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Jan 6, 2011 08:04 PM

What's For Dinner? Part 66

New thead to start off the new year....the holidays are officially over; are you now backing off all of the celebratory foods in place of lighter fare or will you continue to seek comfort foods common for this time of the year? Do share & inspire us with those delicious meals coming from your kitchen; tell us, what's for dinner?

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  1. Happy New Year, everyone! As to your question, Cheryl, will definitely try to skew lighter at home, and having been re-inspired by Rabaja's new regimen, will get back to working out 3-4 days a week, while still keeping meals heavy on the calories for dad. Tonight we took him to a benihana-type place (his choice - very meh) but tomorrow will be some sort of chicken thigh dish.... hmmm... maybe a paprikash.....

    18 Replies
    1. re: mariacarmen

      Good call on the paprikash, perfect weather for that.
      I just tried to stand up and my leg buckled. I didn't have that martini tonight, so it must be tired muscles. Feels good, strangely!

      1. re: mariacarmen

        Mmmm....paprikash..... :-)

        Not sure what's for dinner tonight, but it might be some brown gloop from the freezer (such as chili), which sounds good if it's snowing, which it's supposed to do tonight, albeit lightly.

        Oh wait - I have some chicken leftover...AND some Rondele garlic and herb cheese. AND some mini rolls for baking. So I'm thinking it'll be a couple of mini chicken and garlic-herb cheese sandwiches with some potato chips. Easy enough.

        1. re: LindaWhit

          Yeah, OK - NONE of this happened. No brown gloop, no mini-chicken sandwiches.

          I had a big lunch at work today - a "company lunch" from Bertucci's. I got rigatoni, chicken and broccoli in a lemon garlic cream sauce. And Bertucci's rolls. God, I love those things!

          So tonight? It's going to be a couple of glasses of white wine and a couple of egg rolls. Hey - they're nutritious! They've got chicken and vegetables in them! And then there's the duck sauce.

          So sue me. :-)

          1. re: LindaWhit

            I have to say, that dinner of chicken sandwiches sounded very good to me when I read it earlier today. Made me want the same.
            You're substitution sounds equally good, however! Happy Friday, cheers!

            1. re: LindaWhit

              Duck sauce is on my list for next week's cooking challenge. If I can get it right, then I anticipate many uses.

              Duck sauce . . . I *love* it. And white wine. ;)

              1. re: onceadaylily

                :::snort::::: oh, hellzbells, OADL - this was a tub leftover from a company lunch we had back in December, not home-made duck sauce!

                The "cooking" I did was pulling out the egg rolls from the freezer and putting them into the convection toaster oven. And pouring the wine. ;-)

                I'd never thought about making my own duck sauce - so if you're successful, please let us know - I don't even know what would go into it! LOL

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  It looks pretty easy. Someone posted a recipe on another thread (just plum sauce, vinegar, sugar, and the like) to encouraging, but slightly mixed, reviews. I thought I'd play with it, since my local take-out parcels that stuff out as if it's a rare and precious thing. You have to beg for it, check to the bag to make sure you got it, go back to the counter because you *didn't* get it, ask again, and wait to be awarded one of those extra-small plastic condiment cups . . . that they only filled halfway.

                  1. re: onceadaylily

                    Whereas when we order Chinese for our company lunches, we get duck sauce by the quart. Literally - this is a quart container and I brought it home probably half-filled.

                    As for a recipe, I always thought it had apricot preserves in it? Maybe that would take the place of plum sauce.

                    This recipe sounds *very* good, although I wouldn't put in cilantro. :-)


                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      The apricot duck sauce is the stuff my place gives out in those packets, but they also make their own, a darker, plum-based version. You just prompted me to do a bit of research, and quite a few recipes include apricots, or have a combination of different fruits, and now I'm starting to think the one I'm thinking of has both plum and apricot.

                      Cilantro, no. Rice wine vinegar, yes (the CH recipe just had white, which I thought sounded too harsh). I like the thought of using an orange.

                      A quart of duck sauce. I wouldn't make it at home either, if I had attained such an embarrassment of riches.

                      1. re: onceadaylily

                        The plum sauce/apricot preserves combo sound excellent. And I do hope to make it someday...once I'm done with the several cups I still have left.

                        Hmmm...I'm making a roasted chicken tomorrow...perhaps I could doctor up some of the duck sauce with added grated ginger and use that as a baste/glaze?

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          I think that would be delicious as a glaze.

                          1. re: onceadaylily

                            you ladies just inspired me. i was going to roast a chicken today anyway, now it'll have duck sauce. yum. thanks!

                            1. re: mariacarmen

                              OK, maria - let me know how it comes out! LOL

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                it was good, tho i have to admit it may have been silly for me to attempt this since i've never actually had duck sauce before! or at least, nothing that tasted like this. i feel like it should have been thicker, like hoisin, am i right? i added more of the plum preserves than the recipe called for to thicken it, but it was still a bit runny. but it was really tasty - tangy and sweet with a little tiny bite. the recipe called for jalapeno vinegar, something i'd never heard of before and didn't notice before i started to make it. so i just took some raspberry vinegar i had (i figured it couldn't be bad, just more fruit) and kinda mulled some jalapeno slices in it. it only called for a 1/4 tsp of that anyway. other than that i followed the recipe pretty strictly, but like i said, a bit thin. i think i would try glazing the chicken at the last minute over high heat with it, next time, instead of just using it as a dipping sauce, but it was very good. thanks oadl & lw!

                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                  All of the store-bought or restaurant duck sauce I've had is not as thick as hoisin; I'm not sure how it's supposed to be, but it's more like thin jelly. I often wish it was thicker and "heartier" so it sticks on the egg rolls better.

                                  But I'm glad it worked out!

                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                    it's not that clear red stuff, is it?? this was much better than that stuff, if that's what it is!

                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                      Noooooooo! It's slightly orange to full-on orange. This is what I usually buy (first picture). When you look at the ingredients in the jarred/packets you get from Chinese restaurants (second picture), making it yourself is looking MUCH better! LOL

                                      Dambit. I hit post vs. the picture link. I *really* wish CH would move the clickable link for photos! Posting pictures as a reply....

        2. Awoke to a fresh layer of snow this morning and though you can, if you look really carefully, still see the tops of some of the blades of grass on the lawn, the snow's still coming down, albeit lightly. Seems like the perfect day for something hearty and comforting.

          Due to my COTM cooking, Mr bc says he is having Italian food withdrawal so tonight I'll soothe his soul with some garlicky-good meatballs and wholewheat spaghetti topped with the last of my homemade marinara sauce. (those wholewheat noodles make this a healthy dinner. . . .right?!!)

          2 Replies
            1. re: nomadchowwoman

              Thanks ncw. . . I feel better now! ; - )

          1. I am a lucky man. My wife is Japanese and she loves to cook authentic Japanese food.
            This time of year its all about shabu shabu, nabe, sukiyaki and noodle dishes. We are trying to eliminate the amount of frozen and pre-made foods we eat, but its tough with two kids.

            1 Reply
            1. In a hurry, but wanting crunchy chicken. I used one of those packets of shake and bake, thinly sliced some potatoes and layed them on the bottom of a glass baking dish. Sprinkled the leftover crunchy seasoning over them and added chicken stock hoping it would turn into a sauce of sorts. Put the seasoned chicken breasts on top to cook as instructions read. Steamed broccoli, and dotted with a little garlic butter. This was my first lame attempt to cut calories. Although the boneless, skinless chicken breasts didn't add anything to the potatoes they were good on their own and I was satisfied with the crunchiness. The potatoes were tender and absorbed the broth and seasoning. Next time when I'm not watching fat and calories, I'll do this one again using a whole cut up chicken with skin on.

              1. It's really rare that others are complaining about their snow while Chicago is staring at dead grass. But we woke this morning to a dusting, and more is promised for this afternoon.

                I am making fish stew for the first time! I love making things for the first time. I've already looked through a dozen recipes, and began to compile a recipe. I've decided to go with a Maryland-style stew, with a tomato broth and a bit of heat. But instead of just going the way of red pepper flakes and hot sauce, I think I'll omit the hot sauce, and add some chile paste to my saute (onions, celery, garlic) along with the tomato paste. I'll deglaze with white wine, and then add more white wine, clam juice, diced tomatoes, and dried oregano along with the tilapia. Just before the fish finishes cooking, I'll add fresh basil and thyme. I'll likely find a few more ingredients to tuck in as I finish playing with the recipe. A few drops of worcestershire, maybe. And I have cream on reserve, if it seems like it really needs it.

                We'll have spinach salad and bread to go with. The bread is a beautiful round asiago pesto that I picked up at Great Harvest bakery yesterday. I picked the one that looked slightly less browned so that it will fare better when I slice it and warm it in the oven.

                2 Replies
                1. re: onceadaylily

                  I think I will copy you tonight. I've never made a tomato-based fish stew before, but I have all the ingredients you mention, save the clam juice. Luckily I made lobster stock earlier this week, so I should have just enough to season the broth.

                  1. re: JungMann

                    Lobster stock would be fabulous, much richer than the clam juice (the clam juice is just a common substitute when one lacks fish stock, so lucky you!). I've also decided to add celery, diced green peppers, and green onions to the saute. And maybe a pinch of Old bay seasoning.