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What's For Dinner? Part 73 [old]

Here we go - time to start a new thread! What's cooking at your house? Are you dealing with some warmer weather and craving that grilled food? Or are you still hunkered down with snow all around you, cooking the best warming stews and pot roasts and roasted chickens?

OR (hopefully not!) are you dealing with a winter cold and are going for the chicken soup or spicy food to get rid of the snifflies?

Tell us!

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  1. It's getting beautifully warm here--was about 75F this afternoon, so it's time for Pear & Blue Cheese Quiche with boiled new potatoes and a salad with mustard vinaigrette. Unbelievably, I just received my first-ever copy of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking 2-volume set....I think I'll try using her Galettes au Roquefort dough for the pastry case and just the pears and royale mix inside, and see what happens.

    1. P0rk ch0ps, r0asted br0cc0li and sauteed chanterelles with fresh thyme and s0me sage.
      I am resisting the urge t0 make schnitzel, as the ch0ps are thinnish and b0neless, but the recipe I came acr0ss in a Jamie 0liver b00k is seri0usly speaking t0 me. Like, it wants t0 be my Valentine, speaking t0 me.
      I am munching 0n my raw br0cc0li stems in an attempt t0 remain virtu0us, but I kn0w what a slut I bec0me when fried meat is inv0lved.

      2 Replies
      1. Today was the monthly church fellowship dinner; of course there was the fried chicken & chicken & dumplings but also taco salad, baked spaghetti, lasagna, corn souffle, potato galette, baked sweet potato casserole, lima beans with ham, etc. Then there were the desserts: brownies, red velvet cake, pig pickin' cake, Valentine themed cookies & candies.

        I brought a pot of barbecued potatoes, a pan of braised cabbage & two heart shaped red velvet cakes with cream cheese icing. My diet starts later this week...pray for me (lol)...

        4 Replies
          1. re: Cherylptw

            If I were in your church, Cheryl, I'd have to lose my religion in order to lose weight!

            And ditto on the pig pickin' cake query.

            1. re: nomadchowwoman

              Pig pickin cake is a Southern dessert that was traditionally brought to a pig picking or pig roast/whole hog roast. Basically, it's a yellow layer cake with pineapple & pudding filling then frosted with a pineapple frosting. It's moist, light & delicious. Some people use mandarin oranges & either a cool whip or white frosting...some use cream cheese frosting. My neighbor brings it every month and there is never a crumb left, in fact, she's the only one who ever brings it and it's not church fellowship dinner without her chicken & dumplings & cake.

              Dinner tonight is a tuna fish sandwich!

              1. re: Cherylptw

                Yum, yum, yum, and I am going to try that::)

          2. Tonight was roast chicken, rubbed with lemon and then the lemon cut in half and put inside the chicken and then the chicken was rubbed with Montreal chicken rub. Mashed sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli, my husbands freshly made rye bread. Heart shaped sugar cookies with pink or white cream cheese frosting , or craisin shortbread hearts, or chocolate covered strawberries for dessert:) Happy Valentine's Day tomorrow:)

            2 Replies
            1. re: sunflwrsdh

              What a lovely meal and fresh bread is always a special treat!!

              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                It really is, and my husband has been making it every other day or so, so we have had a steady supply of fresh bread....it's awesome!

            2. Tonight we went out for middle eastern food, but I started cooking for tomorrow's Valentine's dinner: Batali's recipe for veal osso bucco (made tonight); roasted golden beets tonight for a salad with blood oranges and ricotta salata, maybe kalmata olives too?; risotto milanese and mini molten chocolate cakes will be made tomorrow. I added some veal demi glace to the osso bucco braise and the house just smells amazing.

              2 Replies
              1. re: MAH

                Looking forward to hearing how the osso bucco turns out MAH, I love the dish and haven't tried Mario's recipe as yet. Do let us know!

                1. re: MAH

                  OMG! Sounds like a wonderful Valentine's dinner! I love roasted beets and your salad sounds amazing. Happy Valentine's day!

                2. Happy Valentine's Day Hound-friends!

                  Coming off almost a full week of b-day celebrations we're keeping things fairly low key tonight. mr bc loves chicken and pasta so I'll be making the parmesan chx from the COTM along w a pasta dish of some sort on the side. I narrowed down my list of recipes in EYB so just to review and select en route to work. Chocolate for dessert!

                  1 Reply
                  1. WWFD the beginning of last week was profoundly dispiriting (1 cracker, 1 scrap of chicken pie, 1 cup of turmeric rice with yogurt, and 1 scrap of chili with sour cream, Mon-Thurs respectively) but am finally feeling more in the mood, thank goodness.
                    Friday was veal loin chops with baked potatoes and leftover citrus salad.
                    Saturday was linguine with pesto and romaine salad with walnuts.
                    Last night was Dorie G's pork tenderloin with oranges from "Around my French Table" - a very nice dish, especially with the Temple oranges I used (my favorite citrus fruit), no-knead bread with olive oil and garlic, baked, and the dry-fried asparagus we had at yesterday's Sichuan lunch, tossed in black vinegar.
                    As my father would and too often did say, "tonight's the night!" - Geschnetzeltes venison (using ribeye cut), braised Belgian endives, Roesti potatoes, watercress and walnut salad, and white chocolate/marron glacé pots de creme (with chestnut madeleines courtesy of friend souschef if I get home early enough).
                    Happy Valentine's Day, everybody! May your chocolate cakes always be molten.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: buttertart

                      OMGoodness, b-tart - you SERIOUSLY made up this past weekend for the lack of anything tasty earlier in the week! I'm very glad you're feeling better - enjoy your V-Day dinner tonight. :-)

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        Thank you, Miss B! Have a lovely day.

                      2. re: buttertart

                        I'm actually having one of those dispirited weeks myself, buttertart. Working 9A-7P, and trying to follow the Weight Watcher's program.....makes Valentine's Day celebrating tough! Your dinners sound great, after you got re-inspired:)

                        1. re: buttertart

                          bt, what a beautiful and delicious sounding bill o' fare. Ok, well, maybe not so much last week, but it sounds like you're back on the culinary horse.
                          One little teeny request. The no-knead bread sounds awesome; is it like a fougasse/foccacia? Can I have the recipe please please please?!!!

                          1. re: mamachef

                            Nah, it's just plain ol' regular no-knead bread cut into wedges and baked with olive oil and beaucoup fresh chopped garlic on top, plus a scant sprinkle of salt.
                            5 lbs nuts and chews??? Sigh. Double sigh.
                            Yay! It's Valentine's candy sale day!!!

                          2. re: buttertart

                            Sounds lovely, BT. Glad you are feeling better.

                          3. Yesterday a.m. I prepped jfoods short ribs and popped them in the oven. Then I had a stale croissant and dunked it in my coffee. Good brunch and it kept me going. LOL.

                            Later, I strained the sauce and stuck it out in a snowbank to rapid chill it so I could gather the fat off of the top. We skipped the overnight step this time around. Had mashed spuds, carrots and brussels, salad and a blueberry crostata. Our guest left happy with some leftovers in hand. I was happy because I prepped everything ahead of time and could hang with our guest.

                            Tonight: I usually make steak au poivre for "special" occasions but might just have leftover green lasagna tonight, either that or I have to freeze it.

                            Have a lovely day, all.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: twodales

                              Both the short ribs, and the green lasagna sound great and the blueberry crostata sounds awesome too!

                              1. re: twodales

                                your idea to just use the snow to freeze is so clever! i will be using it, though luckily all of our snow recently melted to just small patches!

                                1. re: pie22

                                  It's a good method of chilling wine and beer down too! We had a blizzard dinner for some friends in the neighborhood recently and they arrived to more than a few bottles stuck in a snowbank by our door. To survive winter you have to make the most of it.

                              2. Last night's wild salmon steak came out a-ok - I just brushed it with some oo, s&p, and under the broiler it went. Side was spinach fettucine with carrot ribbons tossed in some oo, red pepper flakes & garlic, which came out surprisingly tasty.

                                Tonight's gotta be a bit more special, so we're hoping to score a Wagyu strip steak at Wegmans (they're sold at $54.99 / lb., but they often have them "reduced for quick sale" after weekends) and we'd likely share an 8 oz. steak), maybe throw in a lobster tail or two. Not sure what to make as a side. I'd love to make a salade Lyonnaise, but I'd have to make sure my poaching skills have improved by this evening.

                                Also not entirely sure yet how to sear the Wagyu so as to neither burn nor overcook it (i.e. in a CI pan, or grill, or ....) anyone have any tips?

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: linguafood

                                  Assuming you like your steak rare/MR:

                                  Bring the steaks up to room temperature (let it sit on the counter for an hour or two, seasoned with salt and pepper on both sides). Heat your oven to 450 or so and preheat your cast iron in there. Preheat your stovetop burner to medium-high if using electric, then transfer the pan from the oven to the stovetop using oven mitts. Drizzle the pan with a high smokepoint oil (grapeseed, peanut, or canola should do. If you have an overhead exhaust fan, use it). Add the steaks and let sear, without moving, for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Flip with tongs and sear an additional 30 seconds or more, depending on how well done you like it. Turn to sear on each side if desired. Remove from the pan, let rest a couple minutes, and dig in.

                                  (Exact cooking times may vary, depending on how thick the steaks are and your preferred doneness.)

                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                    You lost me at "Drizzle the pan with a high smokepoint oil." You musta missed my first encounter with a very hot CI & adding oil = fire in the kitchen.

                                    I may still use the CI pan and just heat in on my (electric) stove top which gets pretty damn hot. I thought I wouldn't have to use any extra oil given the marbling of the steak...

                                2. It's warmer than it has been--in the 40's/50s, but I'm not done making stew yet!!! I've got a green chili pork stew cooking now, we'll have that with sour cream/cheese/jalapeno cornbread.

                                  1. Leftover cold roast pork (and crackling)

                                    Crusty bread.

                                    A slaw made from red cabbage, carrot, red pepper, spring onions, pecans. Dressing of olive oil, cider vinegar, Dijon mustard and maple syrup.

                                    (A bit of mindless fine slicing was good de-stressing therapy. It's been a very weird day. I've been into the city to be interviewed on the local BBC talk radio about my book. Weird shit indeed!)

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: Harters

                                      Harters! weird but wonderful! congratulations! an intellectual celebrity, in our midst. besides being a damned fine cook. ah to be so multi-talented.....

                                      1. re: Harters

                                        Congrats on the interview, Harters!

                                        1. re: Harters

                                          Harters, many many congratulations! It sounds like the most wonderful brand of weird shit I've ever heard of! You must be completely chuffed! And as we say over here, I'm stoked for you and the Missus both. Go and celebrate and then do tell us all about it!

                                          1. re: mamachef

                                            "stoked" ?

                                            Love it. Filed away for future use. I sense a new phrase sweeping across north west England.

                                          2. re: Harters

                                            Congratulations on the interview and your dinner (especially the slaw!) sounds great:)

                                            1. re: Harters

                                              ahh how exciting! congratulations on the book and on the celebrity status ;)

                                              1. re: Harters

                                                Congratulations Harters! Hope your book is the catalyst for many more delicious celebrations.

                                              2. Happy Valentine's day, y'all! (Or, as we say at work, Happy Valentime day.)
                                                I have 10 sign-ups for a special meal tonight. Being the special day it is, a vast majority of the fellas are taking dates out for dinner, but some of the guys don't have much extra money so I decided to do something for them and their girlfriends that would reflect a little romance, or at least something a little more involved than I usually make. Therefore, dinner Chez Frat is:
                                                Starter of carrot/fennel soup
                                                Roasted Cornish Hens with Pomegranate/cinnamon/clove/cardamom/ginger glaze
                                                Bed of rice, studded with craisins, pistachios, snipped apricots and dates; cooked off in chicken stock and butter with shallots.
                                                Broccolini with garlic oil
                                                Green salad, creamy cilantro dressing.
                                                And I bought a selection of individual, beautiful pastries (Eclairs, Napoleons, Paves, Tarts, etc.) at the bakery on Telegraph next to the eco-friendly dry-cleaner. Gotta love Berkeley.
                                                I figure I'll leave a plating diagram on the magic blackboard, and the young men can serve the young ladies accordingly.
                                                At home evidently I'm being taken out by my chief Valentine - and I don't know where or what, except for this directive: "wear something nice."
                                                O.k. then.

                                                16 Replies
                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                  Nice menu for your frat boys, and dinner out sounds great - if you "have to" wear something nice it's always a good thing, in my experience.
                                                  How do you make that creamy cilantro dressing? Sounds good.

                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                    bt, you just make a cilantro pesto, and throw in a handful of pretty finely-chopped pine nuts. Basic pesto proportions, which I know you know; throw in a good-sized clove of minced garlic and a dash of cumin (I'm assuming you're doing this in the blender or fp) and then start adding buttermilk, nice and slow. Finish with a good-sized squeeze of lime and a good shake of salt and pepper; if it's "flat" a few drops of any hot pepper sauce will lift it right up.
                                                    This is good on everything in the world, but as a dressing for romaine, with black beans and charred corn, tomatoes and diced onion and avocado and some chopped fresh cilantro, topped with prawns or shredded chicken seasoned with a dash of cumin......celestial.
                                                    Also delectable served up with an old catcher's mitt. There you have it.

                                                  2. re: mamachef

                                                    You're so good to your boys, mc. Enjoy your night out tonight!

                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                      That is the sweetest thing, making all that!

                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                        That's soooo funny! My ex used to pronounce it Ballantimes day. Makes me giggle every time.

                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                          Linda, rabaja, lingua: Thanks for good wishes ladies! I wish the very same to you!
                                                          Got to work and found not only a 5-lb box of See's Nuts n' Chews, which is like manna to me, but a very pretty bouquet of varied pastel tulips. Just beautiful and completely unexpected. The best part of getting their dinner together was actually doing a plating diagram as well as showing Paulo how in-person so that he can give his bros. a hands-on demo of what they need to do to REPRESENT! Such fun!
                                                          I had a little bit of extra time on my hands, so I pulled together a makeshift bruschetta. The guys frequently hit the olive bar for weekend sandwich meals, so I chopped up an antipasto of all the left-behind stuff: olives, artichoke hearts, roasted peppers, sundried tomatoes, provolone and salami. Tasted pretty good, so I cut up some baguettes on the diagonal, tossed 'em with garlic oil, and baked them off. Yum. I could make a meal out of that. Need to remember it for future heavy apps, for sure.

                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                            Awww, they're good guys to get you the See's candies and the flowers! Their girls are very lucky. :-)

                                                        2. re: mamachef

                                                          MC - as long as he's not taking you out for oysters it should be a very romantic evening! and yes, your boys do not know how lucky they have it.

                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                            RRRRRaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahaha! He wouldn't dare show me a bivalve again anytime soon! And I promise to try and keep my "something nice" tidy for when I shamble on into the 'Rouge on Thursday at 7 p.m.! (Wanna split a tartare?)

                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                              ugh can't believe i screwed this up. (to all who have been following the saga, this time it's MY turn to cancel mamachef's and my plans for our long awaited dinner - and for no good reason but spacing out on dates. but stay tuned - IT. WILL. HAPPEN!!!!!!!!)

                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                Oh, yes indeed it will. I'm about to tell you to just freakin' come to the frat and chowdown with me and the fellas! (actually, that could happen, and you'd have the best time....)
                                                                Dinner out last night was at Garibaldi's on College. I worked there for many years, and left swearing never to return, just due to complete, body/brain paralyzing burnout. I have, however, always loved the food there. So to commence, we had the gratis, huge garlic-and-orange house-marinated Cerignola olives, and moved on to the asparagus/hoisin appetizer. Mr. got a cress/prawn salad with orange vin. and grilled prawns; I got a Caesar, which they make better than just about anywhere else I've had it. The new cold station person hasn't quite got the dressing down, but it was good. (The pitfalls of dining where you've worked, a whole new thread.) I had the lamb tenderloin entree (tenderloin rolled in crushed pecans, grilled and sauced with a tarragon/red wine bernaise, another recipe I've stolen and tweaked and not given the executive chef there credit for. : ) Mr. had the venison done in port and madeira, and I think those were currants in there. Both sided by a butter/potato puree (yep, I put that in the correct order!) with braised greens for both. It was a nice meal, but I think standards are slipping when two fairly dissimlar entrees show up with the identical sides. However, the salted/caramelized nuts on top of a warm chocolate budino turned the tide and a fine time was had by all.
                                                                At work tonight, I'm doing the Casserole Cha-cha. It being Tuesday (taco tuesday!) one of the dishes has to be vaguely Mexican, so first on the list is tamale pie with machaca for the meat-eaters, and a layered polenta a la Norma (basically the same filling only with roasted eggplant instead of meat.) Then I'm going to make a pan of chicken Tetrazzini w/ the leftover chicken breast I froze after the chicken and dumplings, and another pan of the same type thing only using seitan for chicken. For the vegan fellas, my new old standby is Harter's vegetable cobbler, "cobbles" made with oil instead of milk. It was a huge hit then and I expect it will be again. Huge green salad, homemade chunky applesauce and rolls to complete, with a funky hot chocolate and cookie bar for dessert. Dinner is SERVED!! Oh, and at home? I'm thinking about just making huge stuffed baked potatoes and serving it with salad. On the other hand I might just defrost some chili and make a pan of the cornbread with corn and jalapenos and serve it up with honey butter.

                                                          2. re: mamachef

                                                            Oh my that sounds wonderful. Lucky guys and girls.

                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                              Once again, I have this odd desire to join a fraternity:) Sounds extraordinary, Mama!

                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                so sweet, lucky boys - and their gfs!

                                                              2. We're celebrating our Valentinehood on Wednesday, as we've both got too many obligations to celebrate properly before then. So tonight, we're probably having some more of that delicious cod cooked in spiced butter with a side of broccoli rabe tossed in sesame dressing (a recipe I lifted from the NY Times Cookbook Recipe thread). And a bottle of cava, in a nod to the holiday. If I have time, I'll try to make some molten chocolate cakes for dessert.

                                                                Wednesday, we're headed out for a multi-course set Thai menu. The meal is served kind of omakase style (wrong genre; I know), with the chef sending out whatever he thinks guests would like. Should be awesome; I can't wait.

                                                                1. We celebrated last night since the hubby is on shift at the fire dept tonight. We did beautiful rib eyes on the grill...one for me, one for husband, two for six year old.....,baked potatoes, salad with homemade corn bread croutons and home made buttermilk dressing, grilled asparagus. and a side of mixed mushrooms for the steaks......we started earlier with local steamed peel and eat shrimp....YUM!

                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                  1. re: LaLa

                                                                    wait, your 6 year old ate TWO rib eyes while you each had one? that's quite an appetite!
                                                                    your dinner sounds lovely.

                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                      I was marvelling at the same thing!!! Your six year old ate two rib eyes????
                                                                      Dinner does sound great!!!

                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                        i know....he eats like a lumberjack.....we are still trying to figure out where he puts it as he is stick skinny!

                                                                        1. re: LaLa

                                                                          Annnnnnnd now I have a Monty Python song in my head. ;-)

                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                            ahahahah damn you linda, now i do too!

                                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                                I hope you got to see Spamalot on stage wherever you live. Hilarious!

                                                                                Killer Bunnies and Catapulting Cows. Loved it!

                                                                                1. re: twodales

                                                                                  I saw it! "Holy Grail" is in my top ten Forever list. I went thinking the staged version couldn't possibly be as good as, or make me laugh as hard as, the movie, and it turned out that I was wrong, both counts.

                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                    Exactly. They did a great job on the play and there were no disappointments. We had a French guest at the time and he loved it too, being a fan. When they were going on about the French and the mime came on stage it was way too funny and our friend thoroughly loved it as well. He bought a "Fetchez la Vache" t-shirt to take back with him.

                                                                                    1. re: twodales

                                                                                      Yaaaaaaahahahaha! your friend the cow-catcher!

                                                                    2. Pork chops with tangy beer sauce (1 c. flat beer, 1/2 can tomato paste,1 small can chopped mild chiles, two cloves garlic and olives at the last 10 minutes of cooking), quinoa, roasted green beans and a small green salad. My Valentine gets a can of wet cat food.

                                                                      1. 82 degrees here.

                                                                        Made meatloaf and mashed potatoes - SO's favorite for Heart Day. Meatloaf was made out of turkey sausage, grated carrots, diced onions, milk, egg, oatmeal, leftover spaghetti sauce. SO raved, but then he gets excited when I have on an apron - he he! The "secret ingredient' was bacon fat used to grease the pans.

                                                                        Salad that no one touched. Cupcakes for dessert.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. Dinner tonight was at work:( But not too bad. A sort of "canned" seafood lasagna....made with love though! Fake crab, real bay scallops, and Classico lite alfredo sauce, noodles and some frozen vegs....not the worst thing I've ever eaten....) Came home; my sweetie is working....so I had a glass of red wine, some chocolate covered strawberries, and am now having some dark chocolate oven roasted almonds, which is technically cheating on my diet, but really? Almonds shouldn't count as cheating, should they? Happy Valentines Day to everyone!

                                                                          1. well everyone's valentines meals sound lovely! bf cooked for me last night which was quite a treat: foie gras and apple chutney on toasted walnut bread, then chicken stuffed with goats cheese and the first basil from my new aerogarden, wrapped in parma ham and served with roast new potatoes and cherry toms. yum. then supernatural brownies, which in fact i made over the weekend but hey. very delicious. tis a shame i have to spend tonight making sure i clean all the places around the kitchen i saw him touch with his raw chicken hands...

                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                            1. re: gembellina


                                                                              How do they work, gem? The adverts say they don't need natural light. Presumably they have soem form of built in light?

                                                                              Cool concept for the home herbalist.

                                                                              House on our estate got raided by the boys in blue the other week. Whole place was growing a certain herb under artificial lights. Although you don't usually get to eat it, except in certain cakes in certain Amsterdam cafes ;-0

                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                Ruh-Roh. This won't reflect poorly on you, right Harters?

                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                  It's amazing, I "planted" the seeds 3 or 4 weeks ago and I've already got more herbs than I can handle. They're little pod things that slot into a frame, and the bottom of the pods gets soaked in water. Then the roots grow down into the water well, and the shoots grow up towards the lights. There are 2x25W bulbs so it's not using huge amounts of electricity, but they're so bright that it has to be kept shut in another room at nighttime. The lights are on for 16 hours a day so the light pollution factor is quite high.

                                                                                  And yes, I think someone with the necessary raw materials could turn it into quite a profitable enterprise!

                                                                                2. re: gembellina

                                                                                  Wow! And I hear you about the clean up:)

                                                                                  1. re: gembellina

                                                                                    Just noticed my hobbyhorse, the supernatural brownies. V glad you liked them.

                                                                                  2. Baked farro risotto from 101 cookbooks. Just got the recipe in my inbox this am and it looks darn good. Farro, tomato, lemon, stock and cheese. Check and check, that will be WFD.
                                                                                    Will likely brown a fennel sausage or a chicken breast to go with. Maybe salad on the side too.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: rabaja

                                                                                      DAMN the risotto sounds good, rabaja!
                                                                                      And, I see y0u g0t y0ur keyb0ard fixed! yay!

                                                                                      1. re: rabaja

                                                                                        This was really excellent. Threw in lamb ragu and stewed t0mates fr0m last summer.
                                                                                        Great c0mf0rt meal.

                                                                                        mc -I wish my keypad was fixed!

                                                                                      2. You know how you see a recipe and think "oooh, that'll do nicely". So you cut it out of the magazine, cut 'n' paste from the website or whatever. And, weeks later, you decide the time has come to cook so you re-read the recipe to do the shopping. And you do the shopping. And then, on the evening you come to cook it you re-read the recipe and think "That looks total crap. Why did I ever think that would be a good idea". But you cook it anyway - just to prove how crap it really was.

                                                                                        Well, tonight's the night at Chateau Harters. My excuse is that we are trying to eat more vegetarian meals. And the upcoming crock of crap is "fennel and tomato lasagne".

                                                                                        A couple of fennel bulbs get sliced, drizzled with olive oil and roasted for 30 minutes. Separately, tomatoes are drizzled with oil and balsamic and roasted for 30. Fennel has some cream added and gets another 10 minutes - then a goodly amount of Parmesan gets mixed in (the recipe says you now have something like a carbonara consistency - if nothing like the freaking taste). The tomatoes get squidged with a fork.

                                                                                        You then layer up the lasagne sheets with the fennel & tomato crap and top with more cheese. You then bake for another 45 minutes till it's cooked through.

                                                                                        We'll eat it with a green salad.

                                                                                        And, an hour later, with a ham sandwich and a vow never to make this sort of shite again.

                                                                                        17 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                          I do that all the time with recipes, Harters. I do hope this ends up better than your second look at it!

                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                            Harters, when in doubt you know what to do: Tuna salad with crushed chips, and a mug of cream '0 tomato!!
                                                                                            That being said, since I know you love the tunafish, I've got a great thing to do that incorporates a lot of veg. and is totally delicious. Best T. salad you'll ever eat: (Food processor helpful for this unless you're wicked in love with miniscule chopping.)
                                                                                            3 5-oz or 2 7 1/2-oz. cans waterpacked alabacore tuna (or whatever you use, drained 'til bone dry)
                                                                                            1 lemon, rolled so it's nice and juicy (a microwave will accomplish this also, about a minute.)
                                                                                            1/2 t. salt
                                                                                            1/4 t. pepper
                                                                                            4 large stalks celery, strings removed and roughly chopped in large pieces
                                                                                            1 drained can water chestnuts - run a knife through a few times, but no big deal.
                                                                                            1/2 bunch green or Spring onions, roughly chopped in large pieces
                                                                                            Best Foods, Hellman's, Kewpie or Duke's mayonnaise (or any good brand that you prefer.)
                                                                                            In med. bowl, place tuna. Squeeze lemon over, and salt and pepper it.
                                                                                            Place all veg. in food processor, fitted with knife blade attachment, and mince them finely - literally until they can mound in a spoon. (Oh, if you like picallili, you can add a good T. that you've blotted with a towel to the fp mixture.)
                                                                                            Blend all veg with tuna, flaking as you go. Start adding mayonnaise to your taste; re-taste for salt, pepper and lemon. Don't use too much mayo; it should just bind but not even be close to soupy.
                                                                                            Anyway, this makes the most insane tuna salad ever; totally fresh-tasting, light, tasty and delicious, with every bit of the hallmark that makes a tuna salad a TUNA SALAD.
                                                                                            Maybe you'll try this one sometime. If you do, I hope you're stoked by it!

                                                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                                                              Thanks, Marci. I feel my lunch tomorrow has just been scripted (not herself's though - she regards tuna as fit only for catfood).

                                                                                              And, yes, I'm insanely in love with micro-chopping. Herself can't stand to watch me.


                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                Hey, John
                                                                                                Well, get your choppin' skills on, settle Herself in the other room with a great mug of tea, and offer up a melted cheese toast with her soup!
                                                                                                Also, please, what is the nature of Wendsleydale cheese? I've a spice cake recipe that calls for it, but don't want to invest in a huge hunk until I have at least some idea re flavor and texture. (Edit) Mr., reading over my shoulder, just remarked, "you forgot the mustard." Which I did neglect to write because sometimes I don't use it, but just a trace of good old trashy yellow mustard, no more than a teaspoon, really adds a nice tang to this with more depth than just the lemon.

                                                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                  OK, when you say you've a cake recipe, I'm assuming it's suggesting serving the cheese alongside the cake?

                                                                                                  Very much a north of England thing. My father would always have cheese with Christmas cake (our traditional very rich fruit cake).

                                                                                                  It's always a fairly mild cheese but with a taste that's a tad sweet and a tad acidic tangy. Good balance of flavours which I agree with Dad's experience works well with the rich sweetness of a cake. Texture is quite crumbly - break off a little bit, break off a little bit of cheese - eat one after the other, or both together.

                                                                                                  Eaten on its own, it's the one on the cheeseboard that you'd suggest guests tried first.

                                                                                                  It's still made in Yorkshire (and that;s where the best comes from) but it's also made around the country, including in my county. Unlike a number of other of our main regional cheeses, I don't think there are any small farmhouse producers now.

                                                                                                2. re: Harters

                                                                                                  I'm with Mrs H. We had canned salmon when I was a kid, tuna was "American" and I never got used to it.

                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                    bt, what's there to do with canned salmon besides salmon loaf or salad? I do happen to have a couple cans on hand - when I had that TIA mom the uncook went to the grocery for me and lo and behold, look what she turned up with.
                                                                                                    It's been sitting there ever since, and if I don't find some appetizing way to prepare it, I'm going to give myself a lesson in cat-food making. (Not to denigrate the fish, but it's literally all I can think of right now.....)

                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                      Try it as a sandwich with a leetle onion and celery, and v thinly sliced cucumbers salted and vinegared overnight, on good non-sweet whole wheat. The best way.

                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                        salmon cakes too.... minced onion, dill and or parsley chopped fine, add a little mayo for moisture, maybe a tblsp., an egg or two beaten, breadcrumbs for binding. Then take hefty tablespoonfuls and drop (gently) into heated oil (not deep frying) and smash out, fry til golden, turn, cook about 3 minutes per side. my oldsters love(d) this with a tomato/onion saute over the top and a squeeze of lemon.

                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                          I use crushed Ritz crackers when I make salmon cakes the way you suggest above along with maybe a little dry mustard and lemon juice.

                                                                                                          My father makes salmon cakes by combining the tinned salmon with finely chopped ginger, garlic, green chilies, onions and/or scallions and a toasted spice mix of cumin seed, ground cumin, ground coriander, red chili and garam masala. He doesn't add much binder, but I think some mashed potatoes would improve their texture. Fry and serve garnished with chopped cilantro and lime juice. They are really, really good on their own (or with ketchup when no one's looking).

                                                                                                          1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                            JM, your father's salmon cakes sound delicious. way more adventurous than my dad would ever be, but i'd make those for myself. yum.

                                                                                                        2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                          Salmon pie. I flake a large can of pink (or red) salmon, mash well, add some grated onion, salt and pepper, dill, about a cup of mashed potatoes. I bake this between two pie crusts. Serve with ketchup. My husband loves this.

                                                                                                  2. re: Harters

                                                                                                    That lasagne sounds great to me. How was it?

                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                      Not as vile as I thought it was going to be. Just didnt really work. Please don't try to cook it - I value the friendship of the thread :-0

                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                        LOL! Thanks for taking one for the WFD Team, Harters!

                                                                                                    2. re: Harters

                                                                                                      We've all been there. They can't all be winners...

                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                        this puts me in mind of a simon hopkinson recipe for tomatoes baked in cream, which I've always liked the sound of. and as we're no longer attending the 10-course chinese new year banquet (!) we had planned, i'm at a loose end for dinner. So the tomatoes will be oven-roasted, then squished into spaghetti with cream, maybe a drizzle of balsamic, and probably some basil. might also use some of the purple basil for some sauteed courgettes as an anitpasto, jamie oliver style. i'm getting into COTM early!

                                                                                                      2. Last night, grilled steaks, sweet potato fries and green beans. Tonight, staggered dinners around sports practices and committee meetings so homemade "hamburger helper" over rotini, salad, and fruit for the crowd. I may go with a salad made of butter lettuce, sliced leftover steak, and gorgonzola crumbled over. Tomorrow, I want to try a chicken curry over riced cauliflower recipe posted here and recommended by a friend:


                                                                                                        1. Sunday night -- creamy quinoa casserole with mushrooms, dill, lemon, Parmesan, cottage cheese, sour cream. Mmmm. This is cozy and delightful, also healthy and a great vegetarian entree.

                                                                                                          Today I made another batch of Deborah Madison's Little Nut Cookies, the mocha variation (a couple of ounces chopped up dark chocolate and 1 tsp instant espresso powder in with the batter).

                                                                                                          Then, a recipe that I discovered during one of the January blizzards -- velvety lemon chicken soup.

                                                                                                          I simmered a split chicken breast (bone-in, skin-on) in 6 cups broth, and set aside the chicken and broth for later. Then in a soup pot I sauteed a few shallots with 10 ounces sliced mushrooms, and removed from the pot. Next I made a roux, added the 6 cups broth in a steady stream whisking, and threw in a handful of tri-color tortellini. I removed the tortellini after about 6 mins and set aside (I don't like them floating around in the soup getting soggy) and threw in the now-sliced chicken, salt, freshly ground pepper, 2 Tbsp fresh basil, and about 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Mmmmm. This is velvety velvet! Luxurious!

                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: twilight goddess

                                                                                                            I almost asked for the recipe for the quinoa, but then I saw that you had given it on the current quinoa thread. It looks delicious. Well, everything you posted looks delicious, but the quinoa will help keep the love/hate balance between me and my favorite jeans at the currently only *slightly* uncomfortable status quo.

                                                                                                            I'll be using this recipe soon. Side note: And why is quinoa so hard to find in a suburb rife with mindful cooks *and* ethic groceries? I searched three groceries before I realized that I have to go to Whole Paycheck. Geez.

                                                                                                            And, for the quinoa, I am going to test the permalink that I have been thus far unsuccessful with: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/766227

                                                                                                            ETA: Damnit! At least I captured the thread. Scroll, people, scroll.

                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                              OADL, click the permalink on the specific recipe/post, and then post *that* URL here.


                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                Ah, I see. So, clicking permalink actually changes the URL, which makes sense. I don't know why I thought doing it the other way 'round would do a darn thing. Thank you, Linda.

                                                                                                              2. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                **onceadaylily, thank you for the compliments! I hope that you like the quinoa casserole!

                                                                                                                Confession: I actually ate an entire DOZEN of those espresso little nut cookies. They are perfect in the afternoon with coffee, by the way! Later I was thinking, a whole dozen? No.... well, they're little, so that's really like just one and a little of those giant oversized cookies at a bakery.... ummm... justifying?

                                                                                                                1. re: twilight goddess

                                                                                                                  You're welcome! And that's not justifying. It's just good math. ;)

                                                                                                            2. After last night's highly successful Wagyu delight, I'm trying my hand at salt baked squid tonight, along with Sichuan dry-fried green beans.

                                                                                                              The squid is, of course, not baked at all, but deep-fried after being coated in cornstarch and Grandma Lu's Sichuan seasoning. The man asked about a sauce, so I might make a sriracha mayo - OTOH, if the squid comes out well, all it'll need is a squeeze of lemon.

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                How'd the squid turn out? And how did you hear about this Grandma Lu's Sichuan Seasoning?? Saw it on amazon and looks right up my alley.

                                                                                                                1. re: txribs

                                                                                                                  It was ok. It wasn't quite as awesome as the salt-baked squid I've had at our local Sichuan haunt, and it also wasn't as awesome as the squid / calamari I made the first time around (just cornstach, s&p). Not all rings got evenly coated, I probably tried to coat too many at once which resulted in sticky cornstarch mix and overall pissed-offness.... '-D

                                                                                                                  the tentacles were probably the best part - nice and crispy. Next time I'll get 2:1 instead of 1:1...

                                                                                                                  A friend of mine was looking for Sichuan peppercorns online and ordered the Grandma Lu's Seasoning mix by accident. It's nice as a touch up, but it won't sub for actual Sichuan peppercorns.

                                                                                                              2. Salmon (stove top saute and finished in oven) Beurre Blanc with Rosemary and Lemon, asparagus and rice. Leftover Blueberry crostata. Quick and sorta healthy.

                                                                                                                1. Recent eats this week:

                                                                                                                  Tilapia crusted with spicy Jalapeno Potato Chips (Poore Brothers), roasted carrots with cumin, lime, and Aleppo pepper, and roasted potato salad with salsa verde and cilantro.

                                                                                                                  Valentine's Day was Mexican coctel de ostiones (oyster cocktails) with cilantro, avocado, and Tapatio to start. Entree was fondue with bread and sausage. Worked late so skipped planned sides and dessert.

                                                                                                                  Tonight was cream of tomato soup and & mini-grilled cheese sandwiches made with leftover fondue (Gruyère, white wine, kirsch).

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                    Rubee, I love your pictures. :-) But even more importantly, I LOVE the look of those mini grilled cheese sandwiches!

                                                                                                                  2. Barbecue pork sandwiches with slaw, baked potato wedges with basil sour cream to dip them in and a garden salad with thousand island...sweet potato layer cake for dessert

                                                                                                                    1. We had friends over last night for a Valentine's Day Dinner--love an excuse to ignore the Monday doldrums. We started w/stuffed mushrooms (big buttons stuffed w/ a mixture of wild mushrooms, garlic, prosciutto. parmigiano, OO, parsley) and prosecco. Pan-fried drum "sauced" with crab meat, chopped scallions, lemon butter, and parsley was the main course; sides: orange-glazed carrots, wild rice, and a salad of greens, radishes, beets, blue cheese, and pistachios. Dessert was "Broken Heart" tart (broken tart shell was reconstructed, spread w/lemon curd, and topped w/raspberries and whipped cream.

                                                                                                                      Tonight: spinach/cheese (mix of ricotta, mozzarella, parmigiano, egg) cannelloni and a wilted escarole salad (COTM recipe).

                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                        Oh my goodness, ncw! y'all DO know how to do it up right! Your meal sounds delicious, from start to finish. Love the broken heart tart idea, that was great. I'll use it next year, or when my daughter breaks up with her boyfriend.

                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                          Wish that "broken heart tart" had really been an idea--rather than the result of a (very unintentionally) broken (heart-shaped) tart shell!

                                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                            I hope you let on that it was! ;-) (Julia: "You are alone in the kitchen.") Never explain, never complain.

                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                              I think that may be the single best lesson of the many I learned from JC. (While I don't always follow that wonderful advice, though I try, I repeat it often to my many friends who fear cooking.)

                                                                                                                          1. Bambi bangers!

                                                                                                                            They're going to get fried in a little oil. Meanwhile, the love of my life discovered an undated (and therefore probably antique) pack in the freezer marked only "sauce espagnole".

                                                                                                                            Assuming that it is a "proper" espagnole and not simply something we messed about with on a vaguely Iberian night, then it's the basis of a sort of winey, mustardy, redcurrant saucey, erm sauce, to go with Bambi.

                                                                                                                            And there'll be crushed new potatoes and steamed purple sprouting broccoli.

                                                                                                                            Maybe a starter of some jarred pickled herring that have been lurking since the last IKEA trip. And rye bread. And ice-cream for "afters".

                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                              oh-ho-ho herring. lucky you. i'm never allowed into the foodie bit in ikea. on the last visit he didn't even let me stop in the cafe for meatballs!

                                                                                                                              1. re: gembellina

                                                                                                                                We were there just before Xmas - scooped up the herring, some of the berry jam, couple of bottles of a non-alcoholic mulled wine sort of thingy - and a tin of lovely very thin spiced ginger biscuits. Go on, tell me you're jealous :-0

                                                                                                                                Much as I like the foodie bit (and the meatballs are great), never, ever, have the breakfast. Yes, I know it's only 99p for 6 items - but each are seriously vile beyond belief.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                  I am jealous! I did manage to snag a bag of dime bars on the way out though.

                                                                                                                                  I wondered if there was a limit to how cheap the food could go without being sh1t - looks like 99p is it!

                                                                                                                                2. re: gembellina

                                                                                                                                  The herring in garlic sauce at IKEA is near addictive. I hacked a recipe that is a reasonable facsimile when I can't make it to the store.

                                                                                                                                3. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                  You've got to get better at labeling your brown gloop in the freezer, Harters. :-) But if it's a "proper" sauce, it certainly sounds like it will work VERY well with Bambi. Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                    Sauce worked even if not a "proper" espagnole. Was about three tablespoons worth of an oniony, beefy tomato-y gloop. I reduced half a glass of red wine down a bit, chucked in the gloop, with half a teaspoon of English mustard, a splodge of cranberry sauce and several shakes of Worcestershire.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                      Sounds good. We have a company here (D'Artagnan) that puts out venison sausages with dried cherries in them, quite tasty, but their wild boar ones are much better.

                                                                                                                                4. Baked pork chops, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese casserole, collard greens, and corn bread.
                                                                                                                                  Of course there was chow chow and hot sauce on the table!

                                                                                                                                  1. Lunch: Sausage, artichoke, and ricotta calzone. I made a batch of dough from "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" this week so tried my first calzone. I used ricotta, jarred marinated artichokes, garlic, leftover sausage from V-Day's fondue, and Penzey's Turkish Oregano, Sandwich Sprinkle, Shallot Salt, and Aleppo Pepper. The filling was a little loose, even though I added an egg yolk, because I had no mozzarella or parm. I would also seal with an egg wash instead of water, and let rest a bit longer. It was still mighty tasty though! I think I'll try stromboli next.

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. Lidia's chicken and rice.
                                                                                                                                      N 0's required ;)

                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                        It was easy and did me right this chilly evening.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                            I found it on a thread here yesterday. Someone was kind enough to list the recipe for the OP and it seemed so simple I just decided to make it.
                                                                                                                                            Very basic ingredients and it was so satisfying.
                                                                                                                                            I used brown rice, parboiled for about ten minutes or so, and it still came out very creamy.
                                                                                                                                            I didn't add the called for butter and Parm at the end, but I will probably do so in the future. I made a half-recipe and I'm looking forward to leftovers tonight.
                                                                                                                                            *sorry, I don't know how to link to the recipe on my iPhone.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: twilight goddess

                                                                                                                                                Yes, that's it! Thank you!
                                                                                                                                                I actually threw it in the oven after adding the hot stock and (brown) rice. 300F for one hour, covered. It was really very good, and I can see many different directions you could go with this dish.
                                                                                                                                                Definitely on my regular rotation list now.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                  Y'know, I made this tonight, and for us, it was just OK. I question some of the method, the main issue being that she has you try to brown 1.5 lbs. of chicken thighs in a pan that already has 3 c. of sauteed carrots, onion, and celery in it. The chicken just never really browns when it's that crowded with steamy ingredients. If I had to do it again, I'd brown the chicken first, remove it, then sautee the veggies and recombine everything.

                                                                                                                                                  While I realize this is comfort food, the recipe also seemed kind of bland to me. I ended up adding some fresh sage, cayenne, more salt, and 1/2 a bag of frozen artichokes to jazz it up a bit. Like you, I finished it in a low oven instead of on the stovetop.

                                                                                                                                                  The texture was a little mushy/gloppy for my tastes. I'd prefer to just make actual al dente risotto and have a nice piece of sauteed chicken and some veggies on the side. Oh well. The flavors were comforting, but this made a huge amount.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                            Looks beautiful.

                                                                                                                                            And there's a cooking challenge for you, rabaja: cook only dishes w/no Os ; )

                                                                                                                                        1. Pan sauteed boneless, skinless chicken thighs with gravy over rice, leftover cabbage from Sunday and a garden salad with ranch. Buttermilk biscuits to sop up the gravy.

                                                                                                                                          1. Seasoned boneless pork loin chops with rosemary, garlic and a few pinches of cumin, smoked paprika and Aleppo pepper. Seared them in a pan then simmered them with white wine which, along with butter, made the basis for a sauce along with whipped garlic labne. I didn't grow up eating pork, so chops are a simple dish I seem to routinely mess up. The pork had a great sear, but was tough and dry right up to the still pink middle. Any clues on how I can improve my technique?

                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                              no help from me - i DID grow up eating pork chops and my mom's (sorry momma) were always dry. i've only occasionally, accidentally avoided the same pork chop fate.

                                                                                                                                              the labne sounds amazing tho!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                JungMann, mc:
                                                                                                                                                Best way I can think of is to brine them for 4-24 hours in a mixture of water cider and salt, then dry well and dredge in lightly seasoned flour. Preheat oven to 375. Put 2 T. OO in cast -iron or ovenproof pan over med. high heat, wait until it's shimmering, and then flash-brown your little porkies on both sides. Nice and quick now! Ok, slide them into the hot oven and cook depending on thickness (d'oh!) - a one inch chop will take about 20 minutes.
                                                                                                                                                This is the basics; brines can be varied.......

                                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                  I agree with the oven finishing - unless the chops are simmering in a sauce (such as BBQ or a white wine sauce of some sort), finishing them plain in the oven has always worked for me. Quick on the stovetop for browning as well.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                    I forgot I brined my pork chops the last time I purchased them. Perhaps that's why I remember them being so flavorful in comparison to this current batch. Does the brine/oven method do anything to make the pork chop tender versus simmering in sauce?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                      The brine acts as a flavoring, tenderizing, and moisture-inducing method. (I almost wrote "flavorizing, tenderizing and moisturizing", but people who don't know how I write would choke on that one.) And it's my magical belief that the difference between stovetop simmering and oven-braising is the all-around heat, as opposed to a heat source that primarily cooks one side until you flip it. It cooks more evenly and gently. And my other magical belief is that by flouring lightly and pan-searing, you get a nice little crust that holds juices in better, all the better for the oven to finish the work.
                                                                                                                                                      If anyone begs to differ, or wants to throw McGee at me, please don't. I don't want to have my magical beliefs shattered by reason!

                                                                                                                                              2. Last night I made Penne ala Vodka (from the Soprano's Family Cookbook). It took no time at all and was delicious.

                                                                                                                                                I am definitely going to try Lidia's Chicken and Rice....great comfort dish!

                                                                                                                                                1. It's mega-mezze night at Harters Hall.

                                                                                                                                                  There'll be hummus. And moutabel. And omi houriya.

                                                                                                                                                  There'll be olives. And pickled turnips. And pickled chilli peppers. And courgettes in olive oil.

                                                                                                                                                  There'll be lamb chops. And fattoush. And aubergines, cooked with garlic, tomato & lottsa parsley.

                                                                                                                                                  There'll be lavash bread.

                                                                                                                                                  There'll be a later need for indigestion medication.

                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                    LOL! Love your last line. Quite possibly! BUT it will be worth it, yes? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                      Oh, yes. Absolutely.

                                                                                                                                                      One must suffer the pain for one's art.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                      oh my, i know this was last night's repast, but it is making me hungry NOW.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                        A Haiku:

                                                                                                                                                        There'll be Marci
                                                                                                                                                        Sitting at Harter's table
                                                                                                                                                        loving all the food.

                                                                                                                                                      2. Today, it's so gray and windy and cold here that easy comfort food seems in order, both at home and at work. The guys are having baked "omelets" (done in sheet pans). One will be a Denver-style, with diced bell pepper, ham, onions and mushrooms. The other will be done the same, only with Soyrizo. I'll make a huge griddlefull of hashed browns (parcooked the potatoes yesterday) and some biscuits with sausage gravy (for the meaties) and veg/mushroom-based gravy (for the notties). I'll bake some apples with maple syrup and walnuts for dessert, to be served with vanilla ice cream and cookies. At home, the game plan is spinach/meatball minestrone, served with stuffed French bread (stuffing of chopped artichokes, frozen, blended with cream cheese, parmesan, basil, chopped green onion and shredded fontina, wrapped in foil and baked.) This loaf is so good, I think I could probably just eat a whole one with a good glass of white wine or a beer, by myself. : )

                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                          A friend's chickens started laying eggs! And she gave us about 6 of them, but they are itty bitty. So tonight we will have fried eggs, buttery toast and maybe some sauteed mushrooms and a salad of local greens. Blood oranges for dessert. Very simple, and hopefully, very scrumptious.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: relizabeth

                                                                                                                                                            That sounds lovely. The eggs will get bigger as the chicken gets older, by the way.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                              LOL, bt. Yes indeedy, they will get bigger! And you are sooooooo lucky to have a source for truly fresh eggs. Your dinner sounds like the platonic ideal for a simple, delicious, "realfood" meal.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                You know how I know? When I was little I was the world's pickiest eater. My great-uncle used to go to the market to get me pullet eggs (I would condescend to eat little food, if the whim took me).

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                  "Little food." Right up there with "cute food," in my book. : )

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: relizabeth

                                                                                                                                                                So? The egglets? How were they? Delicious, I bet.

                                                                                                                                                            2. Last night, I made good on a promise to DH (actually part of an anniversary gift in which we decided to forego "things" this year in exchange for a a few nice "acts"/ tasks). One of mine was to make him fried chicken (which I've only tried a few times in my life, almost always unsuccessfully, and do I hate the mess).
                                                                                                                                                              The fried chicken was deemed a success. I used a COTM recipe (using lard!) and even made gravy w/drippings and milk, which was served over mashed yukon golds. We had a side of peas w/hedgehog mushrooms. I was going to make a salad, but decided no salad was going to save us from that fat/carb calorie overload. Tasty though.

                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                Hedgehog mushrooms?

                                                                                                                                                                Are they a type of mushie or a way of cooking?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                  It's a type, similar to a chanterelle (not sure you use the same word). You probably can't tell much from my photo--but I'll take this (shameless) opportunity to show off my chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for that - Google tells me that, in the UK, it's rare one for the foragers.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                      It's a mushroom similar to a chanterelle, but apparently milder in taste.


                                                                                                                                                                      Just as long as it doesn't poke on the way down, I'm down with the hedgehog 'shroom.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. Lunch was salad with an overnight breakfast strata with sharp cheddar and spicy sausage using leftover bread and sausage from this week's fondue.

                                                                                                                                                                    Tonight I'm trying a recipe recommended by a friend:
                                                                                                                                                                    Chicken with Mustard Mascarpone Marsala Sauce

                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks Linda! Giada's chicken marsala dish was a hit (esp with E), but oomph I ate too much pasta and garlic bread - made ciabatta from "Artisan Bread Five Minutes a Day".

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                                          That looks gorgeous! Nicely photographed too.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                                            I'm in carb heaven with those two pictures. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Roasted some anchos, guajillos and chiles arbol and pureed them with cinnamon, cloves, allspice, garlic, vinegar and oil. Pureed that and slathered the marinade over some thinly sliced pork chops which are waiting for me in the fridge. Probably will just cook them on the Foreman and serve with an iceberg salad with avocado, tomato, onions, chipotles and feta. Take out the chiles and I never realized how Middle Eastern carne enchilada could be.

                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                          J-Mann - again, with the drool-making! wow.... i could see that puree on a roast chicken..............

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                            Definitely. I made a double batch and am going to try some on firm tofu as well.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Roasting the currently marinating "Peruvian" chicken tonight. Recipe from the current CI. Do you think I could find that dang vertical roaster anywhere? @#*%@##!!! Beer can it will be...grrrrr.

                                                                                                                                                                          I just hope it won't be ridiculously spicy with that bit of habanero in the marinade.

                                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                            The chicken came out really succulent and it had a good flavor. No need to worry about the habanero being too hot. Think I will skip the mayo/sauce that goes with it though. This would be great on a grill as well. Definitely one to make again.

                                                                                                                                                                            Dessert was super easy and fast. Sticky Toffee Bananas. From Olive magazine in the UK

                                                                                                                                                                            I used 2 bananas, skipped the pumpkin seeds and used Dark corn syrup as I could not find my Lyle's Golden syrup. Also, the crème fraîche was full-fat.
                                                                                                                                                                            After sauteeing the bananas I removed them from the pan and cooked the sauce for a minute or two to thicken slightly. Tossed the bananas back in the pan to coat. That was it. Another keeper.


                                                                                                                                                                            * 3 medium bananas , peeled
                                                                                                                                                                            * 1 tsp butter
                                                                                                                                                                            * 1 tbsp dark rum
                                                                                                                                                                            * ½ an orange , juiced
                                                                                                                                                                            * 1 tbsp golden syrup
                                                                                                                                                                            * 2 tbsp half-fat crème fraîche
                                                                                                                                                                            * 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Cut the bananas into diagonal chunks. Melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan. Add the banana and fry until it begins to brown, tossing once or twice. Take off the heat, add the rum, orange juice and golden syrup, then put back and bubble for 30 seconds, shaking the pan to coat the bananas in the sauce.
                                                                                                                                                                            2. Divide between 2 plates and top with the crème fraîche and pumpkin seeds.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                              The banana dessert sounds VERY good, twodales!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                It's super quick and can be done with staples I usually have in the house. I'm sure one could substitute peaches or other fruits and use sour cream instead of creme fraiche.

                                                                                                                                                                                Another one I like that is quick is sliced strawberries, tossed in some liqueur or spirits with a splodge of sour cream and a sprinkling of brown sugar. Can be done with bananas too. When I want dessert but haven't made anything in advance, these do very nicely.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                              i love a spicy chicken... and what makes it Peruvian?

                                                                                                                                                                              and yes, agree with Linda, thoes bananas sound heavenly.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                Perhaps this will help with the Peruvian chicken?



                                                                                                                                                                                The marinade had olive oil, mint, garlic, pepper, sugar, smoked paprika, oregano, habanero, cumin, fresh lime juice and zest (always a good thing in my book), rubbed under the skin and over too, I marinated it for about 24 hours and it was lovely. Can't wait to make it again and try it on the grill.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                                  thanks! i've had lots of roasted (spit) chickens at Peruvian restaurants, and i was just wondering what made the one you tried Peruvian. Sounds yummy.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. My husband has class tonight so I'm on my own-my favorite time to try new things! I'm making shakshuka over grits, with an Australian chardonnay. World peace will most definitely start in the kitchen :)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. It's in the -20s here so we're going for heavier fare; tonight it's baked buttermilk chicken, hasselback potatoes, steamed broccoli and baby carrots. Reading some of the contributions above our dinner tonight fairly pedestrian by comparison - but I'm working on two picky eaters who are 4 & 6 years - and trying not to make 2 meals every. single. night.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: maplesugar

                                                                                                                                                                                    Don't apologize. Many of us have been there...and still are. My 19 year old is a vegetarian and a little picky so I sometimes make two meals when she is home from college.

                                                                                                                                                                                    We don't eat out much as my husband is a country boy and didn't grow up with restaurant food. I love restaurants (good ones of any ilk) and I get bored so I am always making new recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: maplesugar

                                                                                                                                                                                      NOTHING pedestrian about hasselback potatoes!

                                                                                                                                                                                      and i know where you're coming from. i end up making a LOT of the same thing over and over because my dad is so picky. thank goodness i can experiment with the BF.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. A simple meal upcoming:-

                                                                                                                                                                                      Butternut squash soup, pork terrine, bread, spicy pickled onions, plum chutney.

                                                                                                                                                                                      And all of it homemade.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Last night, I made the quinoa casserole that Twilight Goddess tempted me with, and we both loved it. I tossed black quinoa into a sauteed mixture of onions (which I doubled), garlic, baby bella mushrooms, spinach, and then added a creamy mix of sour cream and cottage cheese (I mashed the cottage cheese a bit with a fork), parmesan, dill, salt, pepper, paprika and red pepper is added before the dish is baked. I also added some nutritional yeast. I served it with good-sized salads, and went to bed last night feeling *very* virtuous.

                                                                                                                                                                                        As we were eating, the boyfriend said he really loved the dish, but he was hoping to have a healthier dish "without all the butter and cream". I told what was in it, and he was surprised that olive oil, light sour cream, and low fat cottage cheese could fool him.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Okay, yes, I did mix the sauteing oil with two pats of butter with the onions. I have been living on salads, hummus, and egg whites ever since Valentine's day, when I had trouble with my favorite skirt. But instead of just admitting the butter usage to the BF, I listed everything *he* had eaten that day (a large french fry, and double fish sandwich with cheese and tartar sauce, a small container of spinach cheese dip with a decent amount of Triscuits, and a Bueno bar), and suggested that he, perhaps, should not be casting aspersions on my *quinoa* dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                        He's going out of town tonight for a few days, so tonight I'll likely have a *mostly* egg white omelet (I'll leave a yolk or two in) with spinach, peppers, and onions, and a side salad, spinach, red pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, and toasted sunflower seeds, with thinned hummus as a dressing. I think it is safe to say that I have come to hate that skirt.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                          wow, you made your "iight" quinoa dish sound so decadent!

                                                                                                                                                                                          i am so with you on the hateful clothes spontaneously shrinking in the closet at night.... my BF's coming back next week and he'll definitely find more to love.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                            When I said I had gained weight, that was *exactly* what the boyfriend said to me, "More to love". I told him that was a vile thing to say to me. I guess I was in the mood to be lied to. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                            And I'm definitely going to pair cottage cheese and quinoa more often. It was a really lovely dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Oh, it's been an expensive day. Took the day off because the car needed some repair - rear brakes and back plates for the GOG (Good Old Girl), my 12yo Camry. $1500 later, I'm home, and having a drink. Two, actually. Maybe a smidge more. I'm not driving anywhere. And I need to take the edge off the pain of cost hitting my Amex. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                          This will be a cooking weekend - mostly because I'm making food in small containers to stock my Mom's freezer - part of her Christmas present - delectable and delicious delights. :-) I've already got meat sauce packed into 1 cup containers in the downstairs freezer; tonight will be macaroni and ham and cheese - I'll put together several small mini-foil loaf pans for her of the elbows and cheese sauce and give her Panko crumbs to use as topping after defrosting and before baking.

                                                                                                                                                                                          So that's my dinner as well - made in a larger loaf pan. This is a basic recipe from the Mueller's elbow noodle box from years and years ago - probably back in the 1970s, as I originally got it from Mom. However, I've tweaked it (of course). Plus the cheddar I use is WAY better than the Cracker Barrel Mom used to use. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                          I'll increase this recipe by half to make enough smaller containers for Mom.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Baked Macaroni & Cheese With Ham

                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Tbsp butter or margarine
                                                                                                                                                                                          1/4 cup unsifted flour
                                                                                                                                                                                          1 tsp salt
                                                                                                                                                                                          1 tsp dry mustard -- up to 2 tsp.
                                                                                                                                                                                          1/4 tsp white pepper -- more to taste
                                                                                                                                                                                          2 cups milk
                                                                                                                                                                                          2 1/4 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese -- divided
                                                                                                                                                                                          1/2 lb ham center slice, cooked -- sliced 1" thick ***
                                                                                                                                                                                          8 oz elbow macaroni
                                                                                                                                                                                          1/4 cup bread crumbs -- I use Panko crumbs
                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Tbsp Lipton's Savory Herb & Garlic dry soup mix

                                                                                                                                                                                          Cook elbow macaroni for 6 minutes in boiling water. Drain in colander. Cut ham slice into 1/2" cubes and set aside. Preheat oven to 350°.

                                                                                                                                                                                          In 2-qt. saucepan, melt margarine over low heat. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and mustard until smooth. Slowly add milk in 1/4-1/3 cup increments, stirring constantly, until flour mixture and milk are well blended. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until thickened. Turn heat to low. Add 2 cups of the grated cheese, stirring constantly until all cheese is melted.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Turn elbow macaroni into 2 qt. greased casserole dish. Mix in ham cubes, then pour cheese sauce over top of all, making sure sauce is mixed in well throughout. In a separate bowl, mix Panko crumbs and dry soup mix; sprinkle over top of macaroni & cheese, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup grated cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until top is bubbly. Let sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

                                                                                                                                                                                          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                                                                                                                                                                                          NOTES : *** Ask for a 1" slice of Virginia baked ham from the deli counter...they'll look at you weird, but it's better than buying the packaged ham steak.

                                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                            First, ouch for your wallet, but GOG made me giggle.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Second, you have no idea what you've done to my appetite. I love ham as an ingredient; the last time I had ham was at my mom's Christmas, and that was served by the slice. I always feel a little ripped off when I am served with a slice of ham with no prospect of leftovers to tuck into dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Third, I love that you cook so well for your mom. And I think that deserves another drink. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                              Now WHAT a surprise! I'm working on that "another drink" right now. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                              As for ham - this is the ONLY time I'll eat it. My sister loves it at Christmastime; I usually find it too salty and stick with more veggies than meat. She's now making a turkey breast for me and her husband, who needs to stay away from salty things. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                              Ah well, have as many drinks as you want/need. Those unexpected expenses are such a bitch. But the Camry's a good car, and presumably will only need such pricey upkeep once in a while.
                                                                                                                                                                                              What you cook for your mom is so nice. My mom is only just beginning to accept my cooking (for her), but you inspire me to keep trying!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                yipes on the car expenses! glad you treated yourself so well. that mac-n-ham-n-cheese sounds yummy.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. not a lot of cooking lately, just a lot of putting things together at my dad's - my sister made pork pernil and so carnitas tacos were my dinner 2 nights in a row, then a night of pizza at a bar for a birthday party, then a pernil sandwich with a little bottled bbq sauce. pretty tasty, actually, but also pretty *yawn*.

                                                                                                                                                                                                then tonight, in a cooking semi-frenzy: made apanados to fry up, air drying a whole chicken in the fridge to roast, and marinating short ribs in red wine with smashed garlic, parsley, thyme, fennel and bay leaf, for braising tomorrow. also, rice made with chicken broth and more smashed garlic, and then a buttery mash of potatoes and parsnips with MORE smashed garlic. had to stockpile for the oldster because the BF is coming back next week (FINALLY!) and i am going to go home and cook up a storm for HIM! half the shortribs will come home with me, to be served over wide egg noodles., probably...

                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sounds like lots of good eats at mc's oldster's house as well!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                    mc, when you get a show of your own, you should call it, "The cooking Dervish."

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Had me at the pernil, at which I would never, ever yawn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Last night's salad was a large one, and so I delayed making my omelet. I am very glad I did. I was cleaning out the fridge last night, and found a few things that I had forgotten were in there, and do really need to be used up. Things I really *want* to use up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tonight's omelet will be artichoke hearts, brie, sun-dried tomatoes, and a bit of nutmeg. I'm thinking I might add a tiny bit of basil as well (I have a large bunch that is in its final glory). And finding two yellow squash was the inspiration for the dish that will go with. I'll saute onions, bell peppers, garlic, and squash, add a small amount of tomato juice, cook it down a bit, and then add basil and spinach. I have to run to the market today, and may pick up a bit of bread to turn the vegetable dish into a bread salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      And why is it that I changed the household diet three months ago, and the boyfriend lost weight while I gained it? I think my body sees the absence of bacon and pasta as a famine alert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                        "I think my body sees the absence of bacon and pasta as a famine alert."

                                                                                                                                                                                                        ahahaha! your omelet sounds yummy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        boyfriends. mine eats donuts and cashews like they're about to be embargoed and yet he remains the same weight as when i met him (again) 8+ years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Your mention of bread salad reminded me of this really delicious recipe for Winter Panzanella from Smitten Kitchen. Maybe you could sub some roasted mushrooms for the pancetta? I'll bet Shitake would be good.


                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Raw onion is on my (very short) can't/won't do list, and I used the last of my mushrooms in the quinoa. *But* I never thought of using the sprouts in a bread salad, and think they'd be fantastic. I've bookmarked this recipe to try soon (the boyfriend loves raw onion, so he can have my share ;)). Thanks, Christina.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm with you---raw onions are really on the no-no list, except in VERY small amounts (like, for seasoning). My friends diced the onion very fine (rather than in the large chunks shown on the blog), and it was good. Hope you enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. BFF's Birthday Party at my place:
                                                                                                                                                                                                          chicken liver pate -her fave
                                                                                                                                                                                                          pigs in a blanket with a cheesy surprise
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Crab and butter lettuce salad
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Meyer-herb bread and all the snacks a few gals are bringing will finish the meal, and then Tres Leches cake!
                                                                                                                                                                                                          +wine and cava. Must remember! Drink water!
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Rainy here and quite nippy, there will be a fire and candles and all that snuggly yumminess.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wh0 needs an 0 key?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                            lucky BF! all sounds wonderful. do you make your own Tres Leches?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, I haven't made it in years, but I dug up my recipe and will give it a whirl.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              If it's pretty, there will be pictures!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                              You managed an o-less dinner party, rabaja! And that menu is not missing them at all. Have fun.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. More rainy, gray weather. I really don't mind it as long as I don't have to be out in it, and my favorite way to combat Dem Old Time Kozmik Rainy Day Blues, Mama......... is ............cooking! Quelle Suprise!
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Already in the pot: a whole chicken and a very meaty carcass, simmering gently with onions, carrots, garlic and celery. Matzo-ball dough with some dill mixed in is chilling in the fridge. So; broth for stock, and I'll use the chicken two ways: I'll shred half of it into some homemade bbq sauce and freeze it for hoagies at some point in the very near future, and the other half will go into a Divan for tonight's dinner - I picked up some brie just for grins and am going to incorporate a wedge of it into the cheese sauce to add some richness and flavor. (Not that the Divan's not rich enough as is, but today feels like a great day to do some calorie-pounding and gild the lily.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have half a recipe of piecrust in the freezer, and I'm going to use it to make something that looks and tastes like rugelach but isn't rugelach. Roll it out; spread it with apricot jam and drizzle that with some dark chocolate; roll it up, slice and bake. I like to finish it with sugar crystals, just 'cause they look so darn pretty. Also making the world best, easiest, most delicious, chewy/crispy peanut butter cookies. Believe it or not, it's a food processor recipe, and it has never been known to fail!
                                                                                                                                                                                                              So, Matzo-ball soup, chicken divan and maybe some warm chunky applesauce. Sounds comforting through and through.......thank G-d for the Zen of cooking!
                                                                                                                                                                                                              All y'all have a wonderful safe weekend filled with good food and wine and conversation......

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh, mamachef, your chicken divan brings back memories. I only ever had it at my aunt's, Mom's oldest sister. They moved around the country quite a bit, but no matter where we visited her, she always served chicken divan once. (I spent a whole summer with her one year so enjoyed the treat several times; I thought I was in heaven.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                I thought my aunt the most glamorous person in the world. She wore gorgeous clothes, always set a formal table and played soft background music at dinnertime--and made chicken divan, which may be comfort food to you, but to my young mind was the fanciest dish in the world.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Still debating - last night was a bit heavy on the carbs (Thai take-out for a group of 9 drunk people, so it involved a fairly high number of noodle dishes... oh my), so tonight needs to be a nice hunk o'meat like steak or chicken, or eggplant stuffed with lamb & feta... or a roasted chicken, with something green on the side. OTOH, gigging tonight and have to make sure dinner doesn't create any problems later. Ah, decisions, decisions....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Alea iacta est = bison cheeseburgers & mâche salad on the side with sour cream dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    THAT is a good dinner before your gig - enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, I was really craving red meat. I still got that stuffed eggplant on my mind, but that'll have to wait for another day!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      sour cream dressing? recipe please!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Decided to go healthy last night - Vietnamese beef and lettuce wraps. Marinated some flap steak in dark soy, oyster sauce, garlic, oil, and a little sugar for a couple of hours, then cut into strips and stir-fried. I served it with red leaf lettuce, scallions, cilantro, and pineapple with nuoc cham (dipping sauce of sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, water and sliced chilis). Tonight I'm making Elizabeth Frink's Roast Lemon Chicken from the COTM, which I'll serve with carrots and potatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tomorrow we'll be at a four-course mead dinner (Redstone Meadery) at the Scottsdale Trader Vic's as one of the events of Arizona Beer Week. Monday I'm having a couple of friends over for "Rosé Monday" - everybody brings a bottle of rosé and something to pair. I'm making lobster escabeche with hearts of palm and avocado - a recipe I got last week when E and I attended a cooking class at the local Four Seasons.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Last night's dinner, and escabeche from class

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rubee


                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm tempted by your Peruvian chicken above. Still trying to decide do that one or the lemon. hmmm....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Oh my goodness; so much good cooking happening here. You're making me drool.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I made dinner today to bring to a coworker whose wife is on bedrest. Decided all-American was the way to go (working with what I had on hand, since I decided to cook at the spur of the moment when I awoke this AM). I brined chicken breasts and legs, coating them in seasoned salt, lemon pepper, and paprika, and roasting them at high heat. I made a potato-rutabaga mash (with a little cottage cheese thrown in for flavor), honey mustard napa cabbage cole slaw, and garlicky sauteed broccoli rabe to go along with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was halfway into making brownies when I realized DH ate all but the last egg for breakfast. So I ran to the store and picked up eggs, baby carrots, smoked paprika hummus, and a tall bottle of pale ale. Hopefully, this will all add up to a hearty meal for my friends!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Kind of wishing I'd made a second batch of brownies (they smell so good), but I just made banana bread yesterday. Turned out really well!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I hope you got some of your dinner, too, CM! You are very good to your friends/co-workers; they are very lucky to have not just a good friend but one who brings good food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Christina, what a kind thing for you to do! Dinner sounds absolutely delicious!!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you feel like sharing or swapping, tell me about your banana bread. : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I use my mother in-law's recipe: http://culinspiration.wordpress.com/2...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I add some cinnamon and vanilla, and this time, when I greased the pan, I coated it in white sugar, not flour. It created a nice, crisp exterior.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Still in "cooking for Mom" mode, although it doesn't look like I'll be going up to her place on Monday to deliver anything due to the snow we're expected to get. I'll have to rearrange the downstairs freezer to fit the containers until I do make a delivery. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            She had chosen as one of her delectable and delightful dinners a Pork and Cider Stew. I remembered *after* I had given her coupon with the choices that the last time I had made the recipe I had used, it was meh. (I think it was a crockpot recipe, and I wanted to use the oven - mostly to warm up the apartment! LOL)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So - I'm cobbling together something on my own, based on an Oven Beef Goulash recipe Mom has made for years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pork and Apple Cider Stew

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Tablespoons canola oil, divided (more as needed)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/3 cup flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 teaspoon dried sage
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 pounds boneless pork picnic shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2" long pieces
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" wide pieces
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 cups apple cider
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 cup chicken stock
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 bay leaf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Preheat oven to 350°F.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Put the pork cubes in a large Ziploc bag. Add flour, salt, pepper, thyme and sage. Seal shut and shake well to coat the pieces of pork.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In a Dutch oven suitable for both stovetop and oven, heat 1 Tbsp. canola oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Add pork shoulder cubes in small batches, browning well on all sides. Remove browned pork to a bowl; add more oil to the Dutch oven and brown remaining pork. Remove all pork from Dutch oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pour apple cider, chicken stock, and apple cider vinegar into Dutch oven and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to loosen the fond on the bottom of the pan and blend it into the liquid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Return pork to the liquid, and tuck in the pieces of carrots and sweet potatoes, trying to ensure that the liquid mostly covers the meat and vegetables. Tuck a bay leaf in under the vegetables and meat, and cover.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bake in a 350° oven for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, checking occasionally to stir and ensure vegetables are cooking and liquid is thickening. (If liquid remains too thin, tip the lid partway through cooking to allow steam to escape, or add a flour slurry to thicken as gravy at the end.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Serve in individual bowls over egg noodles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Have you made this before? It sounds great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                No, but it was an adaptation of several other recipes (one I've made before that I didn't like as much) and several others that looked good. As I said - I was "cobbling" together several recipes, and baking it the way my Mom always did with an oven beef stew recipe she's made for years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It *was* very good! I did have to add a cornstarch slurry towards the end to get the gravy going; next time I'll cut back on the amount of cider or the chicken stock - or cut back on a little of both.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This reminds me of another spectacular dish, the cider-braised chicken with parsnips from All About Braising. I tried it this fall --- mmmm! Yum yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: twilight goddess

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And I have the All About Braising cookbook - I'll have to look up the chicken and parsnips recipe!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Lat night I made a lemony clams and linguini dish, recipe courtesy of COTM. We decided we prefer our standard mostly garlicky version. Roasted some over-the-hill brussels sprouts as a side. We had my current favorite app--mushroom-prosciutto bruschetta--with our TGIF drinks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                No cooking tonight as I am headed out to see our first-of-the-season Mardi Gras parade--a small one that wends its way through the French Quarter, is strictly satirical and usually hilarious in its skewering of local politicians and current events. Hope to find something to nosh on while out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You're in NOLA. I'm sure you'll find *something* to nosh on, ncw. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      No kidding. I'm working on sewing and painting projects while I watch the Vampire Diaries, and NCW is reveling in the French Quarter. My Saturday night just became lamer than usual.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      NCW, have fun, lady!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        OADL--you best get all that virtue out of the way now, in case you end up in NOLA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Note to self: stop procrastinating on laundry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ::::Note to self: Don't forget you just put a load of whites in the washer while dinner's cooking.::::

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Another Saturday night and I ain't got nobody
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I got some money 'cause I just got paid
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            How I wish I had someone to talk to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm in an awful way

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You got bodies to talk to, and someday you'll have the right one. Of this, I have no doubt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And a timer going off in the kitchen while I'm cooking, one that has *nothing* to do with the kitchen, drops my jaw in frustration and disbelief every damn time, even if I am likely the one who set that timer. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Red beans and rice are the only dish where the two are sure to mix.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Don't be. I'm sure it wil be crowded and uncomfortable even though the weather's perfect. I might have to choke down something alcoholic to make it all tolerable. ; )
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But have a good gig, linguafood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I feel your pain '-). Have a Sazerac or Dark & Stormy for me. I'll drown my envy in the blues, and vodka tonics...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "Something alcoholic." Ummm, don't think you'll find that in the French Quarter, ncw. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Skewering Pols? Now THAT should be hard!!! LOL!!! ; )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. I have been wanting to make this dish for some time now. It's one my mom made and I don't make it that often but oh do I love it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pepper Steak with Jasmine rice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Salad of iceberg lettuce, manderine oranges, olives, and beets. Sweet citrus dressing, or a russian dressing.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          pound cake with a pudding layer & cinammon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              yeah that pound cake with vanilla pudding.... is dangerous, very dangerous. I went to serve it about an hour after our dinner, what? 1/3 of it was missing?? Hmmmm, I guess while I was waiting to make room in my tummy, I fell asleep, hah. some people. Yeah that would be you dh, and my 5 year old. Both of them laying on the sofa not a peep out of either of them when I went to serve it...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Grilled cheese with pulled short ribs and pickled red onions


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It's what you do with leftover braised short ribs. I bribed Deb to do all the work by cueing-up the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: steve h.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Preferably made for me by Govind Armstrong, but you'll do. Tee hee!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tasty. Mighty tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It seems Connecticut is going back into the deep freeze this coming week. I don't like winter. I plan on pushing back by plying Deb with gin and tonics on Tuesday, killer nachos, chili and so on. Endless Summer will be on the box.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    SANGRIA! Sangria means summer to me and will ward off the deep freeze that's coming to CT, MA and the rest of us in New England!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'll wash the dishes if I can come over and watch Pride and Prejudice (and maybe eat half a grilled cheese). That DVD set has been on my wish list forever. And ever. And ever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That is a fine use of pork, I must say.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The BBC production is an outstanding period piece. You owe it to yourself to buy it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Do it! Sometimes I secretly love getting flu so I can lie in bed all day and watch it all in one go!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gembellina

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I once rented it while the BF was down with a very bad back. He complained at first (being the captive audience that he was), but he was hooked by the first dinner dance, and thanked me later for 'making' him watch it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The bribing would work the other way in this house. My husband would agree to do anything, even cook, to avoid watching P & P.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But for me--grilled cheese w/pulled short ribs and pickled red onions AND P & P: now that's living.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Last night we went to a local French bistro. I had escargot and steak frite. Brought half the steak frite home and had it for brunch today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Have been eating pretty heartily lately so tonight it will be a green curry and some pad see ew.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Steak frites. Forgot the "s". : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I was hoping you had more than just one frite. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Because.........no one can eat just one! (oops, wrong commercial...... : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Last night was fish Friday: trout with lemon butter, cole slaw, baked potatoes with chives & basil oil. Slacking today with a grilled turkey/cheese sub, fries and lemon layer cake. What? I had a salad on top of my sub...lettuce & tomato counts!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Gosh, Cheryl, your brand of slacking is my brand of actually cooking! When I slack, dinner tends to be a great big plateful of "whatever's in there."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Well, we had a first for us last night - and a weird one at that. it just about keeps within Home Cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We went to one of those new "secret" supper clubs that advertise through the web, keeping their location secret until the day before, when you get an email giving you the address. This ended up being on the far side of the metro area. There's 8 of us guests sat round the dining table at this very posh house. And we get served delightful home cooked, home style, Punjabi food. Lottsa different dishes (I'm now a convert to okra - which came stuffed with paneer). The event is run by a young woman, her brother and mother. Payment is by way of a £20 "donation". Great evening - lovely food, fantastic hospitality, interesting guests.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              What an awesomely great good time, Harters! Are you thinking of doing an event of your own now, or is Mrs. H. not having it? I can think of a whole lotta people who'd gladly pay to eat the delicious food you make........

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sounds like a great night. that okra sounds great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lucky you! That is so cool. I am fascinated by these supper clubs. What a wonderful idea it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    They're only just finding their way to the north - I'd never have come across this one had it not been for a post on egullet's UK board. It's the only one in the metro area. One of the guys last night has told me of another about an hour away that does a traditional English "afternoon tea" - sandwiches, savoury, cakes and so on. Going to have to try that - but I think I'll leave it until summer when we're in the strawberry season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As for tonight - classic roast chicken. Nothing fancy. Spuds, asparagus, gravy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      People tend to keep such events fairly close to the vest here. I'm not certain how the restaurant business is monitored there, but I've had dealings with our local health department, and can understand why people are so tight-lipped about such events here. Which would make it all the more fun. The fruit is forbidden once again! ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the ones they have in SF are a bit pricey for me - upwards of $70 per person, from what i've seen. I know that's what I'd pay in a really nice restaurant, and i'm not saying they're not worth it, but I'm not going to those very much these days either...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What a great concept--and what a great dinner. Are the dinners always at private homes?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I guess they're all in private homes. It's the "underground" bit - whilst they're obviously commercial, or semi-commercial, events, they're under the radar of income tax and food hygiene officials.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And now, I must quickly think what to do with a couple of pigeon breasts, which I'd forgotten I'd defrosted to use as a starter. Probably a couple of minutes in the pan frying in olive oil; then a couple of tablespoons of white wine and a splash of white wine vinegar and dump the lot on top of some salad leaves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          There is a recipe I saw for squab breast with Jordan almonds from Mark Bittman that I have been meaning to try for the longest time. It seems like a very interesting combination that's easily brought together.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            waaaait, whooooaaa, just hold on a minute. aren't Jordan 'almonds those candy-coated almonds you used to get at the movies? i'm not even going going to google this until you spoon-feed me the answer....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yup. The candy caramelizes over the breast and leaves behind roasted crushed almond over the squab.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nah. I just know that's going to be too sweet for my taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  how did he even think of this?? and who buys Jordan Almonds EXCEPT at a movie theater?? wow.... you must let us know when you try it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've never bought them at a movie theater - I've *only* had them at wedding receptions as little favors at each place setting. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      oh yeah, you're right, i have had them at weddings too...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      my mom used to LOVE buying Jordan Almonds at the movies. me, i'm a buttered popcorn gal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Buttered popcorn with a bag of peanut m n ms thrown in and a large, crushed-ice pepsi on the side. perhaps a hot dog for a starter, with a ton of mustard. and if necessary, a light dessert of jr mints.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          yeah, just don't do the sweet very much! with you on the hot dog tho....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            a meal you can only eat in the dark of the cinema where no-one can see you! personally i prefer a starter of nachos and radioactive cheese dip.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Have pork chops brining- probably going to bread them and bake. Served with rice and broccoli.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Made spaghetti sauce to have later this week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: vafarmwife

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Also made a pot of hamburger goulash to have for later in the week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I found! Thick asparagus! On SALE at my local Market!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tonight is one of those "different" dinners - not the usual well-balanced plate o' 3. I'll be serving up a huge plattter of asparagus, sauteed with pancetta, garlic, oyster and hoisin sauce, along with some Asian-flavah panfried rice-noodles. I'm thinking we'll probably manage a pound of asparagus apiece. That, and another pan of the astronomically good oatmeal-less apple crumble, and dinner's DONE!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hey, by the way......either I'm not looking carefully enough, or something, but where in the world is Boyzoma? I miss her posts - but then again, I may have missed her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That's funny, I was thinking about bozoma yesterday. The last time she posted she said she was terribly busy lately (but she 'sounded' happy). Maybe she's knee-deep in her periodic house renovation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Those asparagus sound heavenly. I'll have to keep an eye out for a sale in my area, but green beans would work with those flavors too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Green beans and broccoli both, oadl. Yum. Just start with a handful of pancetta and some minced garlic; throw in your veg and toss with a little salt and pepper. Now a good squeeze of hoisin and oyster sauces; 'bout equal amounts. Toss and saute until crisp-tender, and roll out onto plate, scraping the delicious sauce out of the pan to top the veg.....
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                oy vey, this is FOOD!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                really, you're in CA aren't you? I can't find them anywhere... I used to NEVER buy the thick ones, was I missing out. ooooooooo. I like the way you've made them too, goodness, if I got lost would you take me in? Your food always sounds divine!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, if you're sure to wear some flowers in your hair, you'd be a welcome guest!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The funny thing is, this was a supermarket that I generally don't patronize. It's a culturally-slanted market, so things like asparagus and wild rice and other things not generally used by that culture's cuisine are generally priced much less expensively than at regular chain markets! Sometimes I even wonder why they order that stuff, since it appears I'm only one of three people buying it....
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thick asparagus is something I sneered at forever. I liked "pencil" asparagus. But then; a revelation! A friend served the thick asparagus with a balsamic glaze, and oh my word, what I'd missed all these years! Asparagus, but......more. More..."meaty". Beautiful flavor and texture. Toothsome and more...asparagus-y. Highest recommend!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Come for dinner, stay for dessert and coffee. All are invited!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You're from Berkeley!!! I love Berkeley, my favorite weekend getaway!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Flowers, no problem!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, actually I learned about them here on CH, I don't buy thin ones anymore even though I liked them too, just like the plump ones so much better. Yes yes to all of your adjectives of meaty bursting with flavor asparagus!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Agree completely about the asparagus. I too used to think I preferred the "pencil" asparagus; I'm sure I was a snob about it. Now, I want them thick. And they're so good grilled or roasted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        alright, you've all talked me into it. i'm going to try the fat ones again. mamachef, where was that store? i only seem to find the thin ones in SF (well, in my nabe, anyway.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Gazzelli's on Bancroft (In Eastmont Center.) it was a buck 39 a pound. I'll double check that they still have some in stocked and message you here or on FB.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've seen a few people mention "pencil" asparagus. Why is that preferred? When I pick out asparagus at the market I was taught to always look for fat, meaty stalks. In any case, your prep sounds like a wonderfully inventive fusion that I must try the next time I have salume in the house.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          JungMann, I'm not sure. I suppose people equate the small size with a more delicate texture and flavor, as if it was a baby vegetable, but that's not the case at all; it's a different varietal altogether. One of the problems with the pencil thin stuff is that one-half minute in the wrong direction and you are stuck with shoestringy spears with leather tips. Also they tend to turn an odd color sometimes. Give me good fat meaty stalks anytime. Whoever taught you to market clearly did their job well. (Proscuitto, salume, pancetta and even good bacon would lend the good smoky umame this dish requires.) Must be eaten with fingers; amazing when followed by mid-rare roasted lamb and garlic potatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I think last night's omelet was wasted on me . . . because I was so in love with the bread salad. I don't know exactly what it was, but the combination of savory stew and toasted bread was more than enough for me last night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So I'm making another pot of it again tonight, but I feel compelled to add a side dish, so I think I'll try my hand at baked falafel, using this recipe: http://chowvegan.com/2009/01/06/baked...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think this will be the perfect meal for such a rainy day. I had to turn on lamps straightaway when I got up this morning. It's a day for books, candles, wine, and savory foods in the bowl for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And I learned through CH that the Girl Scouts are out pushing their cookies. I've already sent an emergency text message to the boyfriend requesting the Thin Mints. I will hide in the freezer until that overwhelmingly hot day in July when a bowl of cereal just don't cut it for breakfast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oadl, have you got the recipe for Zuni chicken and Bread salad? If you don't you must make it. Absolutely must. Nothing like it. Let me know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've had that bookmarked for quite a while. One of these days I'll wander over to Whole Paycheck and buy one of those free-range, sung-to-sleep birds and shock the boyfriend with MEAT. I haven't cooked meat, other than fish, since the last week of November. He'll fall right out of his chair, I think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Love it, "sung-to-sleep" birds. Coddled, lullabyed, rocked gently and put in their warm, jasmine-scented beddies. All the better for us to eat!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My local WF just had a one day sale on their organic chickens. They were $1.67/lb.!!!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I haven't spent so little on a whole bird in years, it was seriously, like $5.50. Typically I spend more in the area of $13.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Maybe ask your WF if they plan on doing something similar. I can't imagine it would be exclusive to this one particular store.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ooh, thanks for the heads up. I have a friend who shops there on a regular basis, and she assures me that 'regular' free-range is usually cheaper than organic-certified free-range, so if you paid five bucks for the big O, then it's worth checking out soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i'd heard about that sale! i thought it was only at the new WF in the Haight - it already happened there, too, so i wonder if they just got a huge load or something...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've already sent an emergency text message to the boyfriend requesting the Thin Mints. I will hide in the freezer until that overwhelmingly hot day in July when a bowl of cereal just don't cut it for breakfast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You're going to be mighty cold hiding in the freezer, oadl.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ha! Do not drunken chowhound. White wine seems so innocent, doesn't it? I already had to petition the mods to change the new WFD to Part 74. Because I was, apparently, enjoying 73 sooo much that I could not let it go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I can't believe my fingers. They have zero tolerance. It's like they weren't even with me in the nineties.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Do not drunken chowhound."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LOL!!! And I hadn't realized that you had created another WFD-Part 73. It was 74 by the time I saw it last night. Tee hee!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Haha, I felt so stupid, but I had it coming. I double-checked the title of the old thread, and said, "Okay, that one was seventy-three, so this one should be . . . " and then I was distracted, because I was born in seventy-three, which made me think of my mom, and how no picture of her while she was pregnant ever made it into the family albums, and that she was vain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  See, that's how powerful mothers are; they can give you your comeuppance from three states away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Tonight, I'll be trying out another COTM recipe with which Breadcrumbs had great success and lovely photos: Hot Pepper Shrimp. I probably will serve it w/rice. And I'm going to stir-fry broccoli w/some ginger and garlic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I think BLTs since last night's dinner was so big. I am busy trying to find bread recipes, for hamburger buns. Last night's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, showed a guys restaurant and he makes all his own breads, ie., hamburger buns, hoagie rolls,etc. But when they were quickly making them (you know how fast that part rolls) I noticed he uses brown sugar. Funny all the customers rave about his bread first and food second.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. We are up there in numbers, and the usual thread-starters are MIA today, and my book is boring, so I started a new thread here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/767365

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Snowy cold day, so I'm cooking up pork braised with apples and pears, and serving it with celery root-potato mash and an arugula salad with pears and almonds. Dessert - gluten-free almond cake with dried nectarines. House smells amazing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pork Braised with Apples and Pears

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 lbs pork shoulder, cut into 1" cubes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 slices pancetta, chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1/2 shallot roughly chopped;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1/2 shallot thinly sliced
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 garlic cloves
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 sprig rosemary
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 sprigs thyme
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1/2 green apple, chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1/2 pear, chopped (using d'anjou)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1/2 cup apple juice or cider
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1/2 cup chicken broth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 tbsp white wine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Brown pancetta in a dutch oven. Remove browned bits. Add garlic and chopped shallots; cook 2 min. Add pork and brown on all sides, about 5 min. Add white wine and scrape up bottom of pan. Add the apple juice, broth, rosemary, thyme, apples and pears. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 2 hours. When pork is done, fry up thinly sliced shallots. Serve with fried shallots on top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kws123

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That is a beautiful recipe. I love fried shallots.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Also, we've moved to the new thread (when this one pops up, it will just be clarifications on recipes, and some friendly chatter).

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