sweetness and viscosity of my better quality balsamics.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the info, BC. We love vinegary sauces, but I think I'd go w/your rec and start w/1/2 c as I, like you, am not going to use my best vinegar in a cooked sauce, even for veal, when I make this dish, as I'm sure I will--now that you've convinced me that I must get "Stir" out of my cart and onto my shelf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Based on what you've shared ncw, I think you'd adore this dish, it really was something special. As for Stir, I'd highly recommend it. Between Mr bc & I, we flagged almost every recipe in the book!! As a matter of fact, I'm making another dish from this book on Saturday - The Butcher Shop Bolognese. Its the dish that's featured in the spoon on the cover of the book and will be a bit of an adventure for us since it includes chicken livers in addition to other ground meats. Neither of us are big fans of organ meats but we're imagining that the rather small quantity of liver will blend with all the other flavours of the dish and add to its richness. I'll be sure to report back on this one! I'd highly recommend the book though. I'd had it on my wish list for quite some time so decided to check it out in-store over the holidays and I was immediately sold. Each recipe is preceded by a back story, many have "make-ahead" suggestions and the numerous photographs are mouth-watering. Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I'm going to make cream cheese scrambled eggs for dinner tonight. A toasted English muffin and some crispy bacon alongside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'll do some "real" cooking tomorrow. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    OK, I'll do some cooking that requires thinking tomorrow. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. DH made loosely adapted this recipe to make beef barbacoa: http://ezinearticles.com/?A-Lovely-Me...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We had that with corn tortillas, chopped tomatoes and cilantro, red and green salsas, and rice and black beans. (Decaf) coffee with condensed milk for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Indian tonight... or at least my interpretation. On the menu: chicken tikka masala fettuccine with smoked paprika onion relish, raita and steamed vegetables in spicy garlic sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    For the pasta, I broiled marinated chicken until lightly charred and simmered it in a tomato cream sauce with chilies, lemon, ginger, cumin, garam masala and fenugreek. Noodles were tossed with garlic, cilantro and lime juice. Could've used some methi leaves, I think, but otherwise a good reminder that I need to stop stir frying my dinner and start leaning on my spice cupboard for some inspiration.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. OK, two more meals before we become swallows for a couple of weeks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tonight, pork rump steaks (no, we hadnt come across these before either). They'll probably be a bit tough so they're going to get braised in stock and white wine, then soem mustard and sour cream added at tghe end to form a sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tomorrow, lamb & veg pie that we bought from the Duchess of Devonshire's shop in Bakewell a few weeks back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Between the two meals, we'll use up the celery (in with the braise?) , celeriac (gratin?) and loose leaf cabbage (simply steamed) that are in the house.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And there's bits of fruit and some cheese that need finishing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hasta la vista, mi amigos.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Harters, going on holiday again? Wherever the swallows fly (here in the States, it's usually Capistrano!), have a wonderfully sunny and warm time. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          British swallows head for Tenerife. Unfortunately, the resorts are a bit down market and you need to search hard for restaurant food other than "tourist crap" - I have a theory that, for many of my copatriots, "good" food on holiday, equates to "cheap" food, so long as there's a lot of it. Even the food shops used by the Tenerifians are pretty dire in comparision with the mainland or the Mediteranean islands. Still, I have done my research and have a number of restaurants to check out that mght be "better than crap".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          On the plus side.... today's temperature in North Cheshire = 6......today's temperature in Tenerife = 23.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And 'tis only the beginning. Mrs H was working out last night that, so far booked, we are away from home 12 weeks this year

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Good luck on the "better than crap" restaurant search and destroy mission, Harters. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Insert reference to Watney's bleeding red barrel ale, cream of mushroom soup the first item on the menu of international cuisine, and cue the singers for Torremolinos here...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Tonight I'm making tilapia with turmeric and dill (cha ca thang long, recipe supplied by Jung Mann), served on a bed of onions and peppers. I wish I would have read the recipe more closely though, as I do not have the shrimp paste needed for the sauce, and will have to sub something in (likely either fish or oyster sauce). I'm making one other substitution: I'm using either orzo or rice instead of the vermicelli, and will toss whichever I use with a bit of lightly sauteed spinach and a pinch or two of crushed red pepper flakes. The snow melted here quite a few days ago, and it has looked very autumn-like, but that is supposed to end tonight with a few flurries. This seems like a very cozy meal, and likely will be accompanied by a beer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm thinking about breaking in my new bundt pan today. If so, there will be rum cake for those of us who have been requesting it since the age of two. We bought a bottle of rum on sale, and it tastes like it has been doused with Torani coconut syrup, and has now earned a place in my baking cupboard, as it is not fit for anything else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I didn't use the shrimp paste either; I simply used fish sauce. Oyster sauce might be a little too sweet, but I think it less consequential than the fried allium and nuoc cham on the side. Those add a lot of contrast to every other bite.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Coconut rum cake sounds like a nice taste of the tropics.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Good to know. I was thinking the same thing about the oyster sauce, given that there are a few other sweetish notes in the dish, with the onions, and the addition of sugar in a few spots. I'm also including the green onions and peanuts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The cake is me spitting in the eye of winter. I usually love winter, but this year, the produce bins are leaving me feeling stifled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. My "real" cooking tonight is going to be roasted chicken. I'll rub the Frankenchicken breasts with olive oil and then a combo of salt, pepper, and Herbs de Provence. Roasty-toasty in the oven until crispy skin and tender chicken ensues.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sides will be steamed green beans and probably some leftover rice. TJ's Triple Gingersnaps for dessert. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Last night I picked up a sizeable petrale sole for dinner. It weighed a whole pound, filleted!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I sauteed it in oil with a little salt and had it with braised green cabbage and mushrooms, along with leftover Chinese stir-fried veg from the previous night. It all went together quite well, probably because I did so little to the fish. It was a nice change to the flour dredge I usually give petrale, I will have to do this more often.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tonight I'm on the fence. I am going to a group exercise class for the first time and I don't know if I'll come home exhilerated and ready to cook, or dead-tired and in need of a warm bath and bed. -It's been a loooooooong time since I did any group exercise.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I should probably whip up a batch of soup this afternoon to prepare either way. Minestrone or more matzho ball? The produce bin will dictate.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The Christmas tree came down today and all things related are getting boxed up and stored in the garage. Hate to see the holidays pass, I really do. This was a particularly good season, but I guess I need to face the New Year and my resolutions!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i predict exhiliration! how did it go, and which soup did you choose?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Exhileration it was! Even had the energy to roast a bone-in chicken breast with tomatoes, carrots and herbs. No soup for me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Tonight it was my first venture into this month’s COTM’s. I have to admit, with so many sticky notes marking recipes “to-try” in each of the books, the decision as to what to make first was a tough one!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In the end I decided on “Martin Yan’s Genghis Khan Beef” from BotW and “Stir-Fried Bean Sprouts with Chili Bean Sauce” from SFttSE.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I’ve pasted links to my reviews and photos in the COTM threads in case anyone is interested:



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Chicken and dumplings. I basically made Ina Garten's pot pie filling (only not as thick) and did easy peasy dumpings on top. Perfect for a very cold winter night. That and a green salad did the trick.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. We had dinner at friends': Pork enchiladas mole, baked tortilla chips, homemade salsa and guac, and a bulgur salad with corn, black beans, tomatoes, cilantro, and bell peppers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We brought panna cotta for dessert. 1/3 coconut milk, 2/3 half and half, sugar, vanilla, and gelatin. A caramelized banana-rum puree for topping. Really great, if I say so myself!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Carbonara, leftover tiger salad (desperation department), and Don Pasquale on the tube. Re carbonara - how best to get the egg to cling to the pasta??? Mine is always a bit iffy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I wish I could help, but mine has cream in it, and I suspect you are more of a purist. ;) I don't think I'm telling you anything you don't already know, but I do make certain that everything I add to the pasta is room temperature.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Too late for last night's dinner, but I mix the cream, eggs yolks, and parmesan together in a bowl, pour that onto the drained and al dente noodles, and toss it all together over a low flame for a few minutes (until I get the stickiness I want). You just have to make sure that the pan doesn't get too hot while you're tossing the noodles. When the noodles are done, remove from heat, add the bacon, and serve.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Jamie Oliver adds a ladle of pasta water to his cream mixture (and tosses it together with no heat), but I haven't tried that yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I tried the pasta water thing and it just made the eggs runnier. Don't go there. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's what I thought would happen, simply because pasta water is called into use to reduce the stickiness of pasta. But I probably would have tried that trick eventually, just out of curiosity. Thanks for taking one for the team.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I do pretty much what OADL does (no water), but after crisping my meat (I use speck, pancetta, or standard bacon), I cook onions until almost caramel and toss those into the mix. I guess the first recipe I ever saw had onions and I didn't know that was heresy until reading about it on CH.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DH and I practically lived on carbonara while living briefly in Austria. We couldn't afford much meat, but I splurged on parmesan, the cream was wonderful and cheap, a little speck would go a long way and it worked brilliantly in carbonara. We'd invite friends over, and they'd always ask: are we having carbonara? And we always were. Still one of DH's favorite meals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nice story! I can totally see that :) Where were you in Austria?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      To keep this on-topic: how awesome were the open-air produce markets in Austria? I loved rummaging around, trying to decide what would be for dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Innsbruck--and the market was unbelievable although I couldn't afford to take full advantage. The restaurant choices were few and far between (this was 93, I think), and pretty expensive. I spent a good part of last summer (09) there; the restaurant scene was completely changed--so many choices--but the big farmers market was incredible as ever; I was even very pleased with the supermarket across the way from where I was staying. But the best meals I had in Austria last summer were in my "adopted" Oma's kitchen in a small town near Salzburg: this woman had the most amazing vegetable/flower garden I have ever seen, on a tiny triangle of land. She grew everything we ate but the meat. Those meals . . . her potatoes . . . her "rucola" . . . .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the opportunity to wax nostalgic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Onions sound very good in it, I can taste it! Thanks. Austrian restaurant for dinner tonight, Tafelspitz here I come, watch out!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. A bit of leftover stir fry, and really big salads for each. Spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, cucumber, grated carrot, chopped boiled egg, sesame seeds, and fried capers for me; the boyfriend will add blue cheese to his salad, but may choose to forgo the fried capers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Because I have had those damned capers, unopened, in the fridge, for the last five years. Maybe LONGER. I am going to eat those old capers. And, along with risking death, I get to try a new bit of cooking on what was just a salad night. That's me, with my glass half-full. Fried capers: you fry them until they split open and 'bloom'. I love that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. First night of actual dinner cooking this week: DH will grill a NY strip. I am trying out a simple recipe--button mushrooms are cooked slightly and filled w/garlicky butter and served w/ parsley w/toasts, reminding me a bit of escargot--and making a "wedge" salad w/a small wedge of red cabbage, some creamy blue cheese dressing, and spiced pecans. That menu seems to cry out for a martini, now that I'm writing it out. (We obviously haven't started our 2011 diets yet.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Now, why'd ya have to and say that word? I'm trying to be virtuous, but some Hendricks sounds good on this chilly evening.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hendricks is just what I'm having, as we speak. I'm sure it will do the job on what remains of my sore throat, or at least I'll feel that way.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Here's a virtual clink. Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Night 2 of cooking from the COTM’s so tonight it was Tina Yao Lu’s Chicken with Spinach from BoaW and Peppery Vegetarian Rice from SFttSE. We really enjoyed both dishes though Mr bc says he's suffering from Italian food withdrawal which I promised to address tomorrow! If anyone’s interested, here are the links to photos and reviews of tonight’s dinner:



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Tonight I am just being crazy, I tell you. I found two quarts of bolognese in my freezer yesterday, pulled one and now I must use it up. The weeks stir-fries have provided me with great left-overs and I love that I can throw whatever I happen to have around into them.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Following that theme I mixed together:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 c bolognese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  al dente Barilla plus penne
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  roasted butternut squash, diced
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  balsamic cippolinis, chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  sauteed cavolo kale, chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I mixed the lot together, threw it in a gratin and covered the whole deal with a couple of slices of mozz. It is a totally clean-out-the-fridge casserole, but I have high hopes it will be comforting and I especially love that it can get all hot and bubbly while I shower off my stink.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Turns out I love my new group fitness class. Here's to eating well and getting into my cute summer clothes i could only gaze at longingly last year.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Not that this is diet food...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But the exercise cancels out the calories, rabaja! (Sounds good, btw.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dinner sounds delicious rabaja, especially love the addition of those cippolinis, I just love those little darlings! Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Good for you, rabaja! That casserole sounds delicious. Forget the word 'diet, and concentrate more so on the word 'healthy', and sometimes just 'deserved'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It was pretty delicious. You guys are always so supportive and encouraging, I love you all for it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          you can do, it you can do it! you will feel so great when the warm weather comes!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Last night, I did a function for about 40 people that requested appetizers so they had mixed green salad bundles with roasted grape vinaigrette, thai shrimp salad in crispy wonton cups, spicy espresso rubbed pork loin sliced & served on crostini, assorted mini quiches, mini sweet potato hash cakes with cilantro sour cream and a huge fruit platter with yogurt dip. Everyone was happy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I was pooped from yesterday's function so tonight I made do with chili dogs with cheese and a huge salad. Tomorrow is another day...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          New thread starts here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/757995

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            you are inspiring me too, cheryl, with these apps. have to cook for a friend's Miss America party (don't ask - it's his birthday present from me!) and i'm going to do some apps. like the idea of the pork on crostini and the sweet potato cakes too...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              we do a Miss America party too.We bet on it and everything just like a ballgame! We started doing it years ago when my cousin was a Mrs America contestant and now it is our favorite party!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Those apps sound *wonderful*, Cheryl - I'm not surprised everyone was happy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And maria, I just broke out laughing at the Miss America Party you're cooking. :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                what are ya gonna do. gay boy friend's request!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Invent a cocktail and call it the "tiara" [if someone hasn't already]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Was this a professional function or at home? I'd be interested to know how you kept the pork crostini warm without drying them out. I'm still trying to imagine what a salad bundle would be as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I haven't checked back on this thread since I posted; the function was at a client's house. I pre-cooked the pork and it was served room temp. I made a pan jus from the meat drippings which was used to warm dress when serving. A salad bundle is essentially a lettuce wrap filled with mixed lettuces including arugula, shaved carrots, etc. which were tied with scallions strips into bundles; made for a nice presentation. My first time cooking for this crowd, I had as many guests in the kitchen watching me as were in the living room with the string quartet! Talk about pressure!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  As always, that sounds incredible. How could anyone not be happy with that spread?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Cheeseburgers!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The snow just stopped falling and now it's time to fire-up the electric meat grinder (Waring Pro). I picked up some chuck on Thursday (beer and wine, too) in advance of the storm. I have some Kaiser rolls in the freezer that heat up really well in a tightly-sealed aluminum package at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes: smells like freshly-baked bread (almost). No sides. It's been a long day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Steve, there's a new thread started (someone starts one every 250 posts or so)....it's here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/757995

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks. I'll do better next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mmmm, I'm right there with you Steve and that bread smells delicious! Sounds like you're all set for a perfect dinner after a busy, stormy couple of days! Bon Appetit!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Hubby on 12-hour snow removal again so yesterday I made a huge pot of beef stew and today is chicken and dumplings.