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What's For Dinner? Part 74 [old]

Tell us what’s for dinner as we enter the final leg of the season. Are you surging toward spring with lighter and brighter dishes, or anticipating the next soup or stew to keep the chill at bay? Share your kitchen and inspiration with us.

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  1. I am making chicken paprikash from COTM -- probably to bring for lunches this week. The sauce is the most vibrant deep dark secretive red! Yay!

    As another batch for the week, I'm also making another round of a chickpea spinach curry with yogurt. I may not get to that one until tomorrow.

    Earlier today I made a new variation of blondies -- brown butter espresso blondies with butterscotch chips -- to bring to an event Monday night.

    The parikash looks delicious in its mysterious scarlet glory... I may (pull meat off the bones and?) set aside half to freeze, before adding sour cream to the sauce. I usually use George Lang's classic recipe so this is slightly different; I'm excited to try a new twist on a favorite, and paprikash is such great comfort food. I will probably serve with buttery egg noodles. Mmm.

    12 Replies
    1. re: twilight goddess

      I love paprikash - AND I just bought a package of chicken thighs this weekend. I do believe it'll be on the menu very soon! Enjoy, enjoy!

      1. re: LindaWhit

        Linda, I made mine with all thighs as usual ;-) Are you going to try the version in COTM? **ONE CUP** sour cream! decadent! George Lang's recipe calls for 2 Tbsp sour cream and one Tbsp heavy cream swirled in at the end. So this sauce should be quite different -- a cup as opposed to a couple of Tbsp of sour cream!

        1. re: twilight goddess

          Twilight, I made that one and I used Greek yogurt instead. Plus it serves 4 so is more reasonable than it sounds. But I'm not a paprikash gal normally so take with a grain of salt. It was super delicious, if decadent, and I'll be interested to see how it compares to your usual.

          1. re: twilight goddess

            I've never done the COTM thread. I used a recipe that I can't remember where I got it from - I'll have to search the Chicken Paprikash thread started by someone last autumn when I had first made a paprikash recipe. I recall making it again several weeks later with bone-in/skin-on thighs, and I loved it that way. Can't recall how much sour cream either recipe had, but it was definitely more than a couple of Tbsp! LOL

            1. re: LindaWhit

              Yay, a chicken paprikash resurgence! There were two recipes on the boat then, and one, I know for certain, was Christina Mason's (that's the one I used). I used bone-in and skin-on thighs to our, very great, satisfaction.

              Copied over from my files:
              -3 turkey legs (or 2 1/2-3lbs. bone-in, skin-on dark meat chicken)
              -salt and pepper
              -1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
              -1 Tbsp. butter
              -1/2 giant yellow onion, diced (about 1 c.)
              -2 bay leaves
              -1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced (or Hungarian, if available)
              -3-4 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 1/2 tsp.)
              -1 1/2 Tbsp. tomato paste
              -4 c. chicken broth (low-sodium)
              -5 Tbsp. sweet paprika
              -1/2 tsp. of hot pepper flake or hot paprika
              -pinch of tarragon or marjoram
              -1 c. sour cream (full-fat highly preferred)
              -2 Tbsp. half-and-half or cream
              -1 Tbsp. flour

              Season poultry with s&p and brown on all sides in hot fat in an enameled casserole. Remove to a dish.

              Add onion to drippings and saute until almost translucent. Add chopped pepper and bay leaves and cook a few minutes more. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook until they begin to color. Lower the heat and add the paprika, stirring to avoid burning.

              Deglaze the pot with chicken broth. Return turkey/chicken and its juices to the pot. If necessary, add more water or broth to almost submerge the pieces. Add the hot pepper and tarragon, bring to a simmer, then cover.

              Simmer 1hr. 10 min. or until meat is tender. Remove poultry from pot and let cool, then skin, debone, and shred into bite-sized pieces. While you are preparing the poultry, raise the heat to reduce the sauce by about half. Skim off as much fat pooling along the perimeter as possible. Then add the half-and-half and lower to a simmer.

              With a fork, mix the flour into the sour cream. Temper the sour cream with a few tablespoons of hot sauce before slowly stirring into the pot. Keep at a bare simmer and stir until thickened.

              Add the poultry to pot. Heat through, check seasoning, and serve over egg noodles. If the sauce seems a little dull, you can perk it up with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. This tastes best if you give it a few hours for the flavors to meld!

              *This was an excellent recipe. I made it several times, and still crave it.

        2. re: twilight goddess

          I am actually "reading" COTM and considered that making chicken paprikash this week, but we are having Szkely goulash (which is a pork, smoked sausage and sauerkraut stew with caraway seeds and hungarian paprika, and that seemed too similar to the paprikash. So I will be making chicken with 40 cloves of garlic ( which I have never made before) tomorrow.

          1. re: sunflwrsdh

            Hokey SMOKES y'all are barking up my tree with this eastern euro comfort food! Now you've given me paprikash fever!

          2. re: twilight goddess

            Here is George Lang's recipe. For anyone interested in Hungarian food, Lang's compilation of Hungarian recipes, Cuisine of Hungary, is fantastic (and considered the go-to book on Hungarian food, it seems). When I checked this book out of the library last year, I enjoyed paging through it, intrigued by both the recipes and the history/culture of Hungary. He also wrote a memoir, Nobody Knows the Truffles I've Seen, which looks interesting -- he survived WWII as a Hungarian Jew, and he's quite a Renaissance guy -- violinist, chef, raconteur.

            Paprikas Csirke
            (Paprika Chicken)

            2 medium-sized onions, peeled and minced
            2 tablespoons lard
            1 plump chicken, about 3 pounds, disjointed, washed and dried **I use all bone-in skin-on thighs
            1 large ripe tomato, peeled and cut into pieces
            1 heaping tablespoon "Noble Rose" paprika (don't know what that is; can't find it in the index)
            1 teaspoon salt
            1 green pepper, sliced
            2 tablespoons sour cream
            1 tablespoon flour
            2 tablespoons heavy cream
            Egg Dumplings (he has a recipe for these if you'd like for me to paraphrase that as well)

            Cook onions in lard in a 4 or 5 quart Dutch oven over low heat until almost pasty but not browned, about 5 minutes.

            Add chicken and tomato, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.

            Stir in paprika, 1/2 cup water, and salt and cook, covered, on very low heat, for half an hour. Toward the end, remove the lid to let the liquid evaporate, then cook the chicken in it's own fat and juices making sure that it doesn't burn. You might have to add a few more tablespoons of water.

            Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside. Mix together the sour cream, flour, and 1 teaspoon of cold water and stir it into the sauce in the pan until it's very smooth. Add green pepper and reserved chicken and adjust for salt. Cover pot and cook over very low heat until done.

            Just before serving, whip in the heavy cream. Serve with egg dumplings.

            Lang has a note for this recipe: "The combination of sour cream and heavy cream is the almost forgotten, but ideal way to prepare this dish. Today, more often than not, the heavy cream is omitted. In Hungary, the lily is gilded by spreading several tablespoons of additional sour cream on top of the chicken in the serving platter."

            1. re: twilight goddess

              ahhhh... you are bringing the Paprikas season back!!

              1. re: twilight goddess

                That Lang book on Hungarian food is just the best, so interesting to read and cook from.

              2. re: twilight goddess

                That sounds delicious! Love me some good paprikash.

                1. re: linguafood

                  For those who haven't seen the Paprikash thread:

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

                  Here's the one I made that kind of started everyone off: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7409...

              3. May as well reply to this one too! Pork braised with pears and apples, served with celery root-potato mash and an arugula salad with pears and almonds. Dessert is a gluten-free almond cake with orange zest and dried nectarines.

                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 when done. 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 and crisped pancetta on top.

                1 Reply
                1. re: kws123

                  Yum! Putting this one on the list now. You guys are all making winter sound so delicious!

                2. Well there's another storm brewing here in the Toronto area and with potentially another 10cm of snow on the way we decided to go with a hearty, stick-to-your ribs dinner.

                  From the COTM it's the Steak au Poivre along w crash hot potatoes, roasted wild mushrooms w a blue cheese breadcrumb crumble on top and, a chard dish w home-made quick pickled onions from the COTM as well. We'll see how it all turns out. In the meantime, the Petite Syrah is flowing to keep us warm!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                    Your whole menu sounds fantastic, BC, but especially those mushrooms!

                      1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                        Hi Tracy,

                        Crash hot potatoes are wonderful, our new favourite way to prepare potatoes in fact. Jill Dupleix originally released the recipe and the Pioneer Women added to its fame. I’ve included links to both sites since PW has great play-by-play photos:

                        Jill Dupleix:

                        http://www.jilldupleix.com/recipes/re...

                        Pioneer Woman:

                        http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/20...

                        Enjoy!!

                    1. I was out townhouse-hunting with my realtor for most of the day, so I made do with some leftovers (which I desperately needed to get OUT of the bottom of the fridge!). Leftover beef tenderloin, roasted potatoes, and peas did the trick for a quick dinner.

                      Fingers crossed that the really nice townhouse works out for me!

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        Here's hopin'! Maine shrimp 4.99 / lb @ WF today. Sauteed sliced garlic, red pepper flakes, some sea salt, added the shrimp, finished with a splash of fresh lemon juice. Served over baby spinach, dressed with a little evoo and pear vinegar. Crusty bread on the side. Yum!

                        1. re: CookieLee

                          Yum on the dinner - and GREAT price on the shrimp!

                        2. re: LindaWhit

                          I have my fingers crossed for you too LW!

                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            crossing fingers for your townhouse!

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              I love moving, and can't (yet) have hope of moving to a place I own. Fingers crossed for you! Beef steadies the spirit, I think. Good luck.

                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                And I hate moving (I've been in this apartment for 15-1/2 years so I've accumulated a lot of "stuff"!) so when I move, I want it to be the RIGHT move - 'cause I don't want to do it again until I'm moved into an old folks home! OR I win the lottery and I move to Hawaii and PAY someone to move me. :-)

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  Here's hoping that the nicer townhouse works out for you Linda. I hate moving also, downsized to a Condo years ago and it was a pain in the neck. And remember me for a room mate when you win the Lotto and move to Hawaii. ;)

                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                    Trust me, I know I am in the minority when it comes to moving. And it always seems easier to give things away than to actually pack them. And then you have unpackers regret. "Would it have been so difficult to move that lamp? I liked that lamp!) I had to restrain myself from going to the Salvation Army to buy back some of my stuff.

                                    Good luck on the townhouse! And the lottery!

                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                  everything that can be crossed, is crossed!

                                3. Pork ribs. Been braising in the oven for hours now, with a simple salt and pepper and maras pepper. Gonna cut em up and give them a little barbeque sauce love before tossing them back into the oven uncovered to get a little crispy.
                                  Headed out to the Mexican ice cream creamery to get some dessert. Have chocolate cake too and there may be marshmello sauce involved.
                                  Red wine will be our vegetable this evening. Oh no, more butter lettuce and fennelsalad to cut the fat

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: rabaja

                                    Is white wine a vegetable? Akin to cauliflower, maybe?

                                    Off to look up maras pepper.

                                    ETA: Damn girl, kudos for using an ingrediant that google wanted to correct my spelling on (and was WRONG to do so). Wine well deserved on your end.

                                    http://aneducatedpalate.wordpress.com...

                                    1. re: onceadaylily

                                      friend of mine introduced me to maras (also known as marash) pepper on her spicy mac-n-cheese - smokey deeelite.

                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                        I'm going to have to poke around for this, but I'm pretty certain I haven't seen it in my usual markets.

                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                          It's not been easy to find for me either, so I was especially happy to see it at The Spanish Table in Berkeley. They do mail order!
                                          I love it, it has a nice subtle smoky heat, and it's very moist.
                                          Got a little container for around $3.
                                          It's $32.99/lb -I just checked. You get a lot in one to two ounces though.

                                  2. My sweet husband made a chicken stir fry with brown rice. I had to work today, and it was great to come home to dinner all prepared. A sliced pear and some dark chocolate almonds for dessert. I'll be doing some cooking tomorrow, chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, and an oven beef stew, for later in the week. Am also considering making a polenta- lemon cake with winter fruit compote, and possibly apple turnovers, since I thawed the phyllo dough quite awhile ago and haven't yet gotten around to making them. Major project is clearing out the kitchen this week, in preparation for painting it on Thursday and Friday. Will let you know how that goes:)

                                    1. Lunch today was at a Japanese steakhouse so dinner was late getting cooked....pan seared steak, steamed buttered cauliflower, braised kale with bacon and bbq potatoes. I've got sugar cookie dough thawing at this time of the evening and debating whether to go through with it or put it in the fridge for another time....

                                      1. We're at my husband's mother's and being treated like royalty (as usual) - from fresh homemade chicken salad prettily plated with pickles and olives and blueberry muffins on the side (lunch yesterday) to boiled beef brisket with mustard sauce, lemon/parsley potatoes, vitamin salad and homemade rolls, with cream puffs for dessert for dinner last night. Not bad for a lady who's pushing 88 with a rather short stick. I love her to bits.

                                        10 Replies
                                        1. re: buttertart

                                          Very impressive. I hope I'm still cooking if I'm still around at 88.
                                          Everything sounds wonderful--but what is vitamin salad?

                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                            Vitamin salad is shredded carrots, diced celery, crushed salted peanuts, and golden raisins in appx 8:2:1:1 proportions, dressed with mayonnaise and a couple of tb of lemon juice. It's a family favorite, they've been making it since forever.

                                          2. re: buttertart

                                            That is quite a lavish spread, for anyone, 87 or not! How does she make her chicken salad? I am a *huge* chicken salad fan and now I'm curious.

                                            And --- Cream puffs. How cute and delicious!

                                            1. re: twilight goddess

                                              Poached chicken breast, mayonnaise, diced celery and diced green pepper. Very simple.

                                            2. re: buttertart

                                              verrrry impressive. what is a vitamin salad?. love the short stick. so glad you are enjoying!

                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                Seriously impressive, btart! But like ncw and mariacarmen, I've got to know what a "vitamin salad" is! LOL

                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                  I'm with everyone else...dying to know the contents of "vitamin salad." And OHMYGOD creampuffs?! Is your family interested in adopting a middle-aged woman, if only for a weekend?

                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                    Aw, buttertart, I'm sorry you're having such a rough day..........
                                                    Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahaahahahahaha
                                                    xoxox
                                                    me

                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                      Today - creamed chipped beef on toast, with canteloupe and Leonidas chocolates and pates de fruits we brought after, for brunch.
                                                      Dinner was breaded pork tenderloins with mustards and pickles, baked potatoes with sour cream, hard rolls (I made), steamed asparagus, mixed fruit salad. Dessert was brownies, Amanda Hesser's almond cake, and Japanese cheesecake of my confection.
                                                      We lived with his parents the first summer we got married and I went from 104 lbs to over 120 lbs!!! in 10 weeks. Good thing visits are shorter these days!

                                                  2. much hedonism today. amazingly satisfyingly perfect lunch out today, at local well-touted pizzeria, sitting outside in crisply cold, blue sky day, under a heat lamp, munched on delicious, perfectly lightly fried sand dabs with aioli, and roasted cauliflower to start, wonderously juicy and blistered pizza margherita, followed by the best cannoli i've ever had. all washed down by a fantastic smokey red from Puglia. OMG, someone give me a cigarette.

                                                    Dinner had to be a stand-down, plebian affair, yet befitting the red-wine daze-cum-hangover i was in.... TWO, folks, count 'em, TWO fried egg and bacon sammies...... uh yeah, the BF is gonna find MUCH more of me to love.....

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                      OK, your lunch sounded wonderful - but the dinner? You're calling THAT a stand-down, plebian affair? Pshaw, mc! That was just as nice as your lunch!

                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                        It is pure torture reading about this--especially on Monday, MC.

                                                        1. My new favorite, lazy side dish: roasted/braised cabbage. Core and slice a cabbage, lay it in an oiled dish, brush some evoo on top, salt and pepper and herbs (I used thyme and caraway), let it roast (anywhere from 350-425, depending on what else you're cooking), turning a few times, until it starts to brown, then add some broth or stock (Veggie, chicken, whatever...it would probably be awesome with beef stock) and let it soak up all those good juices. It's easy, it's flexible...good with apples and onions tossed in to roast, too. Last night I put carrots and onions in with it and that was tasty, too. It's humble, yet delicious--the roasting really brings out the sweetness and piquancy of the lowly cabbage. Served it alongside some slow-baked sweet potatoes and little pork cutlets pan-sauteed and served with some sauce made from a bit of mustard, herbs, broth, and OJ in the pan drippings.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: dingey

                                                            mmm, that cabbage sounds great. going to try that.

                                                          2. President's Day Holiday here and it's snowing like crazy......... ugh!

                                                            Dinner tonight is home made galic, tomato and fresh mozzarella pizza.

                                                            Also making Easy, Creamy Chicken Curry, for a couple of late work nights.

                                                            BTW, I am sick of snow. Here in Boston, this Winter has been a royal pain.

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: mcel215

                                                              BTW, I am sick of snow. Here in Boston, this Winter has been a royal pain.
                                                              ~~~~~~~~~~
                                                              Ditto that. But I'm getting the light and fluffies (i.e., easily swept off back steps and easily shovelable). I'm not sure how far north of the city you are, but I don't think this is supposed to amount to much. Thankfully. :-) Now - we just need another warm spell to continue melting the dirty mounds of snow at the top of everyone's driveways.

                                                              I'm still debating dinner - probably a roast chicken to give me sandwich makings for the work week. We'll see what I'm in the mood for after lunch. :-)

                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                About 10 miles north of Boston and I haven't gone out to sweep or clean.
                                                                Living in a Condo has it's pluses, Linda. : )

                                                                1. re: mcel215

                                                                  We're probably in the same general area, mcel. And I was thinking the SAME thing about condo/townhouse living. ;-)

                                                              2. re: mcel215

                                                                which recipe did you use for the easy, creamy chicken curry, please?

                                                              3. Spicy rice noodles with beef and broccoli - got a small piece of rump steak for £1 today, it's crying out for a soy, chilli and garlic bath.

                                                                1. Well, the boyfriend is back tonight, but I don't think I need to cook for him, as he'll likely walk through the door smelling like a drive-thru. I already know what I'm making tomorrow (fish tacos), and thought if I did a black bean and pepper soup for my own dinner tonight, I could use the leftovers for beans and rice tomorrow. I just made a batch of ancho powder, and I like to use it while it still remembers life as a chile.

                                                                  I'll see how much restraint I have with eating this soup though, as I usually smother my black bean soup with lime juice, cheese, sour cream, and hot sauce, and it magically, while my back is turned, becomes a dip that *must* be eaten with taco chips instead of a spoon. You gotta watch them black beans. They're sneaky.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                      They really are. Since Weight Watcher's, though, I have been eating my black bean soup with the reduced fat mexican cheese, salsa, fat free sour cream, and sometimes baked tortilla chips. Still pretty good!!

                                                                    2. I recently bought a book called Bird in the Oven..and then Some, which, as you might expect, has nothing but chicken recipes. Last night I made the Peruvian chicken served with an avocado/cilantro/red onion salad and rice. It was a big hit. Basically, you make a paste of garlic and salt and push it under the skin. Then, you make a marinade of paprika, cumin, oregano, white vinegar and olive oil, mix it all up and pop it in a baggie with the chicken to marinate. The chicken is roasted, then the fat is poured off and then you deglaze the roasting pan with some white wine. It was delicious. I loved the avocado salad too -- which was basically a deconstructed guacamole without tomatoes.

                                                                      15 Replies
                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                        that sounds soooo good. saving that.

                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                            Just so you have an idea of the marinade amounts -- it's about 2 tablespoons of paprika, two tablespoons of ground cumin, 1 tablespoon of oregano, mixed with about two tablespoons each of white vinegar and olive oil. Marinate for at least 5 hours. For the garlic under the skin, the recipe called for 5 cloves of garlic mashed with fine sea salt (after having washed and dried the chicken and rubbing inside and out with lemon). Before roasting, put about a half of a lemon in the chicken cavity, and sprinkle the bird with salt. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, then lower to 375 until cooked, basting periodically with marinade you scrape out of the baggie. Pour off the fat, and deglaze with white wine.

                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                              Thanks, roxlet. I'm making a note of this recipe. I'm assuming that's dried oregano?

                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                  I am definitely putting this in the rotation as I love Peruvian roast chicken, but have never been able to concoct a good recipe. Is there a particular sauce you like to serve with this or do you just make a pan sauce with the white wine?

                                                                                  1. re: JungMann

                                                                                    I poured off the fat in the bottom of the pan, and then just deglazed the pan with some white wine. I'm sure you could get fancier if you cared to, but this was very tasty as it was. I strained it before serving. I wish I had taken a photograph of this roast chicken--it was so gorgeous!

                                                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                                                      I just poured out the fat and then deglazed the pan with some white wine. I also strained it after deglazing. I'm sure you could do something fancier, but this was quite tasty. BTW, there is a link to the recipe below, and you can see how gorgeous the bird is. Mine (actually I did two at once) looked just like that.

                                                                                2. re: roxlet

                                                                                  Funny that we were just discussing Peruvian Chicken back on the 17th and 19th of Feb. I used the recipe from the the latest CI and it was mighty tasty.

                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7659...

                                                                                      1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                                                                                        Yes, that's where I had seen the recipe originally, but I decided to get the book since the idea of lots of chicken recipes intrigued me. It's a very nice book.

                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                          I'm excited! On Monday upon reading your post, I ordered Bird in the Oven from the library, roxlet, and I just checked. Status: In Transit. Fabulous!

                                                                                          I was vegetarian for almost ten years, and then began eating meat several years back, and I cook pretty much exclusively with chicken when I do prepare non-veg dishes, mostly bone-in skin-on dishes, usually chicken thighs for so much more flavor/ yumminess.. So I look forward to checking out this book! Thanks for suggesting it.

                                                                                          1. re: twilight goddess

                                                                                            I've yet to try any of the other recipes, but I will! Hope you like it...

                                                                                    1. Yesterday's dinner was a few complimentary hors d'oeuvres at a local "meet the brewer" event (really nice beer!) followed by Thai take-out..... originally, I was going to make a shrimp salad that would be going into an avocado half for apps, so it looks like that'll be on the menu tonight.

                                                                                      Followed, most likely, by some sort of dead animal. For some reason, I've been on a bit of a meat kick lately. I'd be happy with some pork chops, a nice sirloin roast, or maybe even a whole roasted chicken. SIde will be green - spinach or beans or such, just quickly sautéed with garlic, pepper flakes, and perhaps some toasted pine nuts.

                                                                                      1. Fish soup - jar

                                                                                        Rouille - homemade

                                                                                        Quiche - supermarket

                                                                                        Salad - supermarket bagged leaves

                                                                                        1. I made Julia Child's Boeuf Bourgignon yesterday to have for dinner tonight - I'm really excited! Trying to decide between mashed potatoes and creamy polenta to go with...

                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: aching

                                                                                                Then report back and let us know which was better :)

                                                                                                Or, how about egg noodles? I like the bigger dried ones sold in stores...I think they're called Pennsylvania Dutch style?

                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                  So...I made creamy polenta on Night 1 and mashed potatoes on Night 2, and for me, the mashed potatoes were ever-so-slightly better. I like the way the mashed potatoes get mixed with the stew liquid (are we allowed to call it gravy when it's French?). But I think it comes down to personal preference. (BTW, according to my recipe, noodles ARE the traditional accompaniment - but my husband doesn't really like pasta. He's really nice in all other ways.)

                                                                                                  1. re: aching

                                                                                                    thank goodness he's got all those other nice qualities!

                                                                                                    and we shall call it "jus"! or whatever. sounds fab.

                                                                                          1. I picked up some new bottles of spices/blends at Whole Foods and want to play with them tonight. I'm marinating some b/s chicken breasts in homemade yogurt. Will probably coat them in garam masala and salt and pepper and bake. I'll make some red lentils cooked with onions, garlic, and curry powder on the side, along with some spinach rice. The apartment will smell rather pungent for the rest of the week, but hopefully, it will be worth it.

                                                                                            1. It's a roast chicken tonight. Rubbed with a combination of olive oil, minced rosemary, roasted garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. The chicken will be good for sandwiches at work this coming week (writing a note to pick up some good rustic bread on the way to work tomorrow!)

                                                                                              I've got some asparagus to use up, so I think that'll be the side along with some basmati rice.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                YES, that will be scrumptious for sandwiches. Have you ever made Chicken Marbella? The Marbella leftovers = a favorite for chicken sandwiches!

                                                                                              2. two pork roasts are a-cooking. one is my usual pork butt pernil, slow cooking in the oven, and the other is a cubano-ish seared pork leg, with a bottled cuban mojo, a ton of crushed garlic, a chipotle pepper, browned onions, garlic powder, a half a stick of cinnamon, and a good heap of aleppo pepper, s&p - that's in the crock pot. Both are being cooked for freezing, to use this week when the BF comes home (yay! 5 weeks is the longest we've been apart in 5 years) - this is the first time in a year that i've been working full-time, and will still be trekking to my dad's across the bay 2-3 nights a week, so i needed to get a headstart for our dinners. also have a beef short ribs stew in the freezer.

                                                                                                what's for my dinner? hmmm.... an egg and bacon sandwich is calling my name again..... and i'm on grapefruit kick - from a another thread - with a little pepper and a dash of salt - ruby reds are so juicy and good!

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                  You take good care of your dad with all these delicious meals. Lucky guy.

                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                    Ruby Reds are indeed so good - Love them w/ some salt. Alas - non in my home.

                                                                                                    Breakfast for dinner here, too. Scrambled eggs w/ shredded baked potatoes. Sauteed some onions w/ the potatoes. Too tired to really think about dinner but wish I had non-green bread for toast. Ack! Sourdough had mold on it - shame on me!

                                                                                                  2. Manicotti.

                                                                                                    We saw an episode of Cook's Country over the weekend and the recipe was attractive. Deb did the heavy lifting on Sunday and sent it to the coolerator.

                                                                                                    http://www.cookscountry.com/recipe.as...

                                                                                                    Some bread, salad on the side and a little wine round things out.

                                                                                                    edited to add: "True Romance" will be on the box.

                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                      Hey, I like the idea of using no-boil lasagna noodles for manicotti tubes! Please let us know how it turns out.

                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                        Yeah, this will be a first. Deb used the no-boil Barillo pasta, maybe the size of a postcard.

                                                                                                        I'll report back.

                                                                                                        1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                          But it reads that you let the noodles soften a bit in some hot water? That *should* make them rollable, I'd think - but not so pliable so as to fall apart.

                                                                                                          Will be interested to hear, steve. Thanks. I like this idea, as it's a possible dinner to make for my Mom in small batches.

                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                            That's exactly right. They were softened in a Corning dish filled with hot water. They softened nicely. Rolling was straight-up (open ends) as opposed to spring roll fashion (closed ends). I think it was important to find a (different) baking pan just the right size. It seems to me you don't want space between individual rolls both north-south and east-west. You want to fill that puppy. We'll see...

                                                                                                            edited to add: We halved the original recipe. Leftovers should be pretty good.

                                                                                                            1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                              Well now, that was an interesting experiment.

                                                                                                              My first reaction was that the sauce was a tad too sweet. Maybe we leave out the onions next time. My second reaction was that "no boil" pasta sheets worked well but made the overall dish seem more like lasagna and less like a manicotti made the traditional way with shells. Introducing some meat into the ricotta mix lessened the cheese tang and reinforced the lasagna attributes.

                                                                                                              Having said all that, I'm calling this experiment a success. We'll make some adjustments and gladly give it another shot.

                                                                                                              I re-heated a portion for lunch today. The leftovers were better than the original.

                                                                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                Leftovers often are. :-) Thanks for the review!

                                                                                                    2. Well, well. Slight change of plans. The protein of choice tonight turns out to be two kosher chicken breasts, which I will season and flour lightly, sear on both sides, then add a bit of Vermouth & chicken broth, reduce, and lastly, a sploosh of heavy cream & a good shake of Hungarian hot paprika. I blame all this talk of paprikash (and the lack of happy cow at the store today).

                                                                                                      Appetizer is (still) avocado with spicy shrimp salad: Duke's mayo, lemon juice, sriracha, cayenne, paprika, celery, scallion, s&p). Sides will be sautéed green beans and roasted oyster & maitake mushrooms.

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                        Perhaps no happy cow at the market today, but kosher chicken breasts given the luxurious treatment you're giving them tonight will make for a quite wonderful dinner!

                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                          I hope so.... all that is missing are egg noodles >sigh<. Must have noodles again soon.

                                                                                                      2. Tonight I'm heading back to one of my favourite new cookbooks, Stir by Barbara Lynch. We were craving a little heat on this chilly winter's day so have decided to make the Rigatoni with Spicy Sausage and Cannellini Beans. The sauce is simmering away on the stove and the spicy-tomatoey aroma is tempting us with the promise of what's to come.

                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                          Happy to report that once again, Stir did not disappoint. I really love this book and would confidently recommend it to any Italian food lovers. This dish was super quick and easy to pull together with minimal prep and, a heavy reliance on ingredients you'd normally have on hand / in the pantry. It did the trick and warmed us up nicely!!

                                                                                                           
                                                                                                           
                                                                                                           
                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                              Just ordered Stir from the library. Thanks for the tip.

                                                                                                          1. I wanted to make something long and slow so I settled on making a Sunday gravy. It's been a few years since I've made anything of the sort, so I was a bit rusty. I only had pork neck bones for the meat and a cheap bottle of uninteresting Syrah to deglaze my pan, so I added complexity through seasonings. Thyme, oregano and a ton of rosemary were of course to be expected. But sumac, Aleppo pepper, star anise and a dash of nutmeg approximated the flavor some sweet and spicy Italian sausages might add, though with a hint of something mysterious and different.

                                                                                                            Greenery was supplied by collard greens with smoked turkey wings to keep things a little lighter.

                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                              Ummm...love the sound of collards with smoked turkey ANYTHING!

                                                                                                              1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                I used to put bacon and ham hocks in collards, but it really isn't missing much with the smoked turkey wings. It still tastes complete. How long do you cook your collards? I remember being warned sharply that they needed to be simmered for a long time, but 40 minutes seems to have turned even the stems mushy.

                                                                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                  JungMann, what we might consider overdone is actually the classic method for serving greens in the Southland. I developed a taste for the mooshy green thangs, served up with a great splash of hot vinegar many, many years ago; same with green beans stewed to death with onions and bacon, simmered to a delicious soft unctuousness. Yep, the long/slow cooking does change the character of the fresh green, but try it this way.....I think you'll like it a lot. Next time, go faster and see which you prefer; the fresh collards are sharper in character and I like the edge being taken off them by the long slow cooking method.

                                                                                                                  1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                    I like to cook them for about an hour or more depending on how mature they are. Now, I cooked kale a few days ago and they were ready in about 20 minutes. I still use bacon or hocks in my greens but if I can get a piece of turkey neck, wing, etc. I'll use that over the pork. Have you ever tried to cook them in the oven? Sometimes, I'll put them in my roaster with everything mixed in and just let them go low & slow.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                      I've never tried anything but stovetop since it's less of a hassle. Perhaps I don't like my vegetables quite as "smothered" as is traditional.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                        Years ago, my apartment was below a man who seemed to cook only one thing when he was home: turkey necks and wings (I guess that's technically two!), low and slow in the oven, perfectly seasoned. As I would often share whatever new things I was trying (not always delicious!) with him, he reciprocated with the turkey in the most amazing "jus." Once he apologized for always bringing me the same thing, but said he always craved only this while he was on the road. I said, "are you kidding?Please keep it coming." I tried cooking it once, and it was not nearly as good as his.

                                                                                                                      2. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                        i use smoked turkey wings too and just a little hogjaw

                                                                                                                  2. Watching some classic tv to cheer myself up. Saw an episode of the Honeymooners where Ralph complains about Alice serving creamed chipped beef again and felt like making some tonight. Used some pan drippings from steaks I fried up last night to brown some dried beef and mushroom slices. I wanted to add a bit of crumbled bacon as well but was afraid it might be too salty. Turned out delish over trader joe's refrigerated biscuits in the tube. The biscuits were yummy on their own but took longer to bake than the directions claimed. This is nothing unusual for TJ's. Very satisfying meal, best sos I ever made. I blame those pan drippings.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: givemecarbs

                                                                                                                      I hope the SOS helped cheer you up as well, givemecarbs!

                                                                                                                    2. I arrived home late and hungry. I am impressed that I was able to get something delicious in the oven and on my plate after a long day. By the way, earlier today friends really enjoyed (RAVED over) my espresso brown butter blondies with butterscotch chips.

                                                                                                                      So tonight I roasted two chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on) with kalamata olives, plum tomatoes, onions (all in chunks) and some sliced garlic. I rubbed some herbs de Provence/ garlic/ salt/ pepper/ olive oil under the skin of each thigh, and tossed the vegetables with more olive oil/ salt/ pepper/ herbs de Provence/ ground fennel. Mmmm. Roasted in a pan (everything just fit, snugly) at 425 for about one hour.

                                                                                                                      Adapted from this recipe, which I made a couple of weeks ago more as a (wet) braise in my Le Creuset -- this time the vegetables were crunchy/crispy. I really enjoyed both versions. This might be my preference, especially b/c I can bring the second thigh to work tomorrow and put it on a roll or eat as is.

                                                                                                                      Also ---- the crispy skin here is remarkable.

                                                                                                                      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: twilight goddess

                                                                                                                        ooooh TG, that is my FAVORITE epicurious chicken prep right now - for the last couple years, actually. I love it, the juices are soooo good! i recently had a dinner party and adapted the recipe to use fish instead of chicken, and it was still wonderful. i love using really sweet summer tomatoes, or in a pinch (like for my party), i used cherry toms. yum.

                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                          It *is* fantastic ★. I recently discovered it through the best-of-epicurious thread here on chowhound, and I just peeked back at that one--- THANK YOU, mariacarment, because you are the one who suggested this recipe on that thread on November 22, 2009! So, from my happy cozy kitchen to yours, thanks!

                                                                                                                          Wondering: *Do you tend to prepare this dryer, as a roast, or as a wetter braise?

                                                                                                                      2. Roasted Pork tenderloin marinated in Olive oil, garlic, rosemary and thyme, s & p. Sliced up and served with spuds (for the hubby) and a gratin of leeks and Choux De Bruxelles.

                                                                                                                        1. Tonight's dinner was pan-roasted chicken (thighs) w/wild mushrooms, pasta w/preserved lemon and roasted garlic (a COTM recipe), and a salad (greens, yellow beets, radishes, red onion, & blue cheese).

                                                                                                                          1. I finally answered the beef rib roast steaks that have been calling my name at the butcher counter. I had my dinner all picked out (lean turkey, salad, quinoa), but put it all back and re-planned my dinner when I saw/heard the steaks. I had steamed asparagus, slow roasted steak, which I must say was rare to medium rare perfection and mashed cauliflower-yukon gold potatoes. There was wine, but I christened my new whirley pop popcorn maker last night. Yes, wine and popcorn was my dinner last night.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. Well, the boyfriend got in last night, bearing a few gifts: a beautiful sky blue ceramic vase, the candles I like from a little shop in Ohio, and . . . hmm . . . a large bar of Godiva salted caramel chocolate. AND instead of the V-8 with fiber that I like to drink with lunch, he brought me the spicy hot, which he knows I don't like to drink unless there is vodka involved. So I was right, he *is* trying to sabotage me. I think he likes me curvier and lushy. Gosh, I haven't actually looked in the vase. Maybe it's filled with candy. Butter-covered candy.

                                                                                                                              I'm staying the course though. Tonight for dinner, I'm making mahi mahi fish tacos with cilantro and lime crema in my favorite corn tortillas. I'll add chopped tomatoes and some Valentina hot sauce to mine, but I'll make up a batch of that blender salsa he likes for his. We also have a large avocado to share between us. To go with, I've decided to combine last night's black bean soup with some of the black quinoa and a good amount of sauteed onions and peppers, the last of the spinach I have on hand, some cottage cheese, and then bake it up in a variation of last week's quinoa casserole. The cottage cheese really does break down wonderfully in the oven.

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                I had fish tacos for the first time in Miami last year and they were DIVINE. I haven't had much like recreating a decent sauce though. What does your lime crema involve?

                                                                                                                                1. re: gembellina

                                                                                                                                  I've yet to make this one, and have been looking at a few recipes over the past few days. This one looks promising (but is a low fat option): Combine 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions, 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, 3 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream, 1 teaspoon grated lime rind, 1.5 teaspoons fresh lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 clove minced garlic.

                                                                                                                                  I also like CH HillJ's marinade for the fish (In a large zip-lock plastic bag or dish with cover, combine lime juice, oil, cumin, chili powder, oregano and pepper; stir well. Add fish to lime marinade and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.)

                                                                                                                                  I've also been looking at this recipe from Chow http://www.chow.com/recipes/28509-mah... because the crema seems to have a bit of heat, and doesn't shy away from adding a bit of fat.

                                                                                                                                  I'll likely combine the three recipes. I do think the avocado will play a large role in this. I might even mash it up into the crema.

                                                                                                                              2. As I found dinner so enjoyable tonight I just had to hop on and share. So earlier in the day I picked up some Portuguese half chickens from the butcher to make my life easy. I bunged them in the oven and made some very cripsy fried, garlic potatoes. They were all crunchy and salty and delicious. While doing the potatoes I also fried up some bacon very crisp, threw in a bit of garlic and some broad beans. Once all heated through in went a handful of chopped coriander (cilantro) and a sqeeze of lemon. It was truly a pleasurable meal.

                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: TheHuntress

                                                                                                                                  Could you elaborate, please, TheHuntress: Does "Portuguese" refer to a method of preparation or to a type of chicken?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                    Over here it generally refers to a butterflied, halved chicken, marinated in a spicy, smoky peri peri, lemon and garlic sauce. Usually it's cooked over a bbq, but I chose to put it in the oven because it's just too hot to go outside and cook.

                                                                                                                                2. A decree has been issued at Casa Harters that we are going to actually use our cookbooks, rather than look at them sitting prettily on the shelves. And, each week, we will cook one dish from a different book - starting with the one on the left of the top shelf and working right and down. So, tonight, it's Indonesia.

                                                                                                                                  Fish will get a quick marinade in salt and lemon juice. The recipe suggested cod - we're using whiting, as we had it in the freezer. It then gets simply fried. Meanwhile a sauce is made of lemon juice, soy sauce, ketyap manis, coconut milk and peanut butter (brought to the boil and stirred for a minute). That coats the cooked fish, to serve.

                                                                                                                                  Alongside, rice cooked with onion, ginger, ground coriander and a tiny amount of nutmeg.

                                                                                                                                  Rice & fish get decorated with chopped red chilli and chopped coriander leaf. Some plain steamed mangetout adds some crunch and green to the plate.

                                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                    Had to look up "mangetout" (love the word--do the British use the French pronunciation?), but the fish and sauce sound fabulous.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                      Yes, we use the French pronounciation for this. And, indeed, for many other food-related words we've imported. Although not all - for example, we pronounce the "h" in "herb", whereas I understand it's usually pronounced 'erb in America. And, to continue our perverse ways, we eat "fillet steak", pronouncing the "t".

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                        Martha Stewart famously pronounces the "h" in herb, but you're right in that most Americans don't.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                          I immediately recalled MS saying h-erb when I read Harter's p0st!
                                                                                                                                          She says with such deliberateness!

                                                                                                                                        2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                          Harters - and say fish fillet with a hard t still, I ardently hope. that's how I was taught (filet was only for mignon).

                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                            Yep. In British English, it's always fillet, never filet.

                                                                                                                                            Over here, you'd only see "filet mignon" on the menu of French restaurant (or one with aspirations to Frenchness - that's still fashionable in some, erm, old-fashioned places). Always strikes me as odd, as I don't think the French use the term - I only recall seeing "filet de boeuf" on the other side of the Channel.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                              Come to think of it, I don't recall seeing it either on French menus at origin.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                              My grandma taught me a poem to differentiate:
                                                                                                                                              A great steak filet, or a yummy fish fillet
                                                                                                                                              done to a turn in a bright copper skillet
                                                                                                                                              will top off the end of the workday, no foolin'
                                                                                                                                              and leave your man happy, contented, and droolin'.
                                                                                                                                              I can't believe I remember that, 40 years later. I miss Grandma too.

                                                                                                                                      2. I've been getting a lot of requests for "something different" at work, so tonight's bill of fare is heading towards Asia. I'm making pork and chicken and eggplant katsu. The butcher was kind enough to run the meats through his tenderizer, so now it all looks like very pale cube steak. Breaded in egg wash, dipped in cornstarch, re-washed and dredged heavily in panko; should be good stuff. One regular katsu sauce; one chili ponzu for dipping. Sides: stir-fried beansprouts, celery, onions and 'shrooms done on the plancha with some sesame oil, ginger and tamari, and a lot of rice "scrambled" with egg and a handful of snow peas. Bam! : )
                                                                                                                                        Mr. has copped the cold I had, but in a much worse way. So for him it's chicken/rice soup, w.w. English muffin with marmalade, and some applesauce or bananas sliced into oj. For me, this translates into Couch Party Time! While he slumbers gently on a tide of some heavy-duty cough syrup, courtesy of his very own personal physician, I will be eating some marinated artichoke hearts and olives and spreading the better part of a log of sundried tomato/basil goat cheese on sourdough rounds. I may roll up a few slices of extra-dry, extra-spicy salami around some cornichon, or I might make a few deviled eggs with a tot of smoked salmon on top. Either way, with a beer, yay me!
                                                                                                                                        Hope everyone's having a good day so far.

                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                          That is the makings 0f an excellent party!
                                                                                                                                          And the katsu menu made me desire fried meat, yet again.
                                                                                                                                          "Must stay away fr0m fried meat!", said my pants.
                                                                                                                                          Will try embracing an entire bunch 0f asparagus instead.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                            I never considered eggplant katsu. I usually use a combination of tonkatsu sauce and Japanese curry on my cutlets, but eggplant does so well with sweet flavors, I think it might be a natural match for just a drizzle of tonkatsu. This is on the to-do list.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                              JungMann, it works very best if you lightly score, salt, and drain the 'plant and then dry it really well. Guaranteed, it's delicious. I know you'll enjoy it.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                              Wow, sounds delish! I would join that frat any day just so I could taste your cooking :-D

                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                Hah, they just made me an honorary member, so I have a SAY! and my say is, we are an egalitarian bunch and y'all should get on down here!

                                                                                                                                              2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                yum, looooove me some pork katsu. what goes into your katsu sauce?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                  My own little bastardish version:
                                                                                                                                                  Ketchup
                                                                                                                                                  Soy or Tamari
                                                                                                                                                  dry mustard (hot)
                                                                                                                                                  worcestershire
                                                                                                                                                  pepper
                                                                                                                                                  Definitely a sauce that's more than the sum of it's parts....... (which are, in order, 2:1 ketchup/soy, and a good dash of all the other components.
                                                                                                                                                  And the ponzu? That, I buy - it's made by a company called "Earth and Vine Provisions" and I found it at Rainbow (the cheap cans store, not Rainbow Grocery in the Big City).

                                                                                                                                              3. Zuni chicken. It's freezing here so "Endless Summer" will be on the box tonight. I originally planned for nachos, chili, etc. but Whole Foods had these great little chickens so we improvised. The salted bird has been in the coolerator for two days now, the bread salad will be up to Judy Rodgers' specs.

                                                                                                                                                I was planning on swilling gin and tonics while watching the movie until I discovered today is National Margarita Day. I'll follow the fancy (Topolobampo) Rick Bayless recipe that I found on his website.

                                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                  The chicken was good. We enjoyed a modest pinot noir, La Crema, to highlight both the chicken and the bread.

                                                                                                                                                  I'll cue-up "Endless Summer" later tonight.

                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                    Wow. That looks absolutely fantastic!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                        What a fabulous meal and a scrumptious-looking photo. Beautiful! Enjoy the flick!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                          The skin on a Zuni Chicken is pretty special.
                                                                                                                                                          We just fired-up the movie. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                      2. Last night I had two friends over for "Rosé Monday" (everyone contributes a bottle of rosé and a dish). We enjoyed smoked asparagus with prosciutto, olives & kishu mandarins, lobster escabeche with avocado and hearts of palm (my contribution), a salad of mixed greens, seared 5-spice crusted ahi and poke, and three rosé wines: Chateau d'Eclans Whispering Angel (France), Nigl Zweigelt (Austria), and Pillsbury One Night Stand (Arizona).

                                                                                                                                                        Since it's National Margarita Day, I'm planning Mexican tonight - a chicken mole pizza and margs of course.

                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                          Rubee, can you share the technique and spices used for your smoke asparagus with prociutto... sounds scrumptious. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                              I wish I could! It was actually brought by my friend who is a local restaurant critic and cookbook author. I'll have to ask her : )

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                                Lucky you! i'm not even going to ask how delicious it was, I'll bet it was terrific!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                  It was! And she also had these wonderful tiny kishu mandarins I never had before - a friend of hers from Edible Phoenix mag had brought them from a recent trip to Ojai, California. So sweet and juicy.

                                                                                                                                                                  BTW, mole pizza experiment came out good - E raved so that's always nice ; ) Next time I'll leave more room on the edges for the crust. And for some reason, the outer sections of the pie bubbled up, but not the crust. I brushed the dough with homemade (Dunlop) chili oil, then mole sauce, shredded chicken, caramelized onions with ancho chili, and a mix of MJ and sharp cheddar. Sprinkled with cilantro and scallions, and served with sour cream and sliced avocados.

                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                                      Rubee that looks fantastic, as all your pics do - really impressive. Mole Pizza! I've had indian pizza (which i love!) but never mole.... i can totally see how that would work deliciously.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                                WOW! I felt as though I was looking at a Food & WIne magazine cover Rubee! Your menu looks and sounds spectacular. Really nice wine matches too.
                                                                                                                                                                I don't often hear much about the Zweigelts but have always enjoyed the ones I've tried. We've done some in Canada but IMHO, not as well as N. Europe... IMHO of course.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                  That's what I thought - GORGEOUS picture, Rubee!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks BreadCrumbs and Linda! My 10-year old Elph died this week so I've been using E's nice Canon Rebel EOS - makes it much easier to take good pictures. Though, of course, this one was also taken by said friend!

                                                                                                                                                                    That Nigl rosé was the first Zweigelt all of us had ever tried. I have to thank the owner (and Chowhound MoltoE) of a favorite restaurant - Noca in Phoenix - for introducing me to it, and gifting the bottle for our Rose Monday : )

                                                                                                                                                              3. Well, Margarita Day or not, for some reason, I was inspired to make a salade Niçoise tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                Tiny yellow creamer potatoes, sliced red onion, French green beans, capers, Picholine olives, capers, and quartered artichokes are currently mingling together in a bowl with a mustard vinaigrette & fresh mint.

                                                                                                                                                                Once I get out of the shower, a nice fresh tuna steak will take a quick dip in a very hot pan to be seared on both sides, then sliced thinly and served over the salad.

                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                    Beautiful and absolutely delicious-looking. Check out your tuna! Yum, N!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                        oohhhh delish. i love salade nicoise. gorgeous.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                        Now THAT looks like summer on a plate linguafood! Thank-you for sharing!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                          Haha - you gals are too kind. After taking a second look at my pic, I think I need to work on my plating skills :-D

                                                                                                                                                                      3. Tonight we're having a simple dinner of roast chicken breasts, skin and on the bone. With a lemon, olive oil, garlic, paprika and dried parsley seasoning,and black pepper and salt. A side of yellow rice with peas, and a green salad. Something fairly easy for this girl tonight.
                                                                                                                                                                        OH and I almost forgot, homemade bread, using a recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice, probably my fourth recipe now. I love that book. I used brown sugar instead of white in the recipe, the crust should have reddish caramel color. Whatever, the house sure smell great!

                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                          I love it........a delicious and simple roasted chicken dinner, so easy, so tasty, so economical and time-thrifty..........but then you blew your chowhound cover and talked about homebaked bread. Love the brown sugar idea; the crust, I think, will be a bit, ah, crustier. Which is the best part anyway, unless you count the exact middle slice, drenched in butter and eaten warm.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                            You know, this book really advices after baking, let the bread continue to finish on a wire rack. I pulled it at 180 at the thickest part. Perfect bread, however it's a white bread recipe, starting with a sponge I know most people are into the heartier healthier breads. This ones yeasty, and soft, a tad sweet, and the crust was wonderfully colored just as they predict and not tough, at all, just perfect. I'm keeping this one close. Love that book.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                              I hate it when my bead gets cut into while it's still warm. It needs to compose itself. THEN you can rewarm it.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Lamb and veg tonight: grilled (rib) chops, green lentils in vinaigrette, golden beets w/orange oil and sliced scallions, shredded brussels sprouts w/pancetta and pine nuts, and salad (red leaf lettuce, radishes, blue cheese).

                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                            that sounds like a fantastic dinner NCW - all of it, but especially those beets with orange oil... yum.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. It was cold & very windy today so it's still soup weather and that was what dinner was..I made a veg stock then threw in some shrimp shells to simmer; strained the lot & whisked in some tomato paste & simmered. Mixed veggies (corn, lima beans, green beans, carrot, onion, celery, etc) and some okra frozen from last summer's garden made it's way into the pot for a tasty gumbo. It was accompanied by a bed of rice and fried pork chops. Four layer carrot cake with buttercream & toasted walnuts was dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Tried to make a healthier meal tonight. Spagbol (Spaghetti Bolognese) with baked meatballs from half turkey breast and half beef. Well-seasoned to make up for the blandness of the bird.
                                                                                                                                                                              (I really can't tolerate straight turkey unless it's buried in gravy and has in-the-cavity stuffing etc next to it.) Whole wheat pasta too.

                                                                                                                                                                              A chocolate "mousse" made from silken tofu, maple syrup and dark (70%) chocolate. A few meringues plopped on top. It wasn't too bad and my dh didn't know it was made from tofu. He probably would have turned his nose up to it. Obvious it wasn't real mousse though.

                                                                                                                                                                              I feel as though I had medicine and not nourishing, satisfying, scrummy food. I know I can't do this every night but am trying to eat "better" at least a few nights a week. Think I'd rather eat what I want and spin the roulette wheel. : (

                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                                I know that ground turkey takes some getting use to for some people. Try adding chicken stock to the meatballs, or water. I found that these suggestions found here on ch really helped the meatballs taste better and moister.
                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.flickr.com/photos/7220939@...
                                                                                                                                                                                You can either fry them or bake them, this particular dinner I can't swear was all that healthy, after all there were Italian sausages in the sauce too!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                                  Also, if you can, get ground dark meat turkey. It stays moister and seems to absorb more of the flavors of any herbs and spices you might add....I've made some turkey meatballs that were pretty kick-arse in the past!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: dingey

                                                                                                                                                                                    oh I know all about the ground dark meat for meatballs, you are absolutely correct!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: dingey

                                                                                                                                                                                      Dark turkey meat has more fat in it so it kind of dampens the reason for eating it in the first place doesn't it?

                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.drgourmet.com/askdrgourmet...

                                                                                                                                                                                      Althought I do like his idea of ground turkey breast mixed with a bit of olive oil.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. dinner was another mishmash of odds and ends at my dad's. Had an Endless Pernil taco, and my sister made creamed spinach for the roast chicken I made Friday, for which she also made a tangy green onion sauce. a little Costco emmanteler finished me off. or so i thought.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Still peckish later on, I fried up some leftover boiled potatoes in butter and olive oil, salt and pepper and paprika, sprinkled with chopped scallions. I put a few in a bowl for myself for a late snack, then left the rest to cool before i put them in the fridge for my dad's bfast. they were really crispy and brown, tender inside. Came back 15 minutes later - all but four little wedges were left! My dad had gotten out of bed, found them, and, even without his teeth, had eaten most of them! Confronting him (laughingly), he gave me a gummy grin and said they were deelicious! so much for his bfast.

                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                    OK, I *love* the visual of the gummy grin and the fact he had eaten most of the potatoes, mc! Too cute. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                      Daddy, caught with his teefs out and his hand in the cookie jar.......er, potato bowl. : )
                                                                                                                                                                                      Darling as can be.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                      Maria, that's too funny! My sweet dad was an inveterate midnight fridge-raider too, but his impulses were worse when I was a youngster, at that dating age. I'd bring my date home for some dessert or something, and we'd hang out in the familyroom. If dad woke up and felt it had been "enough time" (which was a totally arbitrary thing and depended greatly on how he felt upon first meeting the dude)
                                                                                                                                                                                      he'd come stalking through the familyroom dressed IN HIS UNDERPANTS, "on his way to the kitchen to find a little snack" (which kitchen, by the way, was on the other side of the casa), thereby effectively ending date night.
                                                                                                                                                                                      I haaaaaaaaaated it at the time, but now I think it's hella funny.
                                                                                                                                                                                      I miss him.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                        that is a great story MC! i'm really sorry he's still not around to parade through the family room in his skivvies. he could have had lots of fun terrorizing your kids when they were teens, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. We had salsify from our veggie bags waiting for me in the fridge. I made some garlic crepes and filled them with steamed salsify with gremolata and parmesan and shredded zucchini with alepo pepper and almonds. Nice for a Tuesday night. Dessert was more special. I had soaked some prunes in brandy and lemon zest. Toasted some more almonds in butter with pinch of salt in cast iron skillet. Turned skillet off and added prunes and their soaking liquid. Made some slightly sugary (garlic free) crepes and filled them with the prunes. Sublimely not sweet but not savoury either. Will definitely use butter/almonds/brandy/lemon zest combo again!

                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: relizabeth

                                                                                                                                                                                          "Dessert was more special." - wha?? what's could be more special than garlic crepes? the whole meal sounds amazing. My BF had been playing around with crepes - i'm going to have him make me those savory ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                            I just made a batch of crepe batter and divided. Savoury batch got minced garlic and pepper, sweet batch got spoon of sugar. Usually I use the fanny farmer crepe recipe, but out of convenience last night made the Mark Bittman from HTCEVegetarian. It was acceptable, but I will return the the Fanny Farmer recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Mrs H is in full Domestic Goddess mode, so I'm just spending the day chilling out, surfing the web to research our next holiday trip.

                                                                                                                                                                                          As we speak, she's baking bread. Dinner tonight is meatloaf - now that's a culinary adventure for we Brits as it's not a prominent feature in our cuisine. However, we both have exceptionally fond memories of a lunchtime meatloaf sandwich bought from a deli in Frederiksburg, VA, prior to visiting a Civil War battlefield (or battlefield of the War Between the States as we neutrals like to call it - much to the disheartenment of my Virginian friends who prefer the War of Northern Aggression) . Great day, great food. It ends up being cooked at around the same intervals as our trips to the States - about every 5 years (roll on 2012). There'll be a tomato ketchup based sauce, baked potato and something green.

                                                                                                                                                                                          14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                            Even War Between the States is a bit freighted toward the Southern view of things, I thought.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                              Hah, War of Northern Agression. Now THAT'S funny.
                                                                                                                                                                                              Harters, your wife is doing it up American-style! I have a quick meatloaf tip, if it's not too late. When you have your "add-ins" diced up (peppers, onions, etc. I'm assuming), saute them first. That way they won't "steam" while the loaf is baking and add a certain, um wateriness, thereby affecting the texture and taste of the finished product. But I'm pretty sure you already knew this, or could've divined it. Just old bigmouth, advice-giving me, doing it yet AGAIN! : )

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                Yep. we'd always saute for something like this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                But thanks for the tip - never assume I know stuff! LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Good advice mamachef. I add celery and onion to mine, both sauteed and it makes a positive difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's a classic American meal, Harters.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  And "yes" on mamachef's rec to sauté the veggie add-ins, if Mrs. H is using them. I've taken to using caramelized onions instead of sauteed onions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm thinking meatloaf is on the menu some time this upcoming weekend....'cause we ALL know what the best part about a meatloaf dinner is, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  MEAT LOAF SANDWICHES THE NEXT DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, indeed, LW - another "foreign" meal at Casa Harters.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    But, now to the important question, how should I make this sandwich? What's best to go on it - or should it just be the meatloaf?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                      This sandwich must needs be constructed quite carefully:
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Good, dense bread, to hold up to the density of the meatloaf and toppers......but not so crusty as to foil soaking up the deliciousness....
                                                                                                                                                                                                      I like mine with good mayo, ketchup (!) and shredded lettuce.........or reheated in it's own gravy and served warm atop good bread.....
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mr. enjoys his with chili sauce (the bottled sort) and garlic spread, but that's too much for me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      #1 son is a meatloaf only! kinda guy.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      #2 son is a mustard sorta fella. (Mendocino Hot/Sweet mustard, of course....no French's for this budding gourmand......)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Darling Baby Daughter does not eat meatloaf in any way, shape or form, but she's young and there's time to indoctrinate her as her tastebuds mature and sharpen. (She's 25, so time's a'wastin though....)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Enjoy, enjoy your lovely Amerikan-style meal! And the leftovers!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ahh, the meatloaf sandwich. One of life's finer pleasures. Some people like a thick slab of meatloaf. I prefer several thinner slices for layering.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm definitely one who requires a condiment of some sort, Harters. A spicy mustard. A chutney or flavored ketchup. A garlic aioli. SOMETHING. (Kind of depends what type of meatloaf you made - if it has a lot of mix-ins when it was baked, perhaps it needs very little.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lettuce is also a must, sometimes a soft, spreadable cheese (a tangy goat cheese, depending on condiment, perhaps) or perhaps those caramelized onions, as well as a flavorful crusty-on-the-outside-chewy-soft-on-the-inside type of bread. Barely toasted so there's a bit of "crunch" when you bite into it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Some chips/crisps alongside, and whatever drink of choice you desire. And the perfect picnic sandwich is yours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        And if it's not picnic weather, it's still a damn fine sandwich. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        P.S. Some like to heat the meatloaf slices in the microwave or oven; I say just slice them and leave them out to bring to room temperature. I personally don't like hot meatloaf sandwiches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                          LW and mamachef: you have almost--almost--converted me to meatloaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Use a "meatloaf" mix - 2 part ground chuck, 1 part ground pork, and 1 part ground veal for a tastier meatloaf. Sweet or hot Italian sausage could be used as well, but that's going to be MUCH fattier than regular ground pork, IMO. So I'd go with a leaner ground beef.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ahha. I think I see lunch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Bread will be Mrs H's cottage loaf. Wot's a cottage loaf, I hear some ask - traditional Brit shape - here's a photo - http://www.johnbakersblog.co.uk/wp-co...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          One slice get's mayo. The other gets HP Brown Sauce ("steak sauce" in the US?).

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Shredded Cos lettuce goes on. Then thin slices of the meatloaf. Then a splodge of Tracklements Onion Marmalade (http://www.tracklements.co.uk/product...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          )

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Crisps/chips on top if there's room. On the side if not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Waddya reckon? A suitable Brit/Yank sandwich (or butty as we call them in this part of the world)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ah reckon yes indeedy, in the parlance.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Of course there will be room for chips atop; you'll see to that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tracklements Onion Marmalade - a VERY good choice, Harters!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Linda, you are SO a woman after my own heart. I LIKE a good meatloaf, but I LOVE a great meatloaf sandwich, and have been known to make two.....one for meals, and one for everything in between.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Last night a chicken bun did the trick, even as frigid as it was. I used three Thai chiles, which I'm sure kept me warm. Cabbage, peanuts, radishes and nu-nus. Was pretty great.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Fish is likely this evening, with a nice grain and a picante sauce.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Rain is predicted again, and after reading this thread, meatl0af is likely as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chicken bun, rabaja? Like a classic Bao, only with chicky? That sounds so delicious, what with all the chiles and nu-nus you added. Especially the peanut part.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tonight at work, the guys'll be feasting on a hotdog/sausage bar, with all the usual fixings. Sinai beef dogs, tofu dogs, some kielbasas, and Italians, grilled on the plancha, served with a bar of veg and/or meat chili, 'kraut, kimchi, onions, pickles, relish, and all the spreads. I'm throwing in a mango-habanero ketchup to see who's feelin' adventurous enough to deviate from the norm. I might also make a homemade mustard, pretty spicy. But maybe not. It depends on how lax the creativity gene is when I get there. Sides will be oven garlic fries (red potatoes and fresh-chopped garlic, with parsley and vinegar and salt thrown in for the final tossing) and a big fresh green salad, with their favorite "crouton" - goldfish crackers!
                                                                                                                                                                                                            At home, I've picked up some lamb chops - REALLY nice ones, thick and pink and juicy-looking. I'm going to make a mustard/herb crust, and serve up with some crash hot potatoes, which we cannot get enough of these days, the seasoning that we've settled on being fennel seed, chopped garlic, fresh ground pepper, paprika, and kosher salt. Creamed spinach on the side, because mariacarmen's sister Lisa made some and mariacarmen wrote about it, and there's no question that I too must have some, tonight if not sooner. I've been marinating leftover roasted beets in oj and a little oil, but they may not last til dinner since I will not be present to stand sentry over the beet-bowl, and fully expect to come home to the same scenario that mc did.......bowl minus many beets, with the chomper wearing one happy-ass grin.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chocolate pudding with unsweetened whipped cream atop, for dessert. It's just that kind of puddingy, chocolate-craving day; nursery food at it's finest!
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Enjoy your day, y'all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. After a delicious but completely ungarlicked stay in Iowa, I just gotta make something hyoergarlicky tonight, haven't decided what. Maybe that chicken kheema.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Garlic-Roasted Chicken and Potatoes - here's the version I use (although mine was from an old Good Housekeeping magazine):

                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Ga...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's got roasted garlic AND maple syrup. Cannot go wrong. :-) (oh, but if you do make it, cook for 30 minutes for the first part - otherwise the chicken can dry out.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Still on a bit of a seafood trip after my recent meat cravings.... so after last night's salad niçoise, tonight will be a riff on my seafood pasta (which usually includes scallops & shrimp tossed with linguine fini or spaghetti in an oo/white wine sauce), b/c I saw a beautiful King salmon filet and couldn't resist. So 3 scallops for the man will be seared along with my salmon filet, while the spaghetti boil away, adding a bag of baby spinach at the end. The spaghetti & spinach will be then thrown into my small wok pan, where I've tossed some blanched French green beans with oo, garlic & red pepper flakes (for my side) and finished cooking in a bit more oo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I often read this thread and wonder how many of you are still alive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So much oil, creamy this, cheesy that, beefy, salty, porky deliciousness covered in gravy can't be good. Perhaps my comment is a bit sensationalist, and I certainly am not the world's best eater, but I often wonder if people think certain meals/foods are significantly healthier than they really are, or people just don't care. I often just don't care but I get overwhelmed seeing everyone's indulgences written out in one long string.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mrip541

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Funny, I didn't notice "a lot of oil, creamy this, salty that, covered in gravy other." Most of the meals here - and generally prepared from scratch at that - seem to be fairly healthy, especially compared with any crap you can buy in a box or at the drive-thru.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Besides, you have no idea what the portion sizes are of any given meal. But thanks for sharing your concern. Only half-dead here, btw, in case you were wondering.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mrip541

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't know how often you run through this thread, but I can't think of a one of us here who eats rich, creamy fatty foods on a regular daily basis. If you keep looking, you'll see recipes for fish baked with olives, lemon and grape tomatoes in parchment; you'll see roasted chicken with leeks and lemon; you'll see lean lamb, spiced and skewered and grilled, and many many recipes for grains and salads and vegetables. I think the majority of us maintain a healthy balance for the most part - and I can't name a person yet who's died here on the 'hound as a direct result of dietary habits......
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Keep looking, you'll be pleasantly suprised.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mrip541

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          OK, serious answer to your point - no, I don't really care about whether the food I cook is healthy. We try to eat a a goodly number of fruti & veg portions over the week and have a balance between proteins, whether flesh based or vegetarian - but I don't really care if we dont achieve a "good diet". My interest is that we have interesting and enjoyable dinners together, sharing the planning, shopping, preparation, cooking, eating and washing up. Yes, I'm a food obsessive. .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh, I do have one longstanding concession to a healthy life (apart from not smoking or drinking alcohol) and that's I don't cook with salt, nor do I add salt to my plate. I'vedone that for so many years that I dont think of it as a health thing anymore but, rather, that I dont like the taste of salt anymore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Due to insane work hours I am stuck eating out 3 meals a day for at least 2 weeks straight, and think I'm just jealous of all you people cooking your own food. Going back through things aren't nearly as bad as I said at first. Guess my brain skips the stuff that won't give me a heart attack...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mrip541

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              One of my standards is a keema made with white meat chicken and a lot of onions that I think even someone in WW could eat about the whole pot of. Yes I use cream and so forth sometimes - and guiltlessly - but everything balances out. Everything in moderation including moderation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Harters: A man after my own heart. I have done the same with salt. Have used unsalted butter for years and am just used to not using salt or using very little for certain foods. I really notice saltiness in restaurant food or the occasional ready-made food I might eat from time to time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have attempted some "healthy" meals lately and for the most part, they leave me cold. I suspect (hope?) that a varied diet with good quality food is all we need. I don't want to be taking a bunch of pills as I grow older either. Not listening to the political nonsense around me hopefully will help keep my blood pressure down too. LOL!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              P.S. My dh is a Derbyshire boy. You know what they say:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "Derbyshire Born, Derbyshire Bred, Strong in Arm, and Thick in Head"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: mrip541

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I expired some months back and now live in a virtual world where the only virtual food is poached mackerel. Served with custard and a a few raw mushrooms.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ahahahahahaha... thank you Harters for the good laugh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You live in a much nicer afterlife, Harters. Here, they don't give us custard, and we eat celery by the ton as a means of dietary penance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In the former life, I found celery wasnt too bad - quick braised with carrot as:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/cu...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Although this link has some weird quantity carrot/celery ratio - the original was for 50/50 - but the method is good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Spaghetti and meatballs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have the sauce simmering on the stovetop where it will stay for the next two hours and change. I'll grind the meats, make the mix, roll them to the proper diameter, brown 'em and finish them in the oven before introducing the golf-ball-sized beauties to the homemade sauce. I use Barilla thick spaghetti because it has a nice tooth feel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Maybe a little salad and bread on the side, we'll see. Deb should like this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There will be leftovers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Well Steve, maybe its just a meatball kinda day because here at casa breadcrumbs we have meatballs on the menu as well! Though no grinding my own meat I must confess!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              On tonight's menu, bruschetta w some scrumptious buffalo mozzarella from Italy that my wonderful butcher was kind enough to give me (yes, as in free!!!) as it expired yesterday. Of course it was perfectly fine and we can't wait to eat!! For our main course, my first recipe from All About Braising which I rec'd for Christmas. Tonight we're having the Polpettone Braised in Tomato Sauce based on the tempting reviews in the historical COTM thread. Can't wait to report back...the house smells AMAZING!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ok, happy to report all turned out well. Bruschetta was deee-lish, and we really enjoyed the meatballs. Here's the link to my review and photos of those if you're interested:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3301...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wow. Fantastic menu, fabulous pictures. Bruschetta is a weekend staple in our house. Well done!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I just sat down after cooking and eating: four hours all-in. Maybe a little extreme for spaghetti and meatballs but that's the price of poker. We washed it all down with a modest Sangiovese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There'll be lots of leftover sauce and meatballs. A reprise might take under 30 minutes. I may have to get more Sangiovese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Once again, well done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks so much Steve, I hope Deb enjoyed! Love the Sangiovese as well, a perfect match! !

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Spatchcocked chicken roasting as we speak, sitting on a bed of tortillas (ala Jungmann, right?), whole garlic cloves, and crusted over and inside the skin with garlic powder, onion powder, dill, thyme, sumac, aleppo, toasted dried chili flakes, smoked paprika, and s&p. beets are steaming, waiting to be dressed with a fresh ruby grapefruit juice/dijon/pomegranate syrup, thinly sliced shallots, and pumpkin seeds. also i'll lightly saute ribbons of white zucchini in butter and top with mint. my last meal that i'm cooking just for me before the BF comes back (although, he'll get the leftovers Fri. night!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh, and also in the salad there's going to be shavings of this amazing raw goat milk cheddar i found at the corner rapeway (our version of Whole Paycheck.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That sounds terrific! Particularly the grapefruit and pomegranate dressing for the beets. I have exactly 1/2 of a giant beet left over from making pickled turnips this evening, so I may try your dressing very soon. Did the tortillas still crisp up beneath the chicken? I am only used to leaving it whole so that the juices run down the chicken and through the bed of onions before seeping into the tortillas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    yep, crisped up, but also got all the wonderful juices. it's funny, but the combo of the tortillas and the chicken juice and the melted garlic came out tasting sweet and almost like cheese. wonderful. thanks JM! another winner!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The garlic, sumac and Aleppo pepper definitely add a sweet, fruity element to the dish. It's even more heightened when you have the caramelized onions lining your tortillas. It's the kind of comfort food that makes me want to have kids because it's so corporeal and evocative, an experience to remember fondly: dad at the table, juices dribbling down your fingers, picking at hauntingly aromatic meat with sumac and chicken-flavored tortilla chips.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        JungMann,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Seriously, I think you are a great unsung food writer.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Marci

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          :::::rumblies in my tumbly::::: from reading JM's post.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Lots of my favorite herbs/spices (garlic, thyme, sumac, aleppo)! Sounds wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Yesterday's oven beef stew (which was better today.) A glass of pinot noir. Slice of my husband's home made white bread. Yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Well, after a interesting week (in ways you do not want your week to be interesting) I decided that on my girls night out last night that I was going to completely splurge on whatever I wanted for our night out. Along with the wonderfully dry and delicious champagne I ordered a fantastic steak tartare with came with homemade potato chips. Yum! While my girlfriends ordered cheese platters to share I ordered a fantastic molten valrhona chocolate pudding with salted butter caramel icecream. All so wonderfully indulgent I forgot my woes for a glorious few hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tonight will be a different kind of indulgence - having taken delivery of some fresh crayfish caught by my dad I think it will be a crayfish pasta with a white wine sauce with leeks and shallots. I'm kind of making it up in my head as I go, but surely I can't bugger that up?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: TheHuntress

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Quite frankly, today's indulgence of crayfish pasta with leeks and shallots in the white wine sauce sounds HEAVENLY! (But so did last night's chocolate molten pudding!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. ok, not the best pic (i'm no Rubee, for sure!) but sure was yum. Especially the zucchini - out of mint so i used dill instead - they came out like delicious buttered dilled egg noodles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LOL. Disagree - looks delicious! I love the flavors of Aleppo and sumac.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I know it's the middle of the night but I napped & now I'm trolling Chowhound (lol) The cold & wind is still lingering so sticking with my comfort food theme, dinner was curry chicken & dumpling stew & grilled smoked gouda cheese sandwiches. On the side, sauteed fresh green beans. More carrot cake for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                mmmmm grilled smoked gouda cheese sandwiches - yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  All of that sounds delicious, Cheryl Could you share the recipe for curry chicken and dumpling stew, please?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: twilight goddess

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I don't really use a recipe for the stew, basically, I simmer the chicken in water (I use whatever chicken I have on hand. This time I used leg/thigh quarters) for about 1 1/2 hours or until tender then cool & de-bone/de-skin the meat. I also de-fat the broth by refrigerating a couple of hours (sometimes I'll put the whole pot in the freezer until cold). Meanwhile, I dice onions, carrots, celery; saute a few minutes in a little oil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Skim the fat off the broth; add sauted veggies to the chicken broth (you may need to add more stock) along with coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced about 1/4. Whisk in the curry powder, ground cumin, dried thyme,. a few crushed red pepper flakes (if you like it spicy). I also used Mrs. Dash Onion & Herb seasoning blend. I'm trying to lower my salt intake but add it if you wish. Continue to simmer over medium low heat. Make a slurry with a little cornstarch & water; drizzle in the simmering liquid & whisk together. Cook a few minutes to thicken the stock. Stir in the chicken and drop in the dumplings, stirring to ensure they don't stick together. Cover the pot and simmer until dumplings are floating to the top or about 15-20 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro & scallions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    OKAY, I sometimes add diced sweet potato & frozen peas. This time, I didn't. I added thin egg noodles instead. Also, I eyeball the stock so that I'll have enough to pour into my bowl and have the dumplings float like a soup, in other words, add as much liquid as you want in your stew. I used about a tablespoon of curry powder; I suggest starting with a couple of teaspoons then taste & increase the amount based on your preference. In terms of liquid ratio, I use 2/3 chicken stock to 1/3 coconut milk. If your stew seems like it won't thicken, add more cornstarch slurry and cook it out. For the dumplings, you can use frozen dumplings or try this recipe:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dumplings

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    •2 cups flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    •2 teaspoons baking powder
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    •1 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    •1/3 cup shortening
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    •2/3 cup milk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mix ingredients together until well blended. Dough should be loose enough to drop off a spoon into the stew. If too thick, add a bit more milk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      thank you, Cheryl. That looks delightful!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Tonight: Fish and chips. Halibut and oven-fries with fresh peas. Maybe a vanilla pudding with berries for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Oh, boy did the weather change fast here. Cold and rainy, so an oven-based meal seems indicated just for general principles of warmth and good smells. So at work, it's roasted chicken x 7, sided with a few large pans of savory noodle kugel: egg noodles, onions, mushrooms, spinach; bound with cottage cheese and eggs. Found good looking broccolini that i'll just steam and dress with some lemon, and everybody should be happy, especially because dessert is Hot Fudge Pudding cake, which always disappears in a nonce. If I have time an oven space, I might make biscuits, but it's also the end of the month and really time to clean out the bread drawer, so I might just lay on some breadbaskets and butter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    At home, it's the end of the month too, which means it's time to use up what's already in the fridge and freezer, so for the next few nights dinner will be a melange of leftover chicken, soups, chili, and stew, served w/ something appropriately starchy and life-sustaining. : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. At the mercy of others tonight as I'll be working in the city. Luckily the 'others' know their way around a kitchen.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My guess is roasted chicken, sweet potatoes and a nice green salad.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Won't kill my diet and hey, it's on the house.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You know you're broke when you dream about your direct deposit tax return!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Long day yesterday, so dinner was utter simples: cheeseburgers. "Salad" was lettuce, onion, so-so tomato, and some of the precious roasted hatch chiles from my freezer, inserted artfully between burger and bun. Side: Kettle sour cream and onion chips.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Trying out a Chinese meal tonight; now I must practice my cutting-across-the grain skills so I'm off to study videos. I cannot seem to master what should be a simple technique.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ncw, regarding cutting across the grain, not sure if the videos suggest this but I find it very useful to have my meat partially frozen as you can really get a thin cut that way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks! I just did it, BC (w/slightly frozen meat, which definitely helps). I watched a video and had a eureka! moment. How could I have not gotten this before? Yet, somehow I've managed to screw this up over and over again. Duh.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Now, let's hope my dish turns out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Congratulations ncw!! Can't wait to hear about your dish....fingers crossed for you!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I took the liberty of starting the new thread here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/768283

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Leftover manicotti (see above). "Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation" will be on the box.