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What's For Dinner? Part 66

Cherylptw Jan 6, 2011 08:04 PM

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?

  1. mariacarmen Jan 6, 2011 08:25 PM

    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
      rabaja Jan 6, 2011 08:30 PM

      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
        LindaWhit Jan 7, 2011 04:07 AM

        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
          LindaWhit Jan 7, 2011 03:36 PM

          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
            rabaja Jan 7, 2011 04:35 PM

            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
              onceadaylily Jan 7, 2011 04:47 PM

              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
                LindaWhit Jan 8, 2011 04:29 AM

                :::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
                  onceadaylily Jan 8, 2011 07:45 AM

                  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
                    LindaWhit Jan 8, 2011 08:11 AM

                    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. :-)

                    http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/a...

                    1. re: LindaWhit
                      onceadaylily Jan 8, 2011 08:39 AM

                      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
                        LindaWhit Jan 8, 2011 08:41 AM

                        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
                          onceadaylily Jan 8, 2011 10:06 AM

                          I think that would be delicious as a glaze.

                          1. re: onceadaylily
                            mariacarmen Jan 8, 2011 11:20 AM

                            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
                              LindaWhit Jan 8, 2011 11:45 AM

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

                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                mariacarmen Jan 8, 2011 11:34 PM

                                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
                                  LindaWhit Jan 9, 2011 04:48 AM

                                  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
                                    mariacarmen Jan 9, 2011 02:50 PM

                                    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
                                      LindaWhit Jan 9, 2011 02:55 PM

                                      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....

                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                        LindaWhit Jan 9, 2011 02:58 PM

                                        Here are the pictures...

                                         
                                         
        2. Breadcrumbs Jan 7, 2011 05:20 AM

          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: Breadcrumbs
            nomadchowwoman Jan 7, 2011 09:36 AM

            Yes indeed!

            1. re: nomadchowwoman
              Breadcrumbs Jan 7, 2011 11:55 AM

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

          2. a
            AdamD Jan 7, 2011 05:46 AM

            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. re: AdamD
              chef chicklet Jan 7, 2011 06:22 AM

              lucky man indeed!

            2. chef chicklet Jan 7, 2011 06:21 AM

              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. onceadaylily Jan 7, 2011 06:46 AM

                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
                  JungMann Jan 7, 2011 09:42 AM

                  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
                    onceadaylily Jan 7, 2011 10:07 AM

                    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.

                2. buttertart Jan 7, 2011 09:18 AM

                  Last night was bone-in loin pork chops, fried in their own fat, raw butter-fried potatoes, Stayman Winesap applesauce, cottage cheese with sour cream and sliced scallions, and a vinegary coleslaw. A sort of combo Ontario-Iowa vibe going on.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: buttertart
                    nomadchowwoman Jan 7, 2011 09:38 AM

                    What are raw butter-fried potatoes, BT?

                    1. re: nomadchowwoman
                      buttertart Jan 7, 2011 09:52 AM

                      Peeled and thinly-sliced potatoes fried up brown in lots of butter. Means fried from raw as opposed to using previously-boiled potatoes - M's family appellation for them, "raw-fried potatoes" or "German fried potatoes". My mom never fried them from raw, we always had a dish of boiled spuds in the fridge.

                      1. re: buttertart
                        nomadchowwoman Jan 7, 2011 10:02 AM

                        Sounds delicious.

                        1. re: buttertart
                          Cherylptw Jan 8, 2011 01:10 PM

                          I make these all the time, except I use bacon fat or olive oil; it's one of my favorite comfort food dishes with the addition of onions...yum!

                          1. re: Cherylptw
                            herby Jan 8, 2011 03:09 PM

                            I make these all the time too - fry in olive oil/butter, add onions half-way and salt, pepper and garlic towards the end - yum in your tum:)

                            1. re: Cherylptw
                              buttertart Jan 9, 2011 06:18 AM

                              I was reminded by my husband afterward that I had both duck and goose fat in the fridge and should have used either of those. Next time! (Love onions, love potatoes, don't love them together.)

                      2. Caroline1 Jan 7, 2011 10:01 AM

                        Caught a few minutes of the Today Show recently, and Allison Fishman caught my attention with a beef and butternut squash "tagine." It was the non-traditional spice mixture that caught my attention, plus I'm a sucker for butternut squash, so I tried my first cooking from a recipe in years. I lied. I had to modify the recipe, but the basics were there. If you're interested, you can find her recipe here:
                        http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/4083191...
                        If you find it sounds good to you too, be warned she has some very serious errors in cooking times. Instead of cooking the beef for five minutes before adding the squash, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for an hour and a half before adding the squash, then simmer until tender, ignoring her time suggestion for the squash too. If you follow the recipe exactly, you'll end up with a watery pot of VERY tough beef! Beef shoulder, as she calls for, is braising beef such as chuck roasts and other not-too-tender cuts. Plus true tagines are long and slow braises, not "twenty minute meals!" But it was her spice combination that caught my attention. After blending the spices, I tossed the beef in them and then let the beef chunks sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes to allow the spices to penetrate. As I said, non-traditional, but DEEEE-licious! I did the long slow braise instead of following the recipe, and also added a bit of the squash early so it would break down and thicken the sauce. Once I corrected for cooking times, the only other mistake I made was using a box of off-the-shelf Brand X (I think it was "Dromedary") cous cous. I was out of the bulk good stuff I usually have on hand. Won't make that mistake again! But the end result with the tagine was excellent. I did get a bit carried away with the freshly ground black pepper, so it was a bit "picante," as they say in Mexico. I now have several servings nicely stashed away in the freezer via my Food Saver for future enjoyment. I can hardly wait to have it when I haven't been smelling it for hours. If it's half as good the second time around, I'll be a happy camper!

                        Oh, and lesson learned! My beloved housekeeper, aka my sous chef, had a rough time dicing the butternut squash. Cut her finger! Maybe she thought we were doing a Top Chef recipe? Anyway, we bandaged her finger, then I pierced the second squash to let the steam out of the seed pocket and nuked it for about four or five minutes before she peeled and diced that puppy. Works great and makes getting the stringy fibers out of the seed pocket a lot easier too! So how come it took me all these years to think of it?

                        1. krisrishere Jan 7, 2011 04:17 PM

                          I made shrimp and vegetable stir fry with lots of bell peppers, broccoli and onions. To bring it all together, I made a mixture of oyster sauce, tamari, lots of black pepper and a touch of sesame oil and sugar. I also had some Thai beef jerky in the cabinet to nibble on as well.

                          I made all of that wonderful food but I'm too excited to eat....I just found out that I'm interviewing someone HUGE for my cooking column. Ah! ;)

                          1. rabaja Jan 7, 2011 04:41 PM

                            Spent the day in the city and tried to find a wok that appealed to me -no luck.
                            I did find some nice Asian ingredients that are hard to find out my way though, and the black bean sauce I've been lacking.
                            Probably going to warm up my mescolanza casserole and maybe throw a fried egg on top.
                            But first! First, there will be a gin martini. Dry, with a twist.

                            1. onceadaylily Jan 8, 2011 08:02 AM

                              Last night's soup turned out to mixed reviews here: he loved it (he said it tasted a lot like the tom yum taleh he gets sometimes from the local Thai place), but I thought I added too much chile paste, and not enough fish.

                              So tonight, I am taking an extra piece of mahi mahi, and adding that to the soup, and will serve small bowls of it before tonight's main. The remaining mahi mahi will be glazed in a mixture of ginger, oil, honey, soy, garlic and balsamic (this works first as a marinade, and then is made into a sauce as the fish rests from cooking). There's some leftover rice in the fridge, and I think I'll fry the rice with a bit of egg and some peas.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: onceadaylily
                                krisrishere Jan 8, 2011 08:18 AM

                                That sounds delicious. Mahi mahi was just on sale at the market but I didn't get any. I'll have to pick some up sometime..

                                1. re: krisrishere
                                  onceadaylily Jan 8, 2011 08:43 AM

                                  This week has been fun. Save for some of the side dishes, I've been using all new recipes. It feels good to get out of my beef stew-roast chicken-meaty pasta rut.

                                  Sounds like your week has been a bit more exciting though. ;)

                                  1. re: onceadaylily
                                    mariacarmen Jan 8, 2011 11:21 AM

                                    you are continuing to inspire! The BF will be out of town for a month next week (sob!) and I will eat fish until it comes out of my ears.

                                    1. re: mariacarmen
                                      onceadaylily Jan 8, 2011 11:54 AM

                                      Thanks, MC. A *month*. Yikes. But think of the renewed appreciation you two will have for each other! Until then, you can sleep in the middle of the bed, have lots of girl nights, and eat your way through the sea.

                                      1. re: onceadaylily
                                        mariacarmen Jan 8, 2011 05:15 PM

                                        exactly. i've already got a girlie dinner party scheduled (first one in my apt. in 3 years!), an ex-bosses happy hour, and a list of things i'm going to eat - from the sea and not - while he's gone!

                              2. LindaWhit Jan 8, 2011 08:35 AM

                                The snow we were supposed to get didn't materialize. Not that there's anything WRONG with that! LOL There's still the potential of getting a bit of an accumulation today/tonight/into tomorrow morning, but I'll deal with that tomorrow, said Scarlett. ;-)

                                I have a half a pork tenderloin that I've removed from the freezer that will be dinner tonight. I'll roast up some red peppers, puree them, and add some sauteed shallots and garlic, along with a healthy pinch of Aleppo pepper, some salt, freshly minced thyme, and a blup of heavy cream.

                                The pork tenderloin will be sliced and flattened with my palm, and quickly pan-browned until almost done. I'll slip them into the roasted red pepper cream sauce until they're finished cooking, and serve the slices over buttered and parsleyed egg noodles. Not sure what green veggie I'm going to have - I have some baby spinach that I thought about wilting, but I also have peas. We'll see what I feel like dealing with.

                                Lunch today, however, was a sandwich of chicken breast, Rondele garlic & herb cheese, and lettuce on toasted potato bread. Sort of what I was thinking about making for dinner last night (except not in mini-size), but didn't. It's all good - I had my chicken sandwich eventually. ;-)

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                  mariacarmen Jan 8, 2011 11:23 AM

                                  oh that sauce sound heavenly with the tenderloin!

                                  1. re: mariacarmen
                                    LindaWhit Jan 8, 2011 11:46 AM

                                    I love roasted red pepper sauce. I often use it for a "parmigiana" sauce as well.

                                2. nomadchowwoman Jan 8, 2011 09:32 AM

                                  Last night, while I made dinner, we snacked on Indian pakora that had been lurking in the freezer. And drank negronis. Eclectic combo, I guess, but they tasted pretty good. I seared pork chops and then "smothered" them in onions, thyme, and garlic and braised some brussels sprouts in a little cream. And I finally converted DH to sweet potatoes, simple baked. The secret? Just add bourbon. (I had some leftover raisin-soaking liquid (w/bourbon), which I reduced to a syrup before swirling in butter, which I poured over the potato halves.) The man does like his bourbon.

                                  1. boyzoma Jan 8, 2011 09:36 AM

                                    Breakfast was just some sliced Cantaloupe. Lunch is 1/2 hot pastrami sandwich w/swiss and mustard on a nice dark rye with a dill pickle spear on the side.

                                    Dinner will be chicken marsala with some nice fresh sliced mushrooms with a creamed sauce served over chicken with melted sliced mozzarella and the sauce on both the chicken and penne' pasta with some steamed mixed vegetables on the side.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: boyzoma
                                      onceadaylily Jan 8, 2011 11:54 AM

                                      I love chicken marsala. That sounds perfect, BZ.

                                      1. re: onceadaylily
                                        boyzoma Jan 8, 2011 01:22 PM

                                        It just sounded so good. We were gone through the holidays and tonight is what I call my "first" real back in the saddle cooking. Just sounded good and had not had it in a long time.

                                        1. re: boyzoma
                                          boyzoma Jan 9, 2011 08:57 AM

                                          OK - have to report back. Used more Marsala than usual in the sauce, topped the chicken with swiss cheese (didn't have any Mozz., and wasn't going to the store just for that), then topped with some thins slices of deli ham, more swiss and put it in a warmer to melt while I finished the rest of the meal. Had the sauce on both the chicken and pasta. DH says it was the best I have ever made yet (and I've been making it for years). Score!

                                          1. re: boyzoma
                                            mariacarmen Jan 9, 2011 02:51 PM

                                            more booze, more cheese = yum. Sounds delish!

                                            1. re: mariacarmen
                                              boyzoma Jan 10, 2011 01:58 PM

                                              Don't forget the addition of the ham! Oink, Oink!

                                    2. a
                                      AdamD Jan 8, 2011 09:39 AM

                                      Tonight, oyster and pork belly nabe in a konbu broth, with glass noodles, tofu, napa cabbage and shimeji mushrooms. Ponzu sauce with grated daikon for dipping. Maybe some wasabi or hot mustard on the side.

                                      9 Replies
                                      1. re: AdamD
                                        rabaja Jan 8, 2011 09:51 AM

                                        Can I come over?

                                        1. re: rabaja
                                          a
                                          AdamD Jan 8, 2011 10:06 AM

                                          Sure what the heck..:)

                                          1. re: rabaja
                                            mariacarmen Jan 8, 2011 11:23 AM

                                            Rabaja, i'll carpool with you!

                                          2. re: AdamD
                                            nomadchowwoman Jan 8, 2011 09:52 AM

                                            Wow!

                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                              a
                                              AdamD Jan 8, 2011 10:05 AM

                                              Its actually so darn simple to make. Make the broth and add the ingredients in stages based on how long a particular ingredient needs to cook. The key is finding a place that has freshly shucked oysters. But it its a truly great meal that warms you up and doesn't weigh you down.
                                              A little cold sake as well!

                                              1. re: AdamD
                                                rabaja Jan 8, 2011 11:03 AM

                                                This sounds so darn good to me. Wish i was able to get some of these ingredients locally, but I will have to wait for the next trip into the city.
                                                Makes me want to do more Japanese cooking!

                                                1. re: rabaja
                                                  a
                                                  AdamD Jan 8, 2011 11:14 AM

                                                  I did buy all the ingredients at a Japanese grocery-Daido in white plains.
                                                  I actually want winter to come so we can make all kinds of Japanese nabes!
                                                  Pretty much every weekend we do a nabe, shabu shabu or sukiyaki.
                                                  Nabe is definitely more common as its less expensive and-its fun trying to think of new combinations.

                                                  1. re: AdamD
                                                    rabaja Jan 8, 2011 11:20 AM

                                                    That's it, I'm headed to Najiya next week for sure. My friend makes a great shabu shabu, and it's supposed to rain next week.
                                                    Goodness, when does winter come in your neck-of-the-woods? We are in the thick of it, with tulips already in the stores like Easters around the corner.
                                                    Really wish I had bought the cast iron pot for myself and not the stinky-Ex. I'll console myself with my little staub and save my pennies.

                                                    1. re: rabaja
                                                      a
                                                      AdamD Jan 8, 2011 11:42 AM

                                                      Im in the suburbs of NYC-northern westchester about 35 miles north of the city.
                                                      Winter comes in November and hangs around until at least March.
                                                      I have 5 inches of snow outside.

                                                      Dont laugh, but we actually use an old faberware pot-you know the white ones with the blue flowers on the side? Works great. One of these days we will spring for a proper nabe pot from korin.

                                          3. e
                                            eatmyfood Jan 8, 2011 11:26 AM

                                            Lots of cooking going on in my kitchen. A favorite this past week was Chicken with Shiitake Marsala

                                            Chicken with Shiitake Marsala

                                            serves 5

                                            olive oil
                                            5 chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each), boneless and skinless halves
                                            salt
                                            pepper
                                            1/2 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
                                            4 garlic cloves, chopped
                                            1 package (3.5 ounces) shiitake mushrooms, sliced
                                            1 package (10 ounces) crimini mushrooms, sliced
                                            1/2 teaspoon dried basil
                                            1 heaping tablespoon flour
                                            1/2 cup Marsala wine
                                            1 cup chicken stock, low sodium
                                            1 medium tomato, chopped (about 1 cup)
                                            3 scallions, thinly sliced

                                            Heat a large saute pan to medium high heat and add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook for about 4 - 5 minutes per side or until just barely cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

                                            In the same saute pan over medium high heat, add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the chopped onion, garlic, both types of mushrooms, and basil. Saute for 8 - 10 minutes or until the onions and mushrooms are tender. Sprinkle with the flour and cook for a minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the Marsala wine and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 2 - 4 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Add the tomatoes and the chicken and continue cooking for about 5 minutes or until it is heated through. Sprinkle with the scallions and serve.

                                            http://dinnersforayear.blogspot.com/2...

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: eatmyfood
                                              LindaWhit Jan 8, 2011 11:48 AM

                                              That sounds seriously good, eatmyfood! Thanks for posting it - it's definitey going on a future menu. :-)

                                              I've got the crimini; just need to get fresh shiitakes. I wonder if dried and reconstituted shiitakes would work just as well?

                                            2. Breadcrumbs Jan 8, 2011 11:39 AM

                                              Mr bc picked the menus for this weekend so it's back to back Italian here at casa bc!

                                              Last night's Spaghetti and Meatballs were yummy (pic below) and for tonight I'm just about to get started on a Bolognese Sauce from "Stir" by Barbara Lynch, one of my Christmas cookbooks that I'm just loving. We're cautiously optimistic about this one since it contains chicken livers and neither of us have eaten those since we were kids. Only 4oz go in along w other ground meats so we'll be keeping our fingers crossed that their texture is lost in the mix and they just deepen the flavours of the sauce.

                                              If we don't like it . . . well, I guess it'll be breakfast for dinner!

                                               
                                              13 Replies
                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                Rubee Jan 8, 2011 12:49 PM

                                                Would love to hear more about Barbara Lynch's Stir. I've been wanting to buy it for a while. When we lived in Boston, No 9. Park was the site of our second date and we immediately became regulars. That bolognese is wonderful and back then I hated chicken livers. As you said, it just deepens the flavor. I also used to buy it by the tub at another spot of hers - The Butcher Shop. What other recipes would you recommend?

                                                (PS - I so miss our annual Chowhound tasting menus when they used to do lunch service, here's one of my favorites):
                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/330713

                                                1. re: Rubee
                                                  Breadcrumbs Jan 8, 2011 01:50 PM

                                                  Hi Rubee,

                                                  That tasting menu sounds so amazing! What a wonderful report, I felt as though I was right there with you. A truly remarkable affair!

                                                  As for Stir, I just got it for Christmas so this is the second recipe I’ve made (and we were away for a week right after Christmas too so that tells you how high these recipes are on our priority list!!). This is one of those books that captivates you from the moment you open it. I came across it in a bookstore and, since I’m unable to ignore anything with an Italian food focus, I had to take a look at it.

                                                  If I had to pick one word to describe the book it would be “thoughtful”. Lynch’s stories are thoughtful and introspective. The recipe notes, make-ahead tips, back-stories . . . all thoughtful. The dishes are varied in terms of ingredients, courses and complexity . . . a good, thoughtful balance. Even the index is thoughtful with tons of cross-references. Then there’s the drool-inducing photography.

                                                  Though this is only the second recipe I’ve tried, I’ve tabbed too many to count as “must make”. Some stand-outs in my mind are:

                                                  Baked Cheese and Tomatoes w Black Olive Crisps
                                                  Tomato Syrup
                                                  Cauliflower Chaud-Froid
                                                  Tomato Tarte Tatin
                                                  Spicy Tomato Soup w Crispy Grilled Cheese
                                                  Creamy Leek and Potato Soup w Bay Scallops and Black Olive Potato Chips
                                                  Torn Pasta Fagioli w Shrimp Polpettini
                                                  Roasted Corn and Tomato Lasagnettes
                                                  Ricotta Gnudi (w fresh ricotta for which she includes a recipe)
                                                  Truffled Gnocci w Peas and Mushrooms

                                                  ….ok, you get the idea and I only typed out a few of my early tabs in the book!!

                                                  Last week I made the Pappardelle w Tangy Veal Ragu which was outstanding. Here’s the link to that post if you’re interested:

                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7558...

                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                    Breadcrumbs Jan 8, 2011 01:55 PM

                                                    oops, I really should have mentioned one more recipe. . . "Poulet au Pain" Honestly, a whole chicken nestled, then roasted in fresh bread dough. It looks amazing!

                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                      Rubee Jan 8, 2011 02:20 PM

                                                      Sold! I'm drooling. The truffled gnocchi with peas, mushrooms (and lobster) used to be on the bar menu. One of E's favorites - he ordered it every time we went.

                                                      1. re: Rubee
                                                        Breadcrumbs Jan 8, 2011 02:28 PM

                                                        Interesting Rubee, I suspect the recipes in the book must be a mix of past restaurant dishes and, some of her home favourites. I did look at their current menu along w your tasting menu but didn't see any of those dishes in the book.

                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                          Rubee Jan 8, 2011 02:49 PM

                                                          In the beginning when No 9 was her only restaurant, she used to have a separate bar menu that offered a lot of her early signature dishes found in the book. I loved the truffled gnocchi, tagliatelle bolognese, lamb with gorgonzola fondue, duck confit with kumquat marmalade, and her AMAZING prune-stuffed gnocchi with foie gras and vin santo glaze. Just another reason for me to buy the book!

                                                          I admire the fact too that she is self-taught- grew up in the projects in Southie (I think I read somewhere she loved home ec but was also a bookie in high school, which she never graduated from). She also never attended cooking school and instead educated herself cooking in the restaurant kitchens of Boston and travels to Italy and France.

                                                          1. re: Rubee
                                                            Breadcrumbs Jan 8, 2011 03:09 PM

                                                            Agreed Rubee, very admirable and I think perhaps its what makes her writing and back stories all the more compelling. I've almost read it cover-to-cover!

                                                2. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                  EM23 Jan 8, 2011 01:04 PM

                                                  Hey Crumbs,

                                                  Since you mention the chicken livers - JayF commented on not caring for them in the Lynch recipe on this thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7499...

                                                  1. re: EM23
                                                    Breadcrumbs Jan 8, 2011 01:52 PM

                                                    Yikes! Thanks EM23, we'll have to see how it goes as those little livers were already simmering away w the rest of the meat when I read this! On the plus side, being fearful of a texture issue, I diced those lives so superfine that there's no chance we'll be able to distinguish them from the rest of the ingredients in the dish. I can report, at this point though, it sure does smell good!!

                                                  2. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                    Breadcrumbs Jan 8, 2011 04:23 PM

                                                    Well, I’m back and happy to report that the chicken livers were not an issue. This meal was a success and thoroughly enjoyed by all! Our guests said they could smell the sauce from the driveway and couldn’t wait to see what was for dinner. Here’s what we had:

                                                    Butcher Shop Bolognese from Stir by Barbara Lynch – pgs. 121/2

                                                    What separates this Bolognese from others we’ve tried is the combination of meats used. Ground veal, pork and lamb are added to sage and finely chopped (at least in my case!) chicken livers that have been browned and seasoned along with the usual onion/carrot/celery mix. Wine, chicken broth, chopped tomatoes are then added in to simmer away and, perfume your home with their meaty, delicious aromas! Prior to serving, ½ cup of heavy cream is stirred in.

                                                    The lamb and livers really did deepen the flavors of this sauce that was almost “stew-like” in flavor. This is a real stick to your ribs meal that just hit the spot on this very cold, snowy Toronto evening. Oh, and the red wine played an excellent supporting role!

                                                     
                                                     
                                                     
                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                      EM23 Jan 8, 2011 04:46 PM

                                                      Glad it came out well. How does it compare to Marcella Hazan's?

                                                      1. re: EM23
                                                        Breadcrumbs Jan 9, 2011 10:28 AM

                                                        Thanks EM23. Good question regarding the 2 sauces. Its a bit tough to compare because the Stir version's use of lamb and the livers in addition to veal and pork really elevated the "meaty" flavour and, heartiness of the dish. I'd say the Stir bolognese is a meaty ragu and MH's is a more balanced ragu w no one flavour dominating. Both are excellent.

                                                        Stir also uses red vs the white wine in MH's. In my case, I used a bold Sangiovese wine which matched the amount of flavour in the sauce from the meats. The other significant factor is the timing of the addition of the dairy. MH adds milk early on in the simmering process so the enzymes in the milk help break down the proteins in the meat which, in my experience, rounds out the meaty flavours and enhances the richness of the dish. The Stir recipe has you add cream at the very end. I tasted the sauce prior to the addition and it was very "meat-forward" the tomato had faded into the background. The cream did tame the boldness somewhat.

                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                          EM23 Jan 10, 2011 07:08 AM

                                                          Thanks Crumbs. I have Stir borrowed from the library and have been waiting for a day to myself to get cooking some of her recipes - beautiful book.

                                                  3. chef chicklet Jan 8, 2011 02:26 PM

                                                    Night before last, I was fooling around with the new bread pan piece that was supposed to fix my breadmachine, and of course you know the only way to test it is to make bread....hah! It didn't work. So the dough came out and I kneaded it and plopped it into an oiled bowl and set it on the hearth next to the fire. I forgot all about it, the next morning I saw it had magically made its way to the kitchen counter. Seeing its transformation I got scared and threw it in the fridge. I haven't a clue what to make with it. I thought pizza, then pretzels, and then calzones..when I figure it out I'll let you know.
                                                    Between my little one having the flu, then my hubby, then the little one started again with it last night....the meal planning and dinners eaten have been rather sporadic...

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: chef chicklet
                                                      Breadcrumbs Jan 8, 2011 04:49 PM

                                                      So sorry to hear about flu bug cc, no doubt you're drained from all the nursing. Looking forward to hearing what you do with the dough. Pizza does sound good though!

                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                        chef chicklet Jan 9, 2011 02:59 AM

                                                        thank you for your feeling my pain,,, I am beat. I hope ----- hope, the littlle guy is on the mend. He kept some soup down last night. (cross fingers)

                                                        I still haven't done anything with it and it still has a rise, I'm getting interested too now that i have had a nap!

                                                    2. chefathome Jan 8, 2011 03:21 PM

                                                      We're in the throes of yet another blizzard but are cozily enjoying fondue and raclette, followed by warm chocolate pudding cake and trying to ignore what's happening outside!

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: chefathome
                                                        krisrishere Jan 8, 2011 04:23 PM

                                                        I'll be right over.

                                                        1. re: krisrishere
                                                          chefathome Jan 8, 2011 04:29 PM

                                                          We waited for you but I guess you must have been held up by the blizzard! :-D

                                                        2. re: chefathome
                                                          mariacarmen Jan 8, 2011 11:36 PM

                                                          oooh, stay warm! love fondue. where is my fondue pot??

                                                        3. krisrishere Jan 8, 2011 04:24 PM

                                                          Today was a looooooooooong day; just got home from work. For dinner I had a fabulous sandwich - salami, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato and sweet peppers on wheat bread. I'm happy.

                                                          1. s
                                                            sunflwrsdh Jan 8, 2011 05:12 PM

                                                            Pot stickers, with soy/ginger/rice vinegar sauce, cashew chicken and brown rice, asian mixed salad. Also made Laurie Colwin's At Last it's Black Bean Soup, and roasted some beets for a beet/walnut/endive salad for tomorrow night's dinner. Which will be meat loaf, a Cooking light potato/gorgonzola gratin, the beet/endive salad, and either gingerbread or blackberry cheesecake tarts. Also making tomorrow, for the rest of the week....Moosewood Minestrone (soaking the garbonzas now) and ginger scented apple squash soup, banana walnut streusel muffins.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: sunflwrsdh
                                                              Breadcrumbs Jan 9, 2011 12:14 PM

                                                              This all sounds perfectly delicious sunflwrsdh! I'm a big fan of that Moosewood Minestrone and oh boy, do those blackberry cheesecake tarts sure do sound yummy!

                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                s
                                                                sunflwrsdh Jan 9, 2011 05:56 PM

                                                                Thanks. my daughter and I are both doing Weight Watchers, so I have been trying to cook along those lines. The Moosewood Minestrone came out great, and the blackberry cheesecake tarts got rave reviews as well ( I didn't try one....I also made gingerbread, regular, not light, and had to have 1/4 piece of that for dessert:) Loved the roasted beet/walnut/endive salad, it was great!

                                                            2. v
                                                              vafarmwife Jan 9, 2011 04:11 AM

                                                              Beef stew yesterday and chicken and dumplings today.

                                                              1. Breadcrumbs Jan 9, 2011 08:48 AM

                                                                Today is a “near perfect” day in the kitchen for me. Would be perfect but for the nasty cold Mr bc and I brought back from our trip to Chicago and we just can’t seem to shake it! Alas, the show must go on!

                                                                It’s icy cold but sunny outside so I have a lovely, bright view to accompany me along with great music. I have a number of dishes on deck today; some are pre-work for weeknight meals, others for tonight’s feast. When I’m not cooking, I will be sitting in the sunshine, cozying up w a wonderful book I got for Christmas: “In the Kitchen w A Good Appetite” by Melissa Clark which is proving to be a delightful, appetite inducing read.

                                                                Two jerk-seasoned chicken legs are resting after their roast and, I’ll soon be shredding and packaging their meat for a COTM dish later this week. Celeriac was tossed w fennel seed and fronds; kosher salt and some pepper and is now roasting away.

                                                                For dinner tonight, kabocha squash and fennel soup with crème fraiche and candied pumpkin seeds from Sunday Suppers at Lucques. Followed by Quail & Sausage Braised w Grapes from The Zuni Café Cookbook, these will be served with some simple mashed potatoes and a lovely Rosso di Montalcino.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                  nomadchowwoman Jan 9, 2011 11:06 AM

                                                                  Oh, I loved reading the Melissa Clark book, BC.
                                                                  And get well; DH and I have had awful colds all week and still can't seem to shake them so I sympathize. But it doesn't sound like it's cramping your culinary style any!

                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                    Breadcrumbs Jan 9, 2011 12:08 PM

                                                                    Sorry to hear about your colds ncw, such a pain not being at 100%. There's something soul-soothing about cooking though so for me, being in the kitchen is the perfect way to slow down a bit along w my lemon tea w honey and Advil Cold and Sinus!! Hoping you both feel better soon.

                                                                  2. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                    s
                                                                    sunflwrsdh Jan 9, 2011 05:57 PM

                                                                    Sounds amazing!

                                                                  3. onceadaylily Jan 9, 2011 09:02 AM

                                                                    I have been so good lately, with all these salads, and fish, and plentiful vegetable sides. So good. Virtuous, almost. But, tonight, I want to be bad. Butter bad, cream sauce bad, cheese bad. And, (wait for it!), canned crab bad.

                                                                    I bought the canned crab for crab cakes, which the boyfriend had a craving for. But last night, I casually said, "So, maybe tomorrow, instead of crab cakes, because we have been so GOOD, we can have a pastabutterycreamycheesy something instead."

                                                                    Those crab cakes didn't stand a chance.

                                                                    So, I'm making pasta tonight. A sauce of crab, butter, garlic, lemon, cream, and a bit of flour to thicken, will be tossed with penne, plopped into a casserole, topped with buttered breadcrumbs, and baked until bubbly. There might be some parmesan in there somewhere, and maybe a bit of Old Bay seasoning in the cream sauce (though I'm not certain how well that would go with parmesan . . . but I do have other cheeses up my sleeve).

                                                                    I've never used canned crab before, and read a tip on CH involving a very cold milk bath to improve texture and decrease any tinny taste. I am aware that this is not a fine dining dish. This is about being BAD. I probably won't be serving a vegetable.

                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                    1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                      boyzoma Jan 9, 2011 09:43 AM

                                                                      Sounds great. Sometimes you have to be BAD once in a while to be good. Enjoy! We are being bad 2 nights in a row, so will go lighter next week. Tonight is a fork tender pot roast with onions, carrots and potatoes simmered in towards the end. Some yummy gravy over everything. Tomorrow I'm back on the fruit and salad regime.

                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                        nomadchowwoman Jan 9, 2011 11:10 AM

                                                                        Go for it, OADL. All good and no bad = no good in my calculus. Enjoy every creamy, cheesy, crabby morsel.

                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                          rabaja Jan 9, 2011 04:15 PM

                                                                          Oh OADL, I'd like to be bad too, but I have no energy for it.
                                                                          Frozen pizza really doesn't seem sinful enough. Eat a couple of tablespoons of butter for me.

                                                                          1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                            s
                                                                            sunflwrsdh Jan 9, 2011 06:00 PM

                                                                            I was feeling much the same way.....your crab sauced pasta sounds great! I made a "real" gingerbread. which I love to make in the winter, and toyed with the idea of trying to lighten up, but didn't....I just wanted the real thing! (I did use light butter, instead of regular butter) I only had a tiny piece, but it was soooo good. One of my very favorite winter foods:)

                                                                            1. re: sunflwrsdh
                                                                              onceadaylily Jan 9, 2011 06:33 PM

                                                                              I'm winging the pasta. My attempts to google a suitable recipe netted me a whole lot of Red lobster copycats, if that tells anyone anything. I am using ground sunflower seeds in place of much of the flour for the bechamel though.

                                                                              I would love the gingerbread recipe, if you feel like sharing. The boyfriend loves it, and I've never made one . . . or eaten any.

                                                                          2. a
                                                                            AdamD Jan 9, 2011 09:03 AM

                                                                            A bit warmer to today so I am going to fire up the grill and make some yakitori-nothing crazy, just thigh meat with scallions and some ginger chicken meatballs-maybe some chicken liver if I get inspired. My wife will make some side dishes-hijiki salad, steamed kabocha, bean sprout salad, and Japanese eggplant with miso.

                                                                            1. LindaWhit Jan 9, 2011 10:13 AM

                                                                              Before I get to dinner, I'm in a baking mood. So I'm making something to bring into work tomorrow. The Lemon Blueberry Sour Cream Cake from this site: http://www.lanierbb.com/recipes/data/... is seriously the best lemon-blueberry cake I've ever made - and SO low-calorie! ;-) (Hence the reason it's all going into work tomorrow!) I never glaze it - the cake is perfect as-is. And even though it's early January, the brightness of the lemon and blueberries makes one think of spring, if only for a little while. (P.S. I use butter instead of the margarine called for, and I definitely make sure to beat the batter the 3 minutes between each addition of eggs, as that definitely adds to the lightness of the batter with the additional aeration. And I toss the blueberries with some flour, so they hopefully don't sink in the batter.)

                                                                              Otherwise, dinner is going to be roast chicken, using some of the duck sauce I mentioned Friday night as a glaze. I'll doctor it up with a good bit of added grated fresh ginger for a little bite.

                                                                              Sides will be mashed Yukon Golds and probably some wilted spinach, although my standard green with roasted chicken and mashed is peas. But I had peas and corn with last night's pork tenderloin, so unless I'm uber-lazy or don't have the stovetop space, it'll be quickly sauteed baby spinach. :-)

                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                nomadchowwoman Jan 9, 2011 11:13 AM

                                                                                I just bookmarked that one--love the lemon and blueberry combination. And sour cream, well, don't get me started. Lucky co-workers!

                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                  Breadcrumbs Jan 9, 2011 12:13 PM

                                                                                  Dinner sounds just as yummy as that cake Linda! As for the spinach, I don't know where I'd be without it. I always have a couple of boxes of baby spinach in my fridge. I love its versatility, a quick stir-fry w evoo, lemon and chiles and you've got a side dish, a little dressing and whatever additions you may have on hand and its a salad and, if I have any leftover at the end of the week, I stir it into my marinara sauce for a spaghetti dinner.

                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                    LindaWhit Jan 9, 2011 12:22 PM

                                                                                    I like the idea of stirring it into a marinara, Breadcrumbs! I do have salad makings, so yes, one of the boxes might get used for that as well for work. :-)

                                                                                  2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                    s
                                                                                    sunflwrsdh Jan 9, 2011 06:05 PM

                                                                                    The Lemon Blueberry Sour Cream cake does sound great, and pretty low calorie. I may try it with a nonfat Greek Yogurt instead of sour cream and lite butter, and see how it turns out. I'll let you know. Thanks for sharing!

                                                                                    1. re: sunflwrsdh
                                                                                      LindaWhit Jan 10, 2011 04:17 AM

                                                                                      Actually, I was being facetious about the low-calorie. With a cup of sour cream and 6 eggs and a half pound of butter, it's anything but! But it *is* good. :-)

                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                        Breadcrumbs Jan 10, 2011 04:33 AM

                                                                                        How did your doctored duck sauce turn out as glaze for your chicken Linda?

                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                          LindaWhit Jan 10, 2011 09:20 AM

                                                                                          Fair. not sure I'd do it again, Breadcrumbs. It was certainly *good*, just not what I had hoped.

                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                            Breadcrumbs Jan 10, 2011 09:26 AM

                                                                                            Well it sounded like a good idea Linda, at least now you know. Its always fun to try something new or play w an idea. I'm sure you were your biggest critic!

                                                                                  3. krisrishere Jan 9, 2011 01:02 PM

                                                                                    I was going to make a beautiful rack of lamb with a mustard and herb crust, wild rice and steamed broccoli with lemon zest, BUT I can't now. I just realized that my husband took all of our knives to the restaurant he works at to be sharpened...and he left them there...they're only open Thursday through Saturdays. grr

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: krisrishere
                                                                                      LindaWhit Jan 9, 2011 01:13 PM

                                                                                      New rule for Mr. krisrishere - only take HALF of the knives to be sharpened in any given week! ;-)

                                                                                    2. n
                                                                                      nvcook Jan 9, 2011 01:04 PM

                                                                                      Tonight's dinner must be easy and fast. At 6:00 pm (pacific) Nevada will hopefully beat Boston College in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. So, it will be a homemade sausage and garlic pizza and lots of wine (me) and beer (him). Daughter and friends are in S.F. for the game and said the city is crawling with Nevada fans. Go Wolf Pack!!

                                                                                      1. nomadchowwoman Jan 9, 2011 02:36 PM

                                                                                        Last night, to console us after our Saints got knocked out of the playoffs, I made chicken paprikas, using a recipe from the CH thread on the subject--delicious!--and served it w/egg noodles and a beet, blood orange, and green salad. For starters, during the game, I put out a plate of cheater's deviled eggs as well as one of Delices de Bourgogne w/cranberry-hazelnut toasts (copycat Raincoast Crisps). For dessert, my friend and I had pears baked w/bourbon-infused cream. DH went to bed, sick (not sure if it was the lingering cold or the Saints loss . . .)

                                                                                        Tonight, I'm braising red cabbage w/apple, onion, bacon, and mustard seed to go with the wienerschnitzel I've been promising DH. I'm also going to make a warm potato salad and toss it w/olive oil, chives and preserved lemon rind. A small green salad, too, as DH fears we'll "waste" the blue cheese dressing in the fridge. (Instead of to waste, straight to the waist.)

                                                                                        Yup, Cheryl, we're still in high fat, comfort food mode. And the zippers 'round here could tell you all about it.

                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                          mariacarmen Jan 9, 2011 03:03 PM

                                                                                          My dad will be having the leftover paprikas from two days ago, but with rice, as is his preference, and fresh green beans boiled to death to ensure all freshness and life force leeched out, also to his preference, and I made myself a giant pot of vegetable soup with just about every green thing known to mankind: bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes, kale, leeks, celery, parsley, cilantro, green beans, bok choy, oregano, basil and s&p, chicken stock and a dash of soy sauce. same thing here - high fat comfort foods galore - lunch was half a cheeseburger split with dad, and leftover pizza from my sister's lunch out. plus i was "testing" out an appetizer for my friend's Miss America party next Sat. - little phyllo cups (frozen, sue me) filled with fig jam and blue cheese and topped with walnuts. Jeans are still causing nerve damage to hips, so i must. power. through. soup!

                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                            nomadchowwoman Jan 9, 2011 05:49 PM

                                                                                            Good for you on the soup, MC! And *half* a cheeseburger. You are almost as good as OADL.
                                                                                            Those frozen little phyllo cups? I love and use them all the time. And they do look like little crowns ;) .
                                                                                            I know there are a few of us here who can't wait to hear about next week's party.

                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                              s
                                                                                              sunflwrsdh Jan 9, 2011 06:08 PM

                                                                                              I used the little phyllo cups tonight to make the blackberry almond cheesecake tarts. I agree, they are great, Your appetizer sounds really good too!

                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                onceadaylily Jan 9, 2011 06:35 PM

                                                                                                I've never seen those phyllo cups! Adding to market list . . . along with brie. And some fruit. With a reminder to exercise.

                                                                                                1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                  mariacarmen Jan 9, 2011 07:02 PM

                                                                                                  These are Athens brand mini phyllo shells, and they're maybe a little bigger than a quarter in circumference, and sort of flute out.
                                                                                                  So, NCW - half a cheeseburger also included half his fries. ( :

                                                                                                  here is my menu of apps:
                                                                                                  1. Caviar pie (with toasted baguette slices); 2. Lamb mini meatballs with mint/cumin yogurt dipping sauce; 3. the Fig jam, blue cheese and walnut tartlets; 4. Puff pastry squares with mushroom/leek duxelles; 5. Tuna butter/caper canapés; 6. Roasted potatoes with watercress mayo.

                                                                                                  a GF of mine who has done a lot of catering says i should cut one, thinks that 5 is plenty - do you all agree? if i omit something, i would probably omit the puff pastry squares. or do you think something else? someone else will be bringing dessert. there will be about 10-15 people.

                                                                                                  There WILL be tiaras. There will be sashes.

                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                    nomadchowwoman Jan 10, 2011 08:12 AM

                                                                                                    You probably should for your sake--but I can't tell you which as they all sound delicious. And I certainly can't recommend that you delete mushroom/leek anything! The more disciplined hounds in this crowd will have to weigh in.

                                                                                          2. JerryMe Jan 9, 2011 05:30 PM

                                                                                            Chicken enchiladas. Some guacamole since avocados have been so cheap. Going to pack up leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

                                                                                            1. free sample addict aka Tracy L Jan 9, 2011 09:20 PM

                                                                                              It is cold for No. California standards so good staff of life, comfort food is in order. My resolution is to cook for myself more often and I have done well so far. Inspired by another thread and Jacques Pepin's quick cassoulet,I decided to make an easy cassoulet w/out duck confit or tolouse sausages. I ended up using this recipe: http://cookingfortwo.about.com/od/pas.... I subbed tomatoes w/ green chiles for the plain tomatoes and added bockwurst and a lamb shoulder chop. To accompany I had a nice romaine salad with a simple vinegarette and some crusty sourdough dinner rolls. I paired it with a nice jammy yet youthful Zinfandel blend and some store bought pfeffernouses for dessert. It was wonderful. more complex than I imagined and the bockwursts added such a nice touch it has inspired me to think of other bean stews or soups for the winter.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L
                                                                                                mariacarmen Jan 9, 2011 09:35 PM

                                                                                                It certainly is cold, for this wimpy northern californian, and the way you describe your dish it sounds like it came out wonderful - but if i had read that recipe beforehand i might not have tried it. so, you are inspiring! did you sub the pork chop for the turkey or just add in?

                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                  free sample addict aka Tracy L Jan 9, 2011 11:06 PM

                                                                                                  I only used a turkey drumstick and added everything else. There was a lot of extra room in the pot.

                                                                                              2. buttertart Jan 10, 2011 05:19 AM

                                                                                                Saturday night I took the leftover beef cooked with garlic and tomatoes (and some spices), cut it up and added it to 1/2 lb black beans I had quick-soaked, along with a good 2 Tb of chile guajillo and pasilla ground with 2 tsp or so of cumin. Water to cover plus a couple of inches and into the oven for 2 1/2 hrs. V tasty with sour cream on top and cornbread with cheddar cheese, green onion, and sliced jalapeno stirred in on the side (the recipe from the Indian Head cornmeal bag, with butter i/o oil), and coleslaw.
                                                                                                Last night butterflied quail cooked "al mattone" in goose fat (the mattone was the smaller of my 2 Calphalon non-stick pans). You have to uncross and recross their little legs midway through so that each of them gets nicely brown. Seems somehow disreputable to be doing it. Bulgur with shallot cooked in goose fat and chicken broth, some grape tomatoes, baby arugula salad, cranberry sauce, and a nice Sicilian negroamaro/primitivo blend. Later some of the salt and chocolate Mc Vitie's digestives imported from Japan I found at Kam Man - a dangerous addition to the snack repertoire, excellent and rather expensive. The cookie is chocolate (with the digestive biscuit texture) and the chocolate is dark and very good. Time for reverse-engineering the recipe...could stand to be a touch saltier.

                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                  Breadcrumbs Jan 10, 2011 05:33 AM

                                                                                                  That's funny you say that about the quail legs buttertart. Last night I made a quail recipe from the Zuni book and I didn't do anything special w their legs but as they lay there in the pan with their legs reaching out (as if to say . . . .get me out of here), I found it a little disconcerting! Did you tie the legs w string? I also felt they would have plated in a more appealing way if I'd handled the legs differently. Here's my review of that recipe if you want to take a look:

                                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3559...

                                                                                                  btw, I have a real weakness for McVities digestives so will definitely have to keep an eye out for the new ones you mentioned, I suspect they won't be quite as expensive up here in the great white north!

                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                                    buttertart Jan 10, 2011 05:51 AM

                                                                                                    I split them up the back and break the breastbones so they lie flat, I don't like cooking them whole because they look so "animal" that way (wimpy and deluded but I can't help it). Their legs cross when you do this. I want maximum browning so I switch their legs around.
                                                                                                    The Zuni recipe looks great (love that restaurant, one of my top 25 of all).
                                                                                                    Digestives: These are all labeled in Japanese (except for the brand name) so may be a special product for that market. If they do come out in Canada, PLEASE let me know, I'll have to arrange to have some sent to me!!! (Still only the dark and milk chocolate regular digestives available at home, I think? Not chocolate biscuits themselves?)

                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                      Breadcrumbs Jan 10, 2011 06:19 AM

                                                                                                      I've been able to access the whole UK McVities line here (Jaffa Cakes, HobNobs, Boasters, Gold, Taxi, Penguin and the plain dark and milk chocolate digestives along w the chocolate caramel digestives...yum!), some at grocery stores and all at local Scottish shops. I think you're right about the salt /choc digestives though, likely made to suit the Japanese market. If I see them, I'll definitely let you know.

                                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                                        buttertart Jan 10, 2011 07:53 AM

                                                                                                        I miss Canadian cookies...snif snif...the Cadbury's orange sandwich ones, mmm mmm good.

                                                                                                      2. re: buttertart
                                                                                                        EM23 Jan 10, 2011 07:01 AM

                                                                                                        Butter -are you in NJ? Fairway carries the McVities.

                                                                                                        1. re: EM23
                                                                                                          buttertart Jan 10, 2011 07:52 AM

                                                                                                          The chocolate and salt ones?

                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                            EM23 Jan 10, 2011 07:54 AM

                                                                                                            Chocolate for sure. Will check for salt ones on my next visit.

                                                                                                      3. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                                        n
                                                                                                        nvcook Jan 10, 2011 07:19 PM

                                                                                                        I have about 200 that I feed throughout the year. I'm afraid my quail eating days are over {sigh}. They remind me of little cartoon birds for some reason

                                                                                                      4. re: buttertart
                                                                                                        mariacarmen Jan 10, 2011 09:48 AM

                                                                                                        BT, your black bean concoction made my mouth water. yum. As for the quail, i almost never eat them because they are so tiny - usually think they're not worth the bother.... but that whole dinner sounds fantastic.

                                                                                                      5. onceadaylily Jan 10, 2011 06:55 AM

                                                                                                        Tonight, I'm cooking swordfish steaks (keeping it simple, just oil, salt and pepper in the pan, lemon to finish) with a few sides: sauteed green beans, potatoes roasted with garlic, dill and lemon, and maybe a succotash. The succotash would be made from frozen lima beans and corn, but I would have to use canned tomatoes. I'm not certain if that's worth making; I would have to cook the tomatoes down quite a bit, and do a fair amount of seasoning. I may just cook the lima beans in cream. It's supposed to snow tonight, and a lackluster imitation of a summer dish like succotash might be a little depressing.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                          nomadchowwoman Jan 10, 2011 08:17 AM

                                                                                                          Lima beans in cream--that's my vote, OADL (and you're being so virtuous in every other way). And definitely if it's snowing.

                                                                                                        2. chef chicklet Jan 10, 2011 07:32 AM

                                                                                                          Last night was freezing here! So after asking the little guy what he thought about spaghetti with meatballs (a firm yes!) and doing something with that dough still in the fridge, Italian dinner here we come. I make the best meatballs if I do say so myself. This time all beef, water, breadcrumbs, grated onion, smashed garlic, dried basil, and salt and pepper. Since laundry piled up (got a new dryer thank goodness) so the meat was sitting awhile, and so did the meatballs after I made them. At that time the hubby claimed he was hungry but still not 100% the little guy asked for the spaghetti and he always wants meatballs, so I made it. Took the dough and turned it into a nice herb and garlic foccacia. I think it had risen, and fallen, and risen and fallen so much that it didn't seem like the poofiest dough made, also I used breadmachine yeast if that changed anything, I dunno. Anyway. foccacia, with olive oil lots of smooshed garlic, rosemary chopped super fine, parmeseans and salt. It tasted crazy good. The meatballs were tender and juicy after baking to the "not quite done stage", then dropped in my marinara sauce. Laced with red wine and herbs like basil, rosemary and bay leaf. I was amazed it was as good as it was, (my sauce never turns out the same twice). Not a bit of bitterness which happens sometimes. Honestly one of my better spaghetti dinners. I sat the table and about the time I was placing pasta in the bowl, getting ready to serve it up, my hubby says, "Please don't hate me, I can't eat." OH hell no. Then the little guy sits down and we place the grated cheese on his food, and he pipes up with "Mommy I'm not hungry." Ok, spaghetti is no big deal right? I am so over this flu it's ridiculous, its really cramping my style. I cook for other people darn it!

                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: chef chicklet
                                                                                                            nomadchowwoman Jan 10, 2011 08:21 AM

                                                                                                            Those meatballs will keep, CC. I hope you enjoyed yours.

                                                                                                            Question: do you always bake your meatballs? At what temp? I always fry mine, and it's such a mess. Reading your post, I'm thinking that especially when the meatballs are going to end up in sauce, baking sounds like the way to go.

                                                                                                            1. re: chef chicklet
                                                                                                              LindaWhit Jan 10, 2011 09:27 AM

                                                                                                              Aww, sorry no one ate, chefchick. But as ncw said, the meatballs will keep. I do hope everyone is feeling better very soon!

                                                                                                              1. re: chef chicklet
                                                                                                                mariacarmen Jan 10, 2011 09:50 AM

                                                                                                                oh man! anticlimactic! but your meatballs will be even more delicious tomorrow.

                                                                                                                same question as NCW- do they come out more tender if you bake them?

                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                  ChristinaMason Jan 10, 2011 08:26 PM

                                                                                                                  I'm no chicklet, but I prefer my meatballs baked. It's way less messy, and they come out great. The only downside is that they're a little flat on the bottom.

                                                                                                                  Pan-frying meatballs is SO not worth the hassle.

                                                                                                                2. re: chef chicklet
                                                                                                                  Breadcrumbs Jan 10, 2011 09:58 AM

                                                                                                                  Let's hope the boys are in better shape today cc, it would be a shame if you had to replace them!!! Maybe you need dinner table "seat fillers" like they have at the Academy Awards!!

                                                                                                                  For what its worth, everything sure does sound delicious! Sounds like you put that dough to great use w the foccacia.

                                                                                                                3. nomadchowwoman Jan 10, 2011 08:27 AM

                                                                                                                  I'm making red beans and rice for tonight's dinner, to be served w/grilled green onion sausage, a green salad tossed w/beets and red onion, and a reheated baguette. I'm taking advantage of a quiet house as DH went back to the office today, now that holiday vacation is over, and I'm free for a few days, and I'm going to do some baking to use up stuff languishing in the kitchen.

                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                    buttertart Jan 10, 2011 09:02 AM

                                                                                                                    Mental image of eggs, sticks of butter, bags of flour with stick arms and legs wearing big boots and white gloves, with one arm flung up against their foreheads, in languishing mode. ;-)

                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                      chef chicklet Jan 10, 2011 10:05 AM

                                                                                                                      Thank you Linda, maria, and nomad for your kinds words. I guess I'm getting a little down, I should count my blessings. It's been 3 weeks of them being ill, and I'm more tired than anything.

                                                                                                                      Yes I usually do but I have also fried them. Of course you don't get that little crunchy bit from frying and I think the fat adds to the taste. But the meatballs are more tender if you bake them not all the way through just med rare say, then drop them in the sauce (even more to the rare side). I add a few spoonfulls of the juices in the pan to the sauce. But what I think makes them tender is the size of the grind for the meat (I'vebought some ground beef that the grind was to big making them heavty but for sure water, plain bread crumbs and then to let the mix rest, and then the meatballs go into the fridge to chill. (30 mins). When ready to bake preheat the oven and at 350 middle rack for about 20-25 mins depends on the size. Covered for half the time and turn and uncover the last bit. I make them bigger than golfballs just in case we want a meatball sandwiches. Now I know some people think to add and egg, I think that toughens them up so no to the egg (that's for meatloaf). The ratio of breadcrumbs and water is a feel, you want the meat squishy so they're easier to shape. I've added broth to the mix before too. I've gotten all these tips from different chowhound peeps over the years just so you know, there's always a lot of discussion about meatballs and matzo balls!
                                                                                                                      And yes they were so tender last night I was really disappointed that dh missed that, he loves them.

                                                                                                                      Gosh and all of you are right, they are good today still, and who doesn't love leftover spaghetti??? Not this girl, its pretty darn good today too!

                                                                                                                      Nomadchowwoman, red beans and rice- wash day in New Orleans... I love that! I love red beans and rice, I need to make a pot of that too!

                                                                                                                      1. re: chef chicklet
                                                                                                                        nomadchowwoman Jan 11, 2011 07:27 AM

                                                                                                                        Thanks, CC--I'm going to try the baking method next time; sounds do much saner. (So was doing my laundry on Sunday, which meant I didn't have to worry about it while the beans were burbling.)
                                                                                                                        Hope you're guys are doing better. The crud must be prevalent all other the country. We've had it here; everyone I talk to has had it or knows someone who's been sick.

                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                          chef chicklet Jan 14, 2011 09:22 AM

                                                                                                                          so it turns out that dh had strep throat...makes me feel kind of sad that I was so impatient with him feeling better and being cranky pants with the spaghetti dinner.

                                                                                                                          He's doing better he went back to work yesterday, he's pretty low energy right now. The little one too, I kept him home again yesterday and today, why not? Martin Luther King's day on Monday, might as well get his fully nursed back to health. Loading him up with chicken soup when I can. And to think, I put him through that two series flu shot...

                                                                                                                          You know, I don't bake my meatballs every single time, I do like the texture difference. I think if you use ground beef you'll taste more of a beefy flavor frying. Baking is cleaner (providing you don't crank the heat up too far or your oven will be a mess) than frying because your using higher heat at one time (using a screen helps a little).

                                                                                                                          I have ground veal that I must do something with today.... canneloni anyone?

                                                                                                                          1. re: chef chicklet
                                                                                                                            nomadchowwoman Jan 14, 2011 10:30 AM

                                                                                                                            Yes, please! Love, love, love cannelloni.
                                                                                                                            Glad everyone's on the mend. And it sounds to me like you're doing a good job of taking care of them, not just when they're sick, but all the time. (You can't expect to be making proper medical diagnoses along with making fabulous meals, now can you?)

                                                                                                                    2. linguafood Jan 10, 2011 10:32 AM

                                                                                                                      Let's see. Yesterday, I roasted an "organic" (supermarket) chicken that came out relatively well, with the breast super-juicy and the skin nice and crispy. Mind you, it coulda been a lot crispier, but I am a crispy skin fanatic.

                                                                                                                      Also, it was amazingly fatty, which did not go down so well with me. Overly rich foods just don't seem to agree with me anymore (bummer, I know).

                                                                                                                      Sides were a salad of endive with toasted pumpkin seeds, some feta, cherry tomatoes, and two Belgian endives chopped thinly, all tossed together in a walnut vinaigrette, my current addiction. A friend of mine brought back some Maille walnut mustard from Paris, and it's been going into my vinaigrettes ever since. Also, fresh peas with a bit of light cream & mint.

                                                                                                                      Tonight, penne rigati with crab meat, sweet peppers and x.... no cream this time I think, so maybe just olive oil and white wine? Unless someone here had a fabulous idea of how to make this even schmeckier. Preferably low-cal '-)

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                        JungMann Jan 10, 2011 12:03 PM

                                                                                                                        I might consider doing the penne with crab, mint, shallots, lemon juice, white wine and a bit of butter so that it coats the pasta. Or if you want to avoid the butter, maybe creme fraiche, but use scallions instead of the shallots.

                                                                                                                        1. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                          linguafood Jan 10, 2011 12:22 PM

                                                                                                                          That's pretty close to what I had in mind. I'm out of mint, tho, so the scallions will have to do...

                                                                                                                      2. krisrishere Jan 10, 2011 10:44 AM

                                                                                                                        Day #2 without any knives and I have to cook that rack of lamb. We may be tearing it apart with our bare hands unless a butter knife can cut it. That or I may have to knock on my neighbors door...

                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: krisrishere
                                                                                                                          rabaja Jan 10, 2011 12:15 PM

                                                                                                                          I vote for using your bare hands. It could be a prelude to something interesting.

                                                                                                                          1. re: rabaja
                                                                                                                            krisrishere Jan 10, 2011 12:27 PM

                                                                                                                            Grrr :)

                                                                                                                            1. re: krisrishere
                                                                                                                              a
                                                                                                                              AdamD Jan 10, 2011 01:14 PM

                                                                                                                              I think I would have to get a cheapo knife if I had a rack o lamb and nothing to cut it with.
                                                                                                                              Got a swiss army lying around?

                                                                                                                              1. re: AdamD
                                                                                                                                buttertart Jan 11, 2011 06:39 AM

                                                                                                                                The super-cheap ones from Asia in dollar stores and Asian stores can be sharper than Billy-be-damned. One of my favorites is a Santoku from Korea that cost $1.98.

                                                                                                                                1. re: AdamD
                                                                                                                                  krisrishere Jan 12, 2011 10:11 AM

                                                                                                                                  Definitely wished I had my knives, but I made do with a crappy knife from my neighbor. And I absolutely agree with buttertart; I have a cleaver from the Asian grocery store that closely rivals my Wustof.

                                                                                                                          2. a
                                                                                                                            AdamD Jan 10, 2011 01:59 PM

                                                                                                                            My wife is making asian style pork meatballs over cabbage, some kind of miso based clam soup and amberjack sashimi with scallions and ginger. Rice and mozuku (yuzu/vinegar marinated seaweed) on the side.

                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: AdamD
                                                                                                                              JungMann Jan 10, 2011 04:22 PM

                                                                                                                              How does she do the meatballs over cabbage and miso clam soup? Both sound like meals I could make this week.

                                                                                                                              1. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                a
                                                                                                                                AdamD Jan 11, 2011 03:32 AM

                                                                                                                                I will ask, its basically ground pork with finely diced scallion (possibly nira) and grated ginger-not sure what she uses for a binder-they she pan fries them-then she bastes them with some kind of sauce after removal from the pan. The cabbage is napa that is quickly sauteed with a lttle oil, the steamed at the end with a bit of water.

                                                                                                                                The clam miso is basically asari clams, light miso, scallions and a light dashi.

                                                                                                                                1. re: AdamD
                                                                                                                                  mariacarmen Jan 11, 2011 08:52 AM

                                                                                                                                  (uh-oh....JungMann found an asian foodie soul mate.....!!) by the way, AdamD, welcome to WFD. enjoying your posts very much!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                    a
                                                                                                                                    AdamD Jan 13, 2011 03:58 AM

                                                                                                                                    Thank you! Love reading about everyone's yummy adventures in the home kitchen.

                                                                                                                            2. Cherylptw Jan 10, 2011 02:26 PM

                                                                                                                              Yesterday was the monthly chicken church dinner with all of the usual suspects, i.e, fried chicken, chicken pot pie, green beans w/potatoes, baked beans, vegetable beef soup, black eyed peas cooked with country ham, baked spinach & cheese, broccoli cheesy rice, mac & cheese, etc. A table of delectible desserts were annihilated for the most part. Someone brought a chinese chicken noodle salad that was really good; I made fresh herb rolls stuffed with a really good ham & cheddar salad and some pumpkin whoopie pies to take. As usual, a good time was had by all. So, no dinner cooked by me, I brought home a plate of assorted desserts which I nibbled on later in the evening.

                                                                                                                              Tonight, chef's salad with turkey and some of that ham salad from yesterday, along with hard boiled egg, smoked gouda instead of swiss, tomatoes, cukes, etc. on a nice bed of mixed lettuces, topped with croutons and roasted tomato vinaigrette. Back to cooking tomorrow....

                                                                                                                              1. JungMann Jan 10, 2011 04:26 PM

                                                                                                                                The resurgence of a couple threads on Indian food (and my post football wings/fries/chips guilt) put me in the mood for vegetarian food today, so I improvised a cabbage curry, a dish I grew up eating, but a recipe that has been highly influenced by the tips I've learned on CH over the years. I started by taking my onions to a deep brown, followed by ginger and garlic I pounded in my mortar and pestle. Once they were fragrant, I put in whole cumin and mustard seeds, followed by turmeric, coriander and pimenton picante and of course the cabbage. I stir fried to coat the cabbage and then cooked it down with some water. As is my wont, I tried to salt as sparingly as possible, and tried to make up the difference by adding some amchur for a little sweetness and tartness. Overall my tastebuds were waiting expectantly for the richness of ghee, but were not left wanting for flavor in this otherwise virtuous dish.

                                                                                                                                1. Breadcrumbs Jan 10, 2011 05:03 PM

                                                                                                                                  Tonight we dined on our absolute favorite meal from the COTM’s. To start, I made the Minced Pork in Lettuce Cups from SFttSE and for the main event we had Chinese American Shrimp w Lobster Sauce also from SFttSE and, Spicy Garlic Eggplant from BoaW. All dishes exceeded our expectations and when it was all said and done Mr bc said “So now when we want Chinese food, I guess you’ll have to make it” Now, let me assure you, our area of the burbs is NOT known for great dining but nonetheless, I was happy my pasta-loving hubby had enjoyed the meal so much!

                                                                                                                                  Here are the links to my photos and reviews of the recipes we tried if you’re interested:

                                                                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/756704?tag=main_body;topic-756704#6202991

                                                                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7567...

                                                                                                                                  1. mariacarmen Jan 10, 2011 05:36 PM

                                                                                                                                    Made a batch of dad's fave, the standard apanados (chicken-fried-steak-like things), rice, salad, and also a cottage pie with cumin, touch of nutmeg, worcestershire, onions, tomato paste, carrots & peas, for tomorrow, and to freeze. had extra filling and extra potatoes but not enough for another casserole so i snacked on that for dinner.

                                                                                                                                    going home tonight, and we have a new oven at the apt. - excited because it is new and we will be able to regulate temps and such, but bummed that they couldn't find parts to fix the door of our old burnished steel Western Holly beaut (we had to tie it shut with a string to cook!), and instead put in a WHITE digital Maytag thing. Still, it will be easier to cook in. I'll have to see what I christen it with...

                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                      twodales Jan 10, 2011 06:26 PM

                                                                                                                                      Chicken-fried steak, no gravy. Baked spuds, carrots and Florida strawberries with a dab of sour cream and a sprinkling of brown sugar. The meat was tender, the spuds flavorful and the strawberries actually tasted like they should. Happy campers here.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                        rabaja Jan 10, 2011 06:42 PM

                                                                                                                                        I feel your pain re; losing the vintage charm of an older appliance (I used to have a Wedgewood and was so sad to move on to a generic model, later to be followed by a Magic Chef-egads, glad I moved on from that one!).
                                                                                                                                        I bet you'll enjoy having a reliable oven that closes properly, and hey, you could do a lot worse than Maytag.
                                                                                                                                        Have fun christening it, and bake lots, you'll appreciate it more.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: rabaja
                                                                                                                                          mariacarmen Jan 10, 2011 09:36 PM

                                                                                                                                          yeah i was just thinking that this will be the first time i've had a "modern" oven since I left my parents' home, 25 years ago. i am sure i will appreciate it's non-quirkiness. and maybe LEARN to bake!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                            buttertart Jan 11, 2011 06:40 AM

                                                                                                                                            Nothing easier with a reliable oven, my lady!

                                                                                                                                      2. rabaja Jan 10, 2011 06:48 PM

                                                                                                                                        I was all set to make a pork stir-fry from one of the COTM, but got home too late to prep it before my class tonight. I knew I would have no interest prepping and cooking the whoe thing this evening, it's almost eight o'clock as it is.
                                                                                                                                        What I'm making instead: Fennel sausage with chinese broccoli, red chile and cheese over polenta.
                                                                                                                                        At least I started the polenta before class, so hopefully I can eat by 8:30 or so.
                                                                                                                                        Brrrrr, it's chilly!

                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: rabaja
                                                                                                                                          mariacarmen Jan 10, 2011 09:41 PM

                                                                                                                                          yum, fennel sausage and brocc sounds good! hope your class warmed you up. i have been using the "cold weather" (I hate to say that on this board with all these poor people going through actual blizzards!) as an excuse not to run. my jeans keep shrieking "get the hell off your ass, pantywaist."

                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                            nomadchowwoman Jan 11, 2011 07:30 AM

                                                                                                                                            I've been using the same excuse evn though it's not exactly blizzardy here. But you're lucky. My jeans aren't speaking to me at all anymore.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                              mariacarmen Jan 11, 2011 09:04 AM

                                                                                                                                              I wish mine would shut the hell up. i'll buy a bigger size, oh yes i will!

                                                                                                                                        2. s
                                                                                                                                          sunflwrsdh Jan 10, 2011 07:15 PM

                                                                                                                                          Sadly, McDonald's for dinner tonight, took 4yo granddaughter to dance class, and out for her choice of where to eat after. She doesn't really like the food there either, just the play area:)

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: sunflwrsdh
                                                                                                                                            mariacarmen Jan 10, 2011 09:42 PM

                                                                                                                                            you couldn't help it and i don't care how wrong it is, i love those fries.

                                                                                                                                          2. ChristinaMason Jan 10, 2011 08:32 PM

                                                                                                                                            A pork and veggie stir-fry (very) loosely based on a recipe for chicken stir-fry with spicy sesame sauce from CI. Tons of veggies---celery, carrots, red cabbage, green beans, and broccoli were bathed in a spicy teriyaki-sesame sauce, along with some velveted strips of pork loin. A hefty dose of garlic, ginger, and some oyster sauce finished it off. Served up over steamed bulgur, it was relatively healthy, but for the sodium content.

                                                                                                                                            Hey, y'can't win 'em all.

                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                              mariacarmen Jan 10, 2011 09:44 PM

                                                                                                                                              sodium schmodium!
                                                                                                                                              hey, what does "velveted" mean? is that like coating them in cornstarch, like they do with shrimp?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                mamachef Jan 11, 2011 07:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                I love sodium in all it's many forms and appearences too. Please don't tell my doctor. He would not be particularly happy with me.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                  mariacarmen Jan 11, 2011 08:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                  i am one of the lucky ones - have really low blood pressure, so it's never been an issue. salt lick, anyone?

                                                                                                                                                2. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                  ChristinaMason Jan 11, 2011 12:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Right! CI has you marinate the meat, then toss it with cornstarch and flour and fry.

                                                                                                                                              2. mamachef Jan 11, 2011 07:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                It's cold here, and I'm headed back up to Cal today after taking a time-out. I'm going to make Harters' vegetable/lentil cobbler for the meatless, and beef stew and biscuits for the meaties. At home, we're having a pork ragout with prunes, done in white wine, with buttered noodles and some string beans with bacon that actually look pretty good for this time of year. And happy healthy New Year to my buds here on the 'hound.

                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                  mariacarmen Jan 11, 2011 08:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                  oh mama - glad you're a'cookin again. i want that pork ragout recipe, sounds divine.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                    mamachef Jan 11, 2011 10:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Girl, call me. You know my digits! Love you!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                      ChristinaMason Jan 11, 2011 12:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                      For those of us that don't have the digits...is it like this?
                                                                                                                                                      http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/rag...

                                                                                                                                                      :)

                                                                                                                                                2. onceadaylily Jan 11, 2011 07:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                  The snow is here (again). It's storybook snow, thick flakes clinging together during their free fall, and makes for a peaceful morning after a rough start that saw the boyfriend hitting the snooze buttons on each of his three alarm clocks (beginning at four) for over an hour, the cat knocking a lamp and a hurricane lantern off of an end table (around four forty-five), and the boyfriend, seeing that I was 'up' asked me to make oatmeal (five thirty). But on his way out the door, he looked gently into my cranky face, and offered to bring home take-out for dinner. I accepted his offer (six forty-ish).

                                                                                                                                                  But then I was on CH, and saw a picture of those smashed potatoes everyone is loving right now. Wow. So, we're still having take-out, but I think a side of smashed potatoes would go really well with the shrimp egg foo yung. I have edamame in the freezer too, so I'll put some pods on to boil for a healthier side.

                                                                                                                                                  And I might finally make the brownies I've been craving, but have only cocoa on hand. If I want to convert Nick's Supernatural Brownies for cocoa, that is a shocking twenty-four tablespoons of cocoa. On the other hand, I forgot I had cocoa, bought more, and then a friend moved, and snuck a box of cocoa in with the champagne flutes and juices glasses she was giving me. So, I do have it to spare.

                                                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                    buttertart Jan 11, 2011 08:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                    He has a specifically cocoa recipe but I'm not sure if it's online.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                      onceadaylily Jan 11, 2011 09:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the heads up, but I couldn't find it. At least I'll make a dent in my cocoa stash. I could use the space in the cupboard.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                        buttertart Jan 11, 2011 09:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                        I've done the supers with half cocoa but not all the way. I can post the cocoa recipe later if you'd like it for future ref.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                          onceadaylily Jan 11, 2011 10:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                          That would be fantastic, thanks.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                            buttertart Jan 11, 2011 10:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                            Your every wish is my command.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Jan 11, 2011 11:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                              Or, as the Dread Pirate Westley said to Princess Buttercup, "As you wish." ;-)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                onceadaylily Jan 11, 2011 12:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Buttertart is the chowhound genie.

                                                                                                                                                  2. a
                                                                                                                                                    AdamD Jan 11, 2011 08:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Not sure. Probably something simple like yakisoba and gyoza (store bought). This is one of the nights we scramble to get food on the table for the kids-they will probably get natto over rice as well. We are expecting 9 inches of snow this evening-so I might whip up a batch of chicken cacciatore or some other concoction so we have a dutch oven full of food we can pick at while we are snowed in tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                    Any suggestions on what to do with six legs and thighs? Nothing spicy as I need to feed young kids.

                                                                                                                                                    12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: AdamD
                                                                                                                                                      mamachef Jan 11, 2011 08:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Will they eat oven-baked chicken with barbeque sauce? If not, what about simple baked chicken and rice?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                        a
                                                                                                                                                        AdamD Jan 11, 2011 08:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Yes they might. But I think they would be unhappy after eating my BBQ chicken made in the summer. But the rice idea is good-maybe arroz con pollo.

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: AdamD
                                                                                                                                                        rabaja Jan 11, 2011 08:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                        My vote is for chicken paprikash. There's a thread on this board with several recipes. It's total cold-weather comfort food.
                                                                                                                                                        Especially with a batch of spatzle to go with. All easily made ahead too.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rabaja
                                                                                                                                                          a
                                                                                                                                                          AdamD Jan 11, 2011 08:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Not too spicy for a 5.5 year old? Not sure that suits his tastes. Thanks for the suggestion.
                                                                                                                                                          I dont see myself making spatzle-rice or may orzo instead?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: AdamD
                                                                                                                                                            mariacarmen Jan 11, 2011 08:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                            not spicy at all if you just use regular sweet paprika. i made it for my parents a lot in the past few months and they can't abide heat/overly spiced things. palates of a 5.5 year old, they have! it's really good over wide egg noodles,and kids love those.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AdamD
                                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Jan 11, 2011 09:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                              The Paprikash thread:

                                                                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/743235

                                                                                                                                                              it isn't spicy at all. And excellent on egg noodles. :-)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                mariacarmen Jan 11, 2011 09:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                we are like drug pushers with that paprikash. make it! make it!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                  LindaWhit Jan 11, 2011 10:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  :::::snicker::::: I'm also like that with Trade Joe's Triple Gingersnaps. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                    rabaja Jan 11, 2011 10:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    Oh LW, I am going to TJ's today, why'd you have to mention those?! And seriously, make the paprikash AD! It was one dish we all loved in my house growning up.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rabaja
                                                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Jan 11, 2011 11:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      heh-heh-heh-heh..... ::::::rubbing my hands together::::: My evil plot is working!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                        a
                                                                                                                                                                        AdamD Jan 11, 2011 12:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        The lobby is strong. I think I have most of those ingredients on hand. Our paprika might be a bit old though..............not something use a that often.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AdamD
                                                                                                                                                                          ChristinaMason Jan 11, 2011 12:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          I used some from my MIL, which had to have been a few years old. Just use more of it. I promise deliciousness!

                                                                                                                                                        2. mariacarmen Jan 11, 2011 08:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                          I have a stock pot full of water, half an onion, a bay leaf or two, a smoked ham hock, AND a ham bone leftover from xmas a-brewing. it smells SO FRICKIN' GOOD in here. i also soaked some black beans last night. so, something beany and soupy.... boyfriend has pork chops in the fridge, too, so it's looking like some kinda pork and beans kinda night.

                                                                                                                                                          1. jeniyo Jan 11, 2011 10:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                            last night was mapo tofu, sauteed kale with some delicata squash and simple quinoa.

                                                                                                                                                            I defrosted some elk shoulder meat last night. if it is ready for slicing, i might saute some of that with some leeks. Not sure what i should do with it actually. does anyone have experience with Elk??

                                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jeniyo
                                                                                                                                                              buttertart Jan 11, 2011 11:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                              Is elk the same as moose? I've only had it roasted. I would think you just don't want to overcook it, if it's like venison it can taste livery well-done.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                ChristinaMason Jan 11, 2011 12:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                But if it's shoulder, it might be tough as shoe-leather. A braise would soften it up. I'd prob. make a German-style goulash: http://culinspiration.wordpress.com/2...

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                  buttertart Jan 11, 2011 01:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  You're right. What I had was part of about a 5-lb loin roast from a moose my dad shot. Pretty dang good, too.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                    jeniyo Jan 11, 2011 02:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    hum.. makes me wonder. a hunting friend of mine gave me this hunk. Shoulder is a wild guess from the striations on the cut.. well, if it is tough, i might try out that goulash or a pot of chili instead.

                                                                                                                                                                    from what i've heard, Elk is similar to moose. I'd love to try more game in the future. i'm contemplating making salamis from venison.... humm...

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: jeniyo
                                                                                                                                                                mariacarmen Jan 11, 2011 11:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                mmmmmmapo tofu...

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jeniyo
                                                                                                                                                                  n
                                                                                                                                                                  nvcook Jan 11, 2011 12:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Elk is a very lean meat. It is milder in flavor than venison. I have never cooked shoulder but I'm thinking a braise would be the ticket as it probably is a tougher cut than steaks.

                                                                                                                                                                2. Rubee Jan 11, 2011 01:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Well, I finally caught the cold that it seems everybody I know has had. For lunch, made a spicy sinus-clearing Vietnamese soup. Defrosted Asian chicken stock I had in the freezer (which I had simmered with star anise, garlic, onion, and ginger). Added rice noodles, fish sauce, scallions, cilantro, fresh chile, and chili oil.

                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                  1. a
                                                                                                                                                                    AdamD Jan 11, 2011 01:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Looks like I will have to head out or go for frozen/prepared food tonight. Wife and kids are going hardcore Japanese. Natto over rice, miso soup, tamago, and grilled sardines (the small frozen ones on a straw). I have to pass. Now where to go after the kids are asleep????

                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: AdamD
                                                                                                                                                                      a
                                                                                                                                                                      AdamD Jan 11, 2011 02:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Well throw that all out the window.
                                                                                                                                                                      Wife made a white chicken stew with toast points and a salad. YUM.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: AdamD
                                                                                                                                                                        jeniyo Jan 11, 2011 02:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        mmm. Sardines...

                                                                                                                                                                        the hubs don't like fish with bones, what a shame...

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jeniyo
                                                                                                                                                                          a
                                                                                                                                                                          AdamD Jan 11, 2011 04:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Not so much the sardines, I can eat them on occasion-especially if they are fresh or if I am enjoying some alcohol ;). More so the natto. Im on the porch with a scotch when they eat that stuff!

                                                                                                                                                                          But anyway, wife made a white stew with chicken, shimeji mushrooms, broccoli, and kabocha using soy milk as the base. Damn good with some multi-grain Japanese bread croutons ( really just toasted bread cut into cubes) and a salad.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. nomadchowwoman Jan 11, 2011 03:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Tonight I'm making French Onion Soup, which I probably haven't made in 20 years. I'm trying out the Canal House recipe, which uses chicken stock instead of beef, since I have lots of that on hand. Was planning to make chicken liver pate to have w/it, but I never got around to it. So we'll have to supplement w/ what's in the fridge--not much of which complements very well, I'm afraid. But I doubt we'll go to bed hungry.

                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                        ChristinaMason Jan 11, 2011 04:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        that sounds very good!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                                                                                          sunflwrsdh Jan 11, 2011 06:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          I've been wanting to make French Oinion soup, too, it's a great cold weather comfort food. Maybe next week, after I get my soup supply down a little bit. I made black bean, minestrone and ginger scented apple squash soup this weekend, and it is only Tuesday!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                            nomadchowwoman Jan 12, 2011 08:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            Well, DH loved it, and with the addition of four large, gruyere-topped croutons, it turned out to be enough for dinner last night. I liked the chicken stock version fine although I found the soup a tad sweet--but I used sweet onions b/c that's what I had in the house; I think plain old yellow onions might have been better for this soup.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Breadcrumbs Jan 11, 2011 04:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Another COTM dinner here at casa bc and no complaints yet. I think these books have just enough “fusion” and adapted dishes to ensure there’s no fatigue over dining on one cuisine night after night.

                                                                                                                                                                            Tonight it was Sichuan Pork w Peppers and Peanuts from SFttSE and Liang Nian Xiu’s Snow Peas, Tomatoes, and Chilies from BoaW. Both dishes were very good and quite different from the others we’ve sampled from the two books.

                                                                                                                                                                            My photos and notes at the COTM threads if you’re interested:

                                                                                                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/756704#6205905

                                                                                                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7567...

                                                                                                                                                                            1. ChristinaMason Jan 11, 2011 04:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              I was feeling creative and wanted a meatless main, so I made red lentil daal with (what I guess is) a Mexican twist. Sauteed onions, garlic, a bay leaf, chipotle en adobo puree, and tomato paste. Tossed in some crushed tomatoes and chicken broth, then in went the lentils, salt, cumin, cinnamon, paprika, and a knob of butter. Simmered until split and a nice stewy consistency.

                                                                                                                                                                              I topped that with seasoned roasted eggplant, cotija cheese, a dollop of plain yogurt, and chopped cilantro.

                                                                                                                                                                              Less successful: a pot of Southern-style Kale, which was too chewy and a bit bitter. I guess I need to cook the life out of it.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. rabaja Jan 11, 2011 05:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Oh me, oh my, I am tired.
                                                                                                                                                                                Not sure why, all I did today was travel into the city for a vet appt (all's good there, thankfully), but I got home after dark and after settling, in had no energy for the chinese stir-fry I'd intended on making.
                                                                                                                                                                                I must be gettting old.
                                                                                                                                                                                Anyway, I stumbled upon a Vietnamese COTM thread, read about a super easy pho MMRuth liked for quick meals and decided I could do something similiar.
                                                                                                                                                                                I defrosted three quarts of chix stock yesterday to use up in the next few days, so it was easy enough to saute some ginger coins and garlic before tipping in the stock and star anise, fish sauce and a Thai chile. I used agave instead of sugar, sshh, don't tell.
                                                                                                                                                                                Cut up a bunch of veg (more chinese broccoli, fresh shitakes, white onion, carrots, cilantro and enokis) and cubed some tofu.
                                                                                                                                                                                Not it won't be pho, especially after I add some buckwheat noodles (found 100% buckwheat ones, been curious to try them), but it should be warm and tasty on this drizzly evening.
                                                                                                                                                                                Happy Tuesday!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. s
                                                                                                                                                                                  sunflwrsdh Jan 11, 2011 07:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Tonight was a Weight Watcher's crock pot lasagna, which was surprisingly good, considering it was A) Weight Watchers, and B) Crockpot. served with a dole bag of Italian Salad, and a good Italian red wine that I can never remember the name of. Wayyy better than last night's McD's!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. boyzoma Jan 11, 2011 10:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Tonight we had some tilapia fillets, dipped in egg wash and then coated with some crushed ritz crackers (ok - was stretching what was in the cupboard for a change of pace), some fresh made tartar sauce with diced dill pickles, chives, mayo and lemon, steamed veggies and Jasmine rice. Wanted to change it up, but it was too icy outside to attempt a trip to the stupidmarket.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. mamachef Jan 12, 2011 09:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Still cold but not frozen in the good old East Bay. At work, I'll be feeding the boys basically bar snacks: sloppy Joes, garlic fries, salad. TVP and tofu in the vegan sloppy mix. Got to get on top of my game, though; Thursday is birfdayday, and I've got a request on the magic blackboard for fried chicken, mac and cheese, and spinach salad. 3 b-days this month. Thanks G-d for the moms who deliver the cakes.
                                                                                                                                                                                      To home, tonight is pasta. Yes, pasta. Probably rotelli with ham, peas, and parmesan cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                        mariacarmen Jan 12, 2011 11:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        your boys are so lucky. all of them. sloppy joes AND garlic fries! and that's not even a birfday day!

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. i
                                                                                                                                                                                        italia84 Jan 12, 2011 09:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Pasta fagiole soup. I make mine with ditalini and either cannellini beans or chick peas. Usually the former, but tonight I'm thinking the latter. With some fresh hot bread. yum!!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. JungMann Jan 12, 2011 10:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I was gifted some kielbasa by a Polish friend so that will have to become bigos. Problem is, I haven't made bigos in over a year and I've forgotten the recipe. After scouring the web, I've decided to stick with the basic sausage, kraut, cabbage and onion combo seasoned with bay leaves and caraway. I'll probably add porcini mushrooms and maybe some spareribs. The braising liquid will end up being wine, stock or a beer and may or may not include tomato sauce. Maybe some gin as well since I don't have juniper berries.

                                                                                                                                                                                          If it doesn't taste right tonight, I'll just have a sandwich and give the stew a couple days to rest. The one thing I remember about bigos is that it gets better with age.

                                                                                                                                                                                          12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                                                            mamachef Jan 12, 2011 10:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            JungMann, you have all the right ideas, but if you'd like a classic recipe I'd be glad to post it for you.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                              ChristinaMason Jan 12, 2011 11:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I'd love to see that recipe

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                JungMann Jan 12, 2011 12:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I'd love to see your recipe. Even if I don't get it in time for dinner today, I've been meaning to make my own sauerkraut, so there'll be plenty of opportunities to try it out before the Spring.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                                                                mariacarmen Jan 12, 2011 11:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                oh man that sounds fantastic, and i vote no tomato sauce. because my vote counts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                  JungMann Jan 12, 2011 12:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't recall using tomato sauce in my recipe, but we have a quart taking up so much space in the fridge! As an update I also picked up some turnips for a mash as well as rainbow chard which I will saute with garlic, lemon rind and toasted hazelnuts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                                                                    mariacarmen Jan 12, 2011 01:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    i saw an episode of America's Test Kitchen about sauteeing parsnips or turnips in butter for 10-12 minutes before mashing them and mixing with steamed, mashed potatoes, for a better flavor. haven't tried it yet but sounded good

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                                                                  buttertart Jan 12, 2011 03:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  JungMann, no prunes?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                    JungMann Jan 13, 2011 06:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I generally dislike the combination of fruit and meat. I expected the lager I used for the braise to have enough sweetness, but the kielbasy I had were extremely smokey. I tried to balance them out with some maple glazed ham ends, brown sugar and tomato sauce, but I may need to dilute their flavor with more sauerkraut. Right now the pot has a distinctly acrid, smokey after taste, but it's not so bad I'm resorting to prunes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                                                                      buttertart Jan 13, 2011 07:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      A Polish friend insisted on them, but if you don't like them, no need. Maybe some mushrooms?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                        JungMann Jan 13, 2011 07:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I never put mushrooms in my bigos before, but I did add a healthy amount of porcini to this most recent attempt. Their flavor, though, seems to have drowned behind the kielbasy, so I'll probably pick up a bag of fresh mushrooms to add to the pot before it gets reheated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                                                                          buttertart Jan 13, 2011 07:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Where's the kielbasy from? I really like the white one (I'm not all that keen on smoked flavors to tell the truth).

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                            JungMann Jan 13, 2011 08:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I believe it is from Shady Maple in PA.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.shady-maple.com/farm-marke...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm used to more mildly smoked kielbasy. This one is so smokey and peppery I barely recognize it as kielbasa.

                                                                                                                                                                                                3. krisrishere Jan 12, 2011 10:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  My head is telling me that I want stuffed shells filled with gobs of whole milk ricotta and heaping handfuls of mozzarella and parm, with more cheese melted and browned on top...and a caesar salad along with Peanut M&M's for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  My body is telling me to eat a grilled pork chop with Penzey's BBQ seasoning, corn and raspberry sorbet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Knowing that, I have a feeling that the pork chop is going to be extremely unsatisfying tonight :*(

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: krisrishere
                                                                                                                                                                                                    mariacarmen Jan 12, 2011 11:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    no, it'll be yummy and crispy and tangy and porky, with just a tad of fat to make each bite succulent. go Kris go! you can do it you can do it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. LindaWhit Jan 12, 2011 11:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's a snow day here in New England. I figured it would be so last night, so I turned off my alarm, knowing I'd wake up by 7am, and if it *wasn't* a snow day, I'd still get into work at a reasonable hour. Peeked out the window around 6:15 - yup, thatsalotta snow! So I stayed in bed for another hour, then got up to shovel. The Neighborly Plow Guy has taken care of the driveway 3x (thank you kindly, Neighborly Plow Guy - best $20 I've spent this year!) and I'm hoping against hope that I'm done shoveling. It's barely flurrying right now (although there was a bit of a whiteout just about an hour ago), so other than *maybe* a quick pass over my part of the driveway later tonight, I'm hoping I'm in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have chicken left over from the roast on Sunday, but I was craving pasta and sauce - so I pulled out a container of meat sauce from the downstairs freezer this morning. It's got chopped and sauteed red bell pepper and onions, along with ground beef and sweet Italian sausage. Can't recall if I had any mushrooms when I made this batch, so if there are none, I'll slice and sauté a few and toss them into the sauce as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have some Trader Joe's take-and-bake rolls that I'll bake a few of, and a small salad alongside the bizgetti, and it's dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    And while I'd LOVE to go to sleep early, it's Top Chef night! So I'm up until at least 11pm. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                      mariacarmen Jan 12, 2011 01:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      yeah, girl, fortify yourself with that bizgetti so you can pump out the Top Chef summary! I noticed you have something up already and was afraid to look, in case you'd somehow posted a spoiler...? but naahh, you'd never do that!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      eta: oh wait, i misread that. it's the old Top Chef post that i saw.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit Jan 12, 2011 02:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was gonna say "HEY! Who's impersonating me?" ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        And noooooooo!!!! No spoilers!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. mariacarmen Jan 12, 2011 11:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      i want to try mamachef's pork-n-prunes but i have a lean pork tenderloin instead of a nice fattier cut, so it'll have to be something else. i still have duck sauce left over from the other night, i think that may make a nice glaze, untraditional tho it may be. maybe i'll season the loin with some 5 spice so that it thinks it's a chinese duck. still have the heavenly aromatic black bean soup with ham from yesterday, which was What Was for Lunch (WWFL™) and will probably be part of WFD too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                        mariacarmen Jan 12, 2011 03:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ugh. there shall be no cooking. Gas man turned off our gas because our newly installed oven was improperly installed and there is a gas leak that was scaring the neighbors (but we couldn't smell it cuz it was leaking thru the walls.) great - i'm also prepping/cooking for party on Sat. and who knows when landlord will send someone out, and only then can i get gas co. to come back and turn us on. I froze the greek meatballs i was about to stick in the oven. boooooo...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                          a
                                                                                                                                                                                                          AdamD Jan 12, 2011 03:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          BUMMER. Deal with it immediately, because if its anything like NY, about four people have to approve the gas being turned back on-and it can take time. Call the utility co and find out what exactly needs to be done to get it turned back on. Then press the landlord as hard as you can.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: AdamD
                                                                                                                                                                                                            mariacarmen Jan 12, 2011 04:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            ugh. thanks, will do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. ChristinaMason Jan 12, 2011 12:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I made green pea soup (shallots, butter, bay, chicken broth, a little celery, cream, tarragon; pureed) and tuna salad with celery sticks. DH brought me a red velvet cupcake for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The soup was OK, but very...pea-y. I think I'll add some potatoes and curry powder to reinvent it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. a
                                                                                                                                                                                                          AdamD Jan 12, 2011 01:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Snow day today. Made the kids waffles for breakfast. After breakfast, I decided that we need a pot of ODEN to be stewing all day. Got a big pot of all the good stuff, daikon, fried tofu, konnyaku, beef short rib, mountain potato, chicken thigh and eggs. Had it for lunch and will have it for dinner-although I will add some squid to the mix an hour before dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          We have been eating very healthy the last five days. I am craving pizza and sliders. And yakiniku (Japanese style Korean BBQ)!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. nomadchowwoman Jan 12, 2011 01:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Soup's on: tonight's is potato-leek along with the chicken liver spread w/toasts I intended to make yesterday. Then we have to rush off to a birthday dessert party, which I hope to be back from in time for Top Chef--though I know I can count on a scintillating recap from LindaWhit on the Media thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Stay warm, all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Jan 12, 2011 02:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Then we have to rush off to a birthday dessert party, which I hope to be back from in time for Top Chef--though I know I can count on a scintillating recap from LindaWhit on the Media thread.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              ~~~~~~~~~~

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh geez. :::::::The presshah, the presshah!::::::: :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                                                krisrishere Jan 13, 2011 07:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm all for the chicken livers on toast - yum. That's another one for the "when husband's not home list".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: krisrishere
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  nomadchowwoman Jan 14, 2011 01:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Funny--my husband doesn't like liver of any kind, except in pate or spread (this is definitely not fancy enough to be called pate).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    krisrishere Jan 14, 2011 01:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Up until a year ago, my husband didn't know that my "famous" Thanksgiving stuffing had chopped liver in it...now he's a little squeamish around it, but he'll eat it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Breadcrumbs Jan 12, 2011 02:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well tonight, we be jammin' w a Jamaican influenced COTM chicken and rice dish (can't remember the name of it). Sure do hope those Island spices warm things up on an otherwise icy, snowy day!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. linguafood Jan 12, 2011 02:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Have an early gig tonight, so dinner has to be simple & quick: Wegmans shrimp bisque "doctored up" with a splash of gin or vermouth (haven't decided, may well be white wine or lemon instead - saving the booze for later haha), a handful of frozen corn, and a few shrimpies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Baby romaine with sliced sweet yellow baby peppers dressed with olive oil, red wine vinegar, s&p.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Breadcrumbs Jan 12, 2011 02:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Aaaaah, Wegmans! We love Wegmans and wish they would come to Toronto! Such a terrific supermarket. We make regular treks to Buffalo just to get our "not to be found here" food faves!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      linguafood Jan 12, 2011 07:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wegmans opening here in 04 saved my culinary sanity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. jeniyo Jan 12, 2011 03:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm making a goulash with the trimmings off the elk tonight, I'm also planning on baking up some soda bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm in the mood for chocolate pudding, but will see if we have time (i believe Mr. T is planning on making C/C cookies, wishful thinking...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's sad, i got some meyer lemons last week but was too busy to use them- the skin is probably old and rubbery by now, i'm scouring recipes that will use all 6 of them at once.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jeniyo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Jan 12, 2011 03:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      jeniyo, I'd think that the Meyer lemons will last longer than a week and still be good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Cherylptw Jan 12, 2011 03:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Last night, a tossed salad topped with fried chicken livers...tonight, wheat rotini pasta got tossed with homemade sauce (roasted tomatoes, onion, garlic, etc) and fresh spinach then topped with mozzarella. On the side, a green salad with sliced cukes & apples; sweet onion vinaigrette to drizzle over the top. Homemade Italian herb rolls to clean my bowl with. A few tablespoons of Nutella for dessert. Ah :)....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        mariacarmen Jan 12, 2011 04:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        oh that chicken liver salad sounds amazing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cherylptw Jan 13, 2011 04:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I normally buy the livers for my pooch and every now & then, I'll snag a few for myself...I have to say, the salad was really good. I'm going to have to start eating the livers more often...now, I'll have to fight Yoki for them! (lol)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. boyzoma Jan 12, 2011 09:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've started a new post here since we have gone over the 250 mark. Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/759220

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. mariacarmen Jan 13, 2011 09:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          oh well, taking the pork tenderloins on the road, since our gas is out for who knows how long and going to my dad's anyway. i wonder how one would work in a pot pie of a sort.... wonder if it would dry out too much. i overbought puff pastry, but i guess that will keep in the freezer...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            rabaja Jan 14, 2011 09:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What if you cubed it up and made meat pasties? With the puff, I mean.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We used to love those growing up, and they are smallish so a short bake may not dry out the meat too much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              buttertart Jan 14, 2011 09:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think it would be nice poached like chicken breast in a pot pie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                mariacarmen Jan 14, 2011 12:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                yah but my tenderloin is now already cooked. i think i will cube and add a little hoisin for moisture and do the meat pasties thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. rabaja Jan 14, 2011 09:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              About to embark on a cooking marathon for houseguests this weekend (after the smog check, the trip to the dmv and a drive into "town" for provisions) which means dinner will be simple, maybe petrale or just steamed crab.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Chicken liver pate, pork chili verde and almond cake are on my to do list, so easy is in order.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Looking forward to a fun weekend, enjoy everyone!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              eta: woops, wrong thread!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rabaja
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LindaWhit Jan 14, 2011 09:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                rabaja, the thread's been changed - see boyzoma's post just above.

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