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What's for Dinner? part 78 (Old)

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What's on the communal table tonight?

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  1. Well, it was a mixed verdict on my call for dinner. Herself thought it not very good. And himself thought it really, really, not very good.

    Pearl barley cooked in onion, coriander, chicken stock , seasoning and thyme. When it was cooked through a big handful of spinach went in along with some lemon juice and zest. Meanwhile, pork fillet marinated in red wine vinegar and garlic and then went under the grill.

    Yep, it was another of those magazine recipes. The sort you try just to avoid doing the same old thing on a Wednesday night.

    The marinade for the pork did absolutely nothing for it. Now, in my mind, there's nothing like a pearl barley risotto. And this was nothing like a pearl barley risotto, if you see what I mean. It was OK, but could have been much better. Reminds us that we should cook it more often - and just stick to good earthy flavours.

    15 Replies
    1. re: Harters

      Does anyone know how pearl barley compares to say, arborio rice, in terms of net carbs?

      1. re: gembellina

        If you're controlling for carbs, just eat the one you like; they're both high, but arborio is higher in carbs and lower in fiber. The softer they get, the more rapidly digested they are.

        1. re: mcf

          Thanks - not what I wanted to hear but I live in eternal hope!

          1. re: gembellina

            The barley is 44 grams per cup, cooked, 6 gms fiber. I think the arborio was 66 gms per cup, 3 gms fiber. If you cook it al dente and eat only 1/4 C...

            1. re: mcf

              I'm not being super-strict but generally trying to reduce. Barely can go along with everything else in the "eat occasionally" pile - I don't think I can stop myself at 1/4C!

              1. re: gembellina

                I just stopped eating starches completely, years ago, pretty much. Easier that way, no longer miss them. If you're just trying to cut back, 1/2 cup of al dente barley is the better bet of the two, and much better than a whole cup. :-)

      2. re: Harters

        So how do you make a proper barley risotto? I used to make a barley and wheat berry thing that was quite good, but that was a pilaf.

        1. re: buttertart

          Almost exactly as we'd make one with arborio rice. Base of softened onion and a good splash of wine and in with the barley. The only difference is that we'd add the stock all in one go, rather than a ladle at a time. Takes a bit longer to cook through to "al dente".

          1. re: Harters

            Sounds good. Himself is partial to barley.

            1. re: Harters

              You crack the Fuchsia D book yet? man I love that one.

              1. re: buttertart

                Nah. Not yet. I'm very anal about my book reading. All new ones go on the shelf and are read in order of receipt. There are several cheap trashy crime novels and John Torode's "Chicken and other birds" to get through first.

                I've persuaded herself that she will lurrrve your lions head meatballs so expect that upcoming soonish.

                1. re: Harters

                  Good! You've mentioned your anality, I couldn't stand the wait myself.

                  1. re: buttertart

                    All this talk of proper risotto......

                    .......prompts me to cook one that's been in the "to do "file for a while. Absolutely standard prep for the rice and, towards the end, almost a whole tin of chestnuts get crumbled in. Parmesan, chopped parsley and a couple of thinly sliced chestnuts make for pretty decoration on top.

                    There's some salad leaves in the fridge and a tin of buckling in the cupboard. Sounds like a bit of a starter with a drizzle of oil and a squeez eof lemon.

                    Simples.

                    1. re: Harters

                      Oh now that's REALLY up his street, he's a huge chestnut fan (as am I). Thanks!!!
                      Must post the redcooked pork recipe from Dunlop's Hunan book, super with chestnuts added. They're big in Chinese cooking.

              2. re: Harters

                Does it get saucy?

          2. It was going to be paella, but then the weather took and unexpected turn for the better, and on the fly, we're going to grill those ingredients and make shrimp fajitas with black beans, avocados, tomatoes and lettuce. Yum.

            1 Reply
            1. re: roxlet

              Oooh. Paella. Love the combination of flavors. :-)

            2. Leftover broccoli quiche and a green salad.

              1. We're having a potluck dinner for the school moms tonight and I'm bringing a roasted pork loin with rosemary, sage, and garlic, and some devilled eggs. Don't know what else is on the menu.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Euonymous

                  that pork sounds good. and of course, deviled egss, can't go wrong there.

                2. This flu is weird. Yesterday, I took a turn for the worse, and changed the menu to better suit the energy level. I wound up making steamed broccoli, and a creamed spinach (with onions, garlic, basil, and sundried tomatoes) that I served with a cheesy garlic bread. Why is crispy bread spread with 'stuff' so endlessly comforting to me? I credit the bread for my recovery. I felt *fine* today, well enough to keep a brunch date, clean the house, and get the marketing done. I still have a terrible cough (and the owner of the breakfast place appeared to be holding her breath while she served us, and backing away quickly, instead of staying to chat with us like usual), but I feel better than I have in a week.

                  We were going to order in, but the thought of making pizza crept into my head while we were doing some marketing today. The boyfriend is doing his usual margherita, but I am debating. I have quite a bit to choose from for the toppings, and am debating either a tomato and olive pizza . . . or olives and sardines (I now will stop using the word 'pizza'). Or clam . . . bread. Or an all pepper . . . bread. Either way, more crispy bread with stuff for me. Just to be on the safe side.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: onceadaylily

                    I've decided to cook minced garlic and diced vine-ripe tomatoes in olive oil, with some fresh thyme, turn off the heat, and toss in some black olives and clams, and then add the whole lot to the dough, before I add the cheese (mozz and parm). I think this calls for a white wine.

                  2. Shrimp baked with feta, tomatoes, kalamata olives, garlic, fresh parsley, EVOO, Greek oregano over a bed of spinach for DH and spaghettti squash for moi. Haven't made it in a while, and just reminded myself how delicious it is once more. Back in the rotation.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: mcf

                      That is about to go in my rotation as well, mcf; sounds great and weight watcher friendly as well!

                      1. re: sunflwrsdh

                        The recipe I adapted: http://www.mtvikos.com/recipedetail.a...

                        I use larger shrimp and a whole lb without adjusting the rest, and I use about 6-8 campari tomatoes for best flavor, heavier on the parsley.

                        It really is a healthy recipe. Most important, it's really, really delicious.

                      2. re: mcf

                        I looked for spaghetti squash at the market today, and was so disappointed that I couldn't find it. Enjoy!

                        1. re: onceadaylily

                          Thanks, I've been finding some really smallish but delicious ones this year...

                      3. Falafels and tabbouleh, with muhammara for dipping extra pita into. I've been wanting a good middle eastern feast for a while!

                        1. Tonight: Bangers & Beans & hash browns for the DH. Bangers and Potato Pancakes for me. Angel food and strawberries to finish.

                          1. Sorry but tonight it's Totinos Supreme frozen pizza.

                            1. Some really good macaroni and cheese (1970's era Betty Crocker recipe) with a tossed green salad and roasted butternut squash on the side.

                              1. Southwestern grilled chicken salad with spring mix, cukes, roasted cherry tomatoes, roasted corn, black beans, blue tortilla chips, spicy avocado dressing. Chocolate cake/caramel frosting.

                                1. We had a pizza topped with olive oil, za'atar, lemons, leftover roast chicken meat, olives, fresh ricotta and ricotta salata. Devised to use up the chicken and a bit of ricotta I had sitting around.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: MelMM

                                    Great idea. A restaurant near my house serves za'atar pie, which I love. It's basically za'atar, olive oil on thick pita bread. I have naan in the freezer and plan to buy some chicken. Thanks for the inspiration.

                                  2. Happy St Patty's Day everyone! On tonight's menu, a Steak & Guinness Pie from Jamie Oliver's "At Home" book. We're sure hoping it turns out well since last year I made a similar pie from Gourmet Today and it was such a hit we swore it would be "The" St. Patty's Day meal at our house from then on. That said, since it's JO month, it seemed fitting that I should give his pie a go. We'll be sure to let you know how it all turns out.

                                    11 Replies
                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                      Happy to report this was awesome! Really. It even surprised us. I've pasted a link to my review if it's of any interest:

                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7691...

                                       
                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                        Gorgeous!

                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                          jeez, that looks amazing!

                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                            Really, really gorgeous!

                                            1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                              Thanks so much everyone! I was really surprised how well it turned out given the simplicity of the prep.

                                            2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                              Gorgeous! I'm making that next year! Enough with the corned beef! How did the recipe compare to the one in Gourmet today?

                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                Thanks roxlet! We've been thinking about that question. Both are excellent. I'd likely give JO's the edge though because it's simple to put together - no pre-browning of the meat and just a long braising period. JO's also has a bottom crust . . . . which of course is delicious (just not great for the waistline!!). Also the cheese in Jamie's was a nice touch. You couldn't go wrong w either though.

                                              2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                Now that is amazing looking, just gorgeous! I would love the recipe if you can provide a link. Thanks.

                                                1. re: mcel215

                                                  Thanks so much mcel, here's a link for you:

                                                  http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/be...

                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                    I made this too but used a piece of sirloin from the freezer so the cooking time was shorter. I also added some fresh thyme and left the cheese out. It was very good.

                                                    1. re: twodales

                                                      I like the idea of the fresh thyme twodales, sounds delicious!

                                            3. Last night a warmed-up but still v tasty mapo doufu and the dry-fried green beans from Fuchsia Dunlop's "Land of Plenty" - I tasted a bean and said to M "what are you having for dinner" - they're one of the things that you just can't get in your mouth fast enough. What a brillliant book.
                                              Tonight boiled brisket, cabbage, etc with nice crusty bread (IF the resident 59% German but 100% Irish one gets it on the stove early) - didn't get a corned beef this year and am just as glad because I hate the way it smells cooking.
                                              Kiss me, I'm half Irish!

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                The brisket was good but oddly still quite pink when done (and not corned beef) - any ideas why?

                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                  Dumb question, is mapo doufu from Fuchsia Dunlop's book too?

                                                  1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                                                    Yes indeed.

                                                2. It's St. Patrick's Day for one. Rather than make a whole brisket, I'm making a reuben skillet casserole with pickled turnips and radishes on the side. For dessert, something green. Either pistachio pudding or, more likely, sweetened coconut cream with pandan-flavored gelatin.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: JungMann

                                                    THAT makes me green with envy! (and good thing, being that I'm wearing no green whatsoever today.)

                                                  2. Tonight's the night to make that Amanda Hesser almond cake with pistachio paste rather than almond. Maybe.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                      I would like that for my dinner, please.
                                                      Lean meat and buckets of steamed vegetables can really get you down.

                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                        ooh let me know how your paste turns out - i've never made one, i bought the premade marzipan.

                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                          Didn't do it but will. Maybe put some chopped pistachios in it.

                                                      2. Garrett County corned beef and cabbage; 4 teeny weeny yukon gold taters for DH, just cabbage for moi. Smells great, but still glad it only comes around once per year.

                                                        1. Corned beef is on the stove now, and happily the DH forgot the cabbage. I am most decidedly NOT a fan of boiled cabbage, which tastes like old laundry to me. So we'll have some potatoes and either a salad or some asparagus. Not traditional, I know...

                                                          1. I don't "do" corned beef and cabbage, so it's going to be spaghetti and some of Linda's Most Excellent Meat Sauce from the bottom of the frozen zone. A small salad alongside. I don't have any garlic bread makings, so maybe I'll crack open the can of crescent rolls. Or maybe not. I just don't feel like dealing with that. Financial docs to read/understand/sign tonight. And I know this is just the tip of the iceberg as to what I'll be signing over the next few weeks. :-/

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                              I know you said you don't feel like dealing with it, but crescent rolls can be seasoned before rolling up. Good luck with the reading and signing, and enjoy that modestly titled meat sauce (meat sauce is one of my favorite things), I bet it really is most excellent.

                                                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                I stuck with the spaghetti and salad. I like the idea of seasoning them with a garlic/herb seasoning, tho - thanks for the idea for whenever I do decide to crack open that can!

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                  I've found that dough is very useful as a *dough* . . . ignore the perforations, and play with it. I've used it for 'cups', and as a flat bread. It takes a bit of thought to gauge what kinds of fillings it can handle without a soggy interior, but it's quick and fun to use. Rolling meat and cheese in those babies rarely turns out badly.

                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                    oh, we used to make those meat and cheese rollups for my mom, and they were pretty good actually. she loved them. first time we'd used the can in probably 30 years.

                                                                    1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                      Oh, now a calzone made with that dough would work as well!

                                                              2. I was going to ignore this day completely, as it pitches a few of my meatier weaknesses . . . but then I felt compelled to discard my usual black tank top for the kelly green one, and reminded the boyfriend that we should refresh the beer stock today. Which prompted him to happily exclaim, "We should make corned beef! . . . Oh. *Oh*. Sorry, so sorry." I then, again, explained that it was his kitchen just as much as mine, and he was welcome to do as he pleases in it, but he would have to cook it himself (I'm fairly certain that I would sneak a bite . . . or twenty). And so he is. Though, I do watch with interest (*see note), and have to remind him that the beeping kitchen timer is summoning him, and not me. ;)

                                                                I'm breading tilapia in panko for a nice little fry, which will then become a sandwich. Lightly toasted bread, mayo mixed with diced garlic pickles, a bit of cheese, and some hot sauce. It's one of my favorite easy meals, and I'm glad the boyfriend suggested it as the held that hunk of meat in his hands while we were shopping. Roasted potatoes (with dill, lemon juice, and olive oil) for both of us, and green beans on the side.

                                                                *When he last attended to the pot, there was a bit of something stuck on the side that looked suspiciously like a stray scrap of carmelizing meat. And he didn't even see it! Hello! Cook's treat! Geez.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                  ahaha - love this story! My BF often leaves scraps of food on his plate. LEAVES SCRAPS OF FOOD ON HIS PLATE. they're not perfect creatures. Your fish sandwich sounds so delicious OADL.

                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                    Thanks! He made me make a sandwich for him too, and I managed not to narrow my eyes *too* much.

                                                                    The worst part is, we have a pan of liquid richness left over from the cooking. He asked if 'we' could save it for future dishes. "You could," I said. And he told me to dump it. DUMP it, as if we have just met. He'd killing me over here.

                                                                    I'm not, though. Dumping the succulence OR killing the ungrateful man, I mean. I'm getting ready to transfer the mix into an ice cube tray. He'll have a pork-based soup coming up soon, on a night that I am content to have something else. The liquid, the result of so many hours of slow braise, is gorgeous. Deepened amber, and so fragrant. Someone in this house will eat it, damn it.

                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                      I'm sorry, does what? Speak English, please?

                                                                  2. Off red meat for Lent, so no Lamb Stew this St. Paddy's Day. Instead we did
                                                                    -Smoked Salmon on Irish Bran Bread with onions and capers.
                                                                    -Mac and Cheese with Irish Guiness Beer cheese.
                                                                    -A Green salad (of course)
                                                                    -and (Lime-Green) Daiquiri Sorbet from the invaluable Ben and Jerry Ice Cream Book for dessert.

                                                                    Served with Rum and Ginger Punch just for the heck of it!

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: LJS

                                                                      Mmmm..everything sounds delicious.

                                                                    2. For St. Pat's tonight, I'm planning:

                                                                      Inspired by a favorite local restaurant (Cafe Bink), Blackthorns to start - Angostura bitters, Herbsaint since no absinthe, Bushmills Irish whiskey, and dry vermouth.
                                                                      http://www.chow.com/photos/579083

                                                                      Slow-roasted salmon with colcannon and whiskey-butter sauce

                                                                      Dessert was going to be along the lines of oatmeal cookie-Bailey's ice cream sandwiches but I'm taking the easy way out. Instead, it's going to be a liquid dessert with Bailey's and E's in charge of it.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Rubee

                                                                        We had a nice dinner in for St. Pat's. Skipped the Bailey's after dinner because we were full. For lunch today, I made salmon and potato cakes out of the leftovers, and served it with a spinach salad.

                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                        1. re: Rubee

                                                                          Well now. That first picture sure doesn't look like a spinach salad! Oh wait. That's the Blackthorns from your St. Pat's dinner. ;-)

                                                                          I'm always fascinated by the drinks you create, Rubee. I don't drink mixed drinks, but they always look so nice!

                                                                      2. Back at the homestead tonight for the weekend, and the BF greeted me with Christina Mason's (well, Cooking Light's) recipe for a chicken tagine: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/rec...

                                                                        Christina was right, we both thought it was a tad bland but still pretty yummy and satisfying - just needed probably double the dose of spices, and maybe more lemon rind. With whole wheat couscous, and a tomato/red pepper salad. It was a very homey, comforting meal. Nice to be home.

                                                                         
                                                                        1. I was actually planning to make corned beef and cabbage, etc, using some recipe I got on Chowhound for slow roasting the corned beef instead of boiling it (boiled fatty meat.ugghh!) but on my way to the hairdresser's this am, I realized that nobody would be home except me and the two non-meat and vegetable loving grandchildren And a friend had recently given me a nice recipe for Carbonara, for which I had purchased all of the makings, but hadn't made yet. So..dinner was tossed green salad, with roasted red peppers, red onion, cucumbers, shredded carrots, green olives, fat free feta and baby romaine and spinach, with reduced fat balsamic viniagrette, and 1/2 cup of the really excellent carbonara,along with a glass of Chardonnay. Excellent.

                                                                          1. Baked pork steak, cheddary mac & cheese, braised mixed greens for St Paddy's

                                                                            1. Dungenous crab, butter lettuce and fennel salad with shallot-Meyer lemon vinaigrette. A slice of Della Fattoria pumpkin seed bread, toasted and eaten like dessert.
                                                                              Glass of old vine Zin.
                                                                              Good thing there is no cake in the house!

                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                              1. re: rabaja

                                                                                rabaja, that sounds wonderful. you're totally doing it right. i knew you'd find your groove.

                                                                                1. re: rabaja

                                                                                  You are not suffering too badly there. Imagine a Bay Area émigrée in a no Dungeness crab zone for many years...

                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                    I think about you every day and it just about makes me cry, bt.

                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                      >laughs hollowly<

                                                                                  2. re: rabaja

                                                                                    I would absolutely rather have crab than cake, any day:)

                                                                                  3. Just spaghetti and meatballs last night. Sort of had to make dinner quickly everyone was hungry and I needed to act fast. So cheating a bit, Instead of mixing in bread crumbs, egg, broth, onions and garlic into the turkey for the meatballs, I actually just made small meatballs right from the package with nothing in them, put them in the pan where I had sauteed onion and garlic. Let them cook for a little while then added chicken broth to the pan and put a lid on it. Transferred them to the sauce after a few minutes, and had a ice broth now in the pan which went to the sauce pan. Actually they were pretty tasty over angel hair pasta. Served up with lots of fresh parmesean.

                                                                                    I have leftover pasta so in a short bit, I'm headed down to make a spaghetti pie. Wil use fresh spinach, mushrooms, olives, onions, garlic, a bunch of cheese and whatever else I find. Bind it altogether with an egg or two. Remember those two guys that won and had their own program for awhile, it's their recipe with my prodct onhand adjustments. But it was a great idea from them.
                                                                                    Perfect muching food for Saturday brunch, or tonight's sitter! That is if I can keep dh away from it, he loves that stuff.

                                                                                    1. Yesterday I had a perfect, hand-sliced corned beef on rye for lunch with a cup of cream of cabbage/corned beef soup to go with along. I had the soup then half the sandwich and polished off the other half in the evening. It came from a catering place that also has carry out lunches/dinners a few days a week. Really stellar.

                                                                                      My dh does not like "real" corned beef...only the tinned type. (Probably has something to do with boarding school.) I made him a version of a Grill Interrupted version of a Jaimie Oliver recipe. Steak and Guinness pie without the cheese added. I am a cheese enthusiast but it didn't seem necessary to the recipe. It turned out well and he was quite happy. I've made other recipes like this but have used ale and they have turned out quite bitter. The Guinness worked out well. Odd because I used ale thinking the Guinness would be too bitter!

                                                                                      1. These meatballs:
                                                                                        http://www.chow.com/food-news/76156/v...
                                                                                        There's been a package of ground chicken staring at me from the fridge for a couple of days. Note to self: never let mr. gator do the shopping ;) These, however, look fun and flavorful and I'm anxious to see how they turn out.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: alliegator

                                                                                          Funny, I've been staring at a package of ground chicken in the freezer for a couple days...
                                                                                          I used to buy similar meatballs from a Japanese place in the Ferry Building in SF, except theirs have water chestnuts in them (very finely minced) and no bacon.
                                                                                          I plan on trying these this weekend, over sauteed spinach and with a steaming bowl of brown rice. I bet they'd make an excellent snack too. Thanks alliegator.

                                                                                        2. Steak and onion pudding - a recipe from the Harters cookbook of the week - "New British Classic", Gary Rhodes, 1999.

                                                                                          Recipe calls for beef chuck or skirt - we're using the cut we Brits generically call "braising steak" which could be anything the butcher thinks suitable for long slow cooking. Meat comes from my usual supplier (Mansergh Hall) to the north of us. They farm Galloway cattle - a native breed mainly produced in northern England and southern Scotland. For most of the year, they graze the farm pastures and, in the winter , are kept in barns where they fed the farm's own silage and hay. Slaughtered locally, the carcasses are matured for 21 days and are then butchered on the farm. Lovely stuff!

                                                                                          So, first of all, a dough is made - suet, self-raising flour, water. That lines the pudding bowl at about 5mm thick. In goes some onions, fried lovingly long and slow. On top the beef, sliced into strips and tossed in salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and flour. Water covers the beef/onion layers. A pastry lid goes on and the pudding steams for a couple of hours.

                                                                                          It's going to be rich and heavy in itself so vegetable accompaniments will be light - a little spinach just wilted and boiled carrots (mashed if I can get away with it while herself isnt looking).

                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                            It's a rare occurance when there's a culinary disaster at Casa Harters but the pudding was one.

                                                                                            The disaster occurs, firstly, because when the recipe calls for the meat to be in "small strips", you have to use your judgement as to what is small. And then, second, you have to trust the recipe cooking times, particularly if suet puddings are a new thing for you. And, third, because you don't know how things are until you actually cut into the pudding, you have to trust to luck. Ours ran out.

                                                                                            The pastry was delicious. No, I mean, really delicious. It vied in the world championship delicious competition with the gravy. And I bet the meat was really good - but it was under cooked, chewy and, to be frank, inedible. I'm writing this while we wait for pizza to cook.

                                                                                            Book's on its way to the charity shop.

                                                                                            Slinks away, sulking......

                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                              I've often wondered about pasty recipes and the like that tell you to cook the meat from raw. Always seemed to me it'd be pretty chewy.

                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                I'm OK with pasties. I guess once you know the prep. and timings it'll work. If ever I did this one again, it'd just be a matter of making sure "small" was really small..

                                                                                                Now the good thing is that now we've mastered the suet pastry, we can cook a Sussex Pond Pudding which may just be THE most delicious of traditional steamed British puddings. http://uktv.co.uk/food/recipe/aid/512772

                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                  I have been dying to try that ever since "Good Things" (Grigson of course) but suet is thin on the ground in this area. Is it really as divine as it sounds?

                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                    We've never cooked it but I've had it once in a restaurant. It's just delicious but then what's not to like (unless you're vegetarian) - soft rich suet pastry and, inside, lemon butter and sugar.

                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                      What not indeed.

                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                        I've heard amazing things about that pudding, Harters. I want to make it someday.
                                                                                                        Bt, if you go to an Asian butcher, it's likely they can find you some good clean suet...or just order it from your regular butcher, a few days in advance.

                                                                                                    2. re: Harters

                                                                                                      We make the Lemon Sussex Pond pudding every New Years Eve. Our recipe comes from the Saveur Magazine, a very early issue, the first or second year. I will see if there is a link.

                                                                                                      What I love best about this dish is the way it converts people: when you describe the technique and ingredients to your guests, they tend to think they "might be too hungry for dessert".

                                                                                                      Then you bring the upturned 'hat' to the table and they watch breathlessly, sniffing the are like hounds on a trail. Then you cut in and WOW, the juices all run out in this lemon-scented stream of glorious sweetness. And the lemons are camelized jewels of such obvious taste-bud delight...well who could resist?

                                                                                                      "Oh, perhaps, just a small wedge...please!"

                                                                                                      1. re: LJS

                                                                                                        Okay: could not make the link work, so here is the Saveur Magazine Sussex Pond Pudding.
                                                                                                        "Boiled puddings, like this one, were once known as "conceited" dishes, a reference to their ingenious and fanciful construction. Called "pond pudding" for the pool of sauce that leaks out when it's cut, this old-fashioned dessert was invented in East Sussex in the 17th century".

                                                                                                        2 cups flour
                                                                                                        2 tsp. baking powder
                                                                                                        1⁄2 cup shredded fresh beef suet (see Skinny On Suet)
                                                                                                        1⁄2 cup milk
                                                                                                        12 tbsp. salted butter, cut into small pieces
                                                                                                        1 1⁄2 cups dark brown sugar
                                                                                                        3 small lemons

                                                                                                        1. Sift flour and baking powder together into a large bowl. Add suet, milk, and 1⁄2 cup water, and stir with a wooden spoon until dough holds together. Shape about a third of the dough into a ball; shape remaining dough into a larger ball; wrap both in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

                                                                                                        2. Grease a 5-cup ovenproof bowl or pudding basin. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out larger ball into a 12" round, then ease into bowl, pressing to fit snugly. Place half the butter and half the sugar in the lined bowl.

                                                                                                        3. Pierce unpeeled lemons all over with a skewer (incisions must go all the way through) and place on top of butter mixture. Top with remaining butter and sugar.

                                                                                                        4. On a floured work surface, roll out remaining dough into a 7" round and place on top of filling. Dampen edges with water and pinch crust together with your fingers to seal. Cover loosely with a 9" piece of aluminum foil (allowing room for pudding to expand) and tie in place with kitchen string.

                                                                                                        5. Place bowl in a large pot. Add enough water to come halfway up side of bowl. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 3 hours. Remove bowl from pot, cool slightly, then remove foil. Invert pudding onto a platter. To serve, spoon into bowls (lemon will be soft enough to cut through).

                                                                                                        from Saveur Magazine.

                                                                                                  2. re: Harters

                                                                                                    Awww, bummer. I hate it when a hoped-for great dinner doesn't work out. :-(

                                                                                                2. Baked pork chops, spinach salad , mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and spoon bread! Yum.

                                                                                                  1. Home made pizza, with home made whole wheat dough, and 2 percent Italian shredded cheese, mixed with some fat free mozzarella, also topped with turkey pepperoni, some red onions, roasted red peppers, sliced black olives and fresh basil. Looking forward to it!
                                                                                                    I also made a pretty good looking and quick ratatouille, from a Rachel Ray recipe....just took it out of the oven and it smells great! That will be for work lunches for this week.if it makes it till Monday! My other cooking plans for this weekend are: Vegetarian two bean chili from Epicurious, a quinoa and black bean salad (also Rachel Ray), spinach meatballs for a weeknight dinner, marinated baby bella mushrooms, "a nice steak dinner" (which means grilled sirloin steaks, roasted garlic mashed potatoes and tossed salad, with shrimp cocktail for starters and carrot cupcakes for dessert for my husband's birthday on Sunday, tomorrow will be Chinese dumplings, chinese chicken salad and a shrimp noodle bowl, and I need to use up some ladyfingers, so I want to try to fit in making a lightened up tiramisu. Any ideas?

                                                                                                    1. I know I had pasta last night for dinner, but I'm still wanting it tonight as well - just different ingredients. I had taken out a 1/2 lb. of sweet Italian sausage last night to defrost, thinking I was going to make a baked egg, sausage, potato, etc. casserole dish, but didn't feel like it when I got home. So a quick search on Allrecipes.com came up with this one, which I'll cut in half for quantity. It'll be a good way to use up the half bag of peas and the rest of the container of heavy cream I have (which will have to be augmented with some 1% milk).

                                                                                                      I'm going to add a bit of oomph with a few heavy shakes of Aleppo pepper as well.

                                                                                                      http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Pasta-wi...

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                        Linda, I could eat pasta in one form or another every day, and still want more. That recipe sounds really good; maybe when I get to my goal weight::)

                                                                                                      2. Last minute trip into the city to take the kitten in for a last minute appt. -nothing serious, but SOMETHING is biting him and I can't find what it is...
                                                                                                        I would like to pick up take-out, as I probably won't get home much before 7:30 or 8pm.
                                                                                                        Now then, what to grab? Spicy larb and tom yum soup? Sounds good, even without the sticky rice.
                                                                                                        And, as it's Friday, I think a cocktail is in order.

                                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                          A cocktail is definitely in order!

                                                                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                            Larb must be one of the best things with few calories ever. Kitty ok I hope?

                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                              Larb can definitely keep you sane when dieting. All that spicy goodness.
                                                                                                              Kitty is fine, thank you. Just a bad reaction to fleas-totally MY fault, and now I am doing my best to gain his forgiveness for apparent neglect on my part.
                                                                                                              He may very well get steak for dinner tonight.

                                                                                                              1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                Spring has sprung . . . and so have the fleas. We just got them here as well. Olive is strictly an indoor cat, and the preventative treatments are just so damn expensive (and our vet actually advised against using it, if we hadn't seen any fleas), that we took a gamble. Getting rid of those buggers is such an involved daily regimen of housework, that by the time I have to start dinner, cooking seems like 'more work'. Ugh.

                                                                                                                I'm just having a big salad tonight, but will make corned beef hash for the boy, using his leftovers. I trust he'll want an egg or two with that, so I might have an egg sandwich in addition to the salad. I'm craving foods with mayo lately. I really should stop giving in. Every time I manage to lose two pounds, I gain it back with a single sandwich, it seems.

                                                                                                                1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                  Boing boing boing, lily. We just got rid of our unwanted pests, 40 loads of laundry, a steam clean and three changes of vacuum bags later. Oh, and several really pissed off flea-dipped cats. Uggh.
                                                                                                                  Lunch here is the divinity of corned-beef hash and eggs. Ordinarily that would be Sunday's brunch, but we're feeling a mite peckish and family dinner isn't jumping off til 7 or so, so it sounds perfect; nice and crunchy and meaty and oniony; coupla poached eggs to let flow their buttery, unctuous, nutty goodness all over the hash....
                                                                                                                  Mmmmm. It's being made even as we speak, by the other cook in the casa, who also was kind enough to wake me with the scent of fresh, strong coffee with real cream - the cream not being something I usually keep around, since I'll eat it by the spoonful - but I found some crema, both unsweetened and unsalted, at the local carniceria, and I HAD to have it. The entire quart. I know, gross; but......ohhhh, my coffee is soooo good, what with the raw sugar......
                                                                                                                  This is a private moment. I'll be leaving now. : )

                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                    Oh MC, you just gave me such a belly laugh, thank you.

                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                      Haha! Would you like a cigarette now, you perfectly spoiled lady?

                                                                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                        Ever so much, and please could you light it for me? : )
                                                                                                                        Coffee, brekkie, a good laugh, and a cigarette.
                                                                                                                        All I need now's a good sneeze, and it will have been the perfect morning.

                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                          ok, speaking of spoiled, this is soooo off topic but anyway, was on a sailboat once with two friends and the BF, and i was holding the steering stick (don't laugh at me, i am not a sailor) and the BF was doing something else probably even more important, and i wanted my cigarette lit. he said "but i'm .... (whatever he was doing). "honey, just reach over and get the lighter for me!" at the same time, that pesky stick thing apparently was in my way so I thrust it aside as my honey lit my cigarette. All of a sudden i hear "whooooaaaa!!" from our hosts, whose backs were now in the water as the sailboat listed almost to its side, and everything went flying! i held my ciggie aloft, however, never fear. that is me in a nutshell. hmmmm... we haven't been asked back to go sailing by that couple....

                                                                                                                          Ok, and i made really good spicy buffalo wings for a picnic on the boat. back O.T. need to find that recipe again....

                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                            Steering stick? You mean the thingamajig? The thingy thing? The whatchamacalllit? (Oh, THAT..)
                                                                                                                            You made me larf so hard that I tripped over the kitteh on my way to the kitchen for seconds on dinner. She looked at me quite balefully, but I was larfing too hard and just had to keep on going....

                                                                                                            2. Vinegar-marinated milkfish fried so that the exterior is perfectly crisp while the interior remains juicy. On the side, some haphazardly dressed peanut noodles and a tomato salad with parsley, mint and scallions.

                                                                                                              1. my pernil, defrosted, which the BF repurposed into a stew, was then repurposed again into tacos. little side of black beans, a cabbage salad with pickled turnips, some limey guac, and big fat slices of beefsteak tomatoes with salt and vinegar. Simple but yum.

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                  Yum indeed!

                                                                                                                2. Tonight we had sliced leftover pork loin with gravy, mashed sweet potatoes and fresh swiss chard with orange stems (I have never seen them with orange stems before) steamed and then sauteed in a skillet in garlic infused oil, some cumin and coriander seeds, salt and pepper and sprinkled with lime juice. Tasty. I have a small end piece of pork left, so tomorrow I might chopped it up fine with some chopped scallions and fill wonton wrappers with it.

                                                                                                                  1. My first attempt at carpaccio - not very neat, but tasted good in a salad. I seared a piece of tenderloin, chilled it in the freezer, cut it into slices and pounded it out a little bit since my slices were uneven. I drizzled on sesame oil, fresh lime juice, s&p, spicy Beano "Hot Ginger" sauce, sliced radishes, raw spinach, and Fresh Thai chiles for a low fat dinner.

                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                      rubee that looks absolutely beautiful - love the sound of those flavors! but, to quibble, isn't carpaccio actually raw meat? or is that just a jumping off point, and have fine dining restaurants expanded the meaning to include slightly seared? i'm curious......

                                                                                                                      eta: so my BF just reminded me that a Jamie Oliver recipe does the same thing, just to give a taste to the edges of the meat, but he called it carpaccio too! answered my own question.

                                                                                                                      anyway, beautiful as usual....

                                                                                                                      1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                        Not only does that look spectacular but your description made my mouth water! Yum, good job!

                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                          @MariaCarmen You are correct! Is there such a thing as seared carpaccio? hmm....

                                                                                                                          @Breadcrumbs Thanks, though I need more practice with my slicing skills. I may chill it more next time.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                            "Seared carpaccio". Oh yes, I'm afraid there is. And it can get worse. I was once served a "seared carpaccio of tuna" in a local very upmarket restaurant. They should know better!

                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                              Wikipedia lists carpaccio as raw meat "or fish" so.... i guess the definition has become somewhat loose over time.

                                                                                                                      2. Brown beans and cornbread with fried potatoes, country ham and sauteed kale greens. Totally devoid of ideas for new meals. Seems like I cook the same old thing over and over.

                                                                                                                        14 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: vafarmwife

                                                                                                                          vafarmwife, I disagree! While it may feel like same old same old to you, your posts always make me think of delicious, homey farmy meals. What you served yesterday sounds so good! I realize that in your neck o' the woods it's business as usual, but to me it's a wonderful example of regional cooking at its' best.
                                                                                                                          All that being said, what does your family like/dislike? You know you can come up with a ton of new ideas here... : ) I know you know your way around the kitchen real well; let me look around and see what I can come up with that you might enjoy, and I know others will do the same thing.

                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                            Thanks for the kind comments everyone. I guess I am just in a rut. March gives me the blahs....

                                                                                                                          2. re: vafarmwife

                                                                                                                            This sounds delicious.

                                                                                                                            Hey, we all get in ruts. Partly because of likes and dislikes that we must work around. When I'm about to lose it I get the cookbooks/cooking mags/internet searches working for me. I try new methods/new recipes/new ingredients to spark an interest. Tonight I just am out of inspiration and might order something in or make something that is very simple. We tend to have beef, chicken and pork over and over again. I throw in a vegetarian meal too just to break the boredom.

                                                                                                                            1. re: vafarmwife

                                                                                                                              I for one could spend days on end just savouring sauteed greens vafarmwife . . . to me, your meal sounds inspiring and delicious!

                                                                                                                              1. re: vafarmwife

                                                                                                                                All of that sounds devine to me, and quite a bit of work for all the different components.
                                                                                                                                I agree that all of your meals make me want to get in my car and go to your house for dinner.

                                                                                                                                1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                  Got room for a passenger, Rabaja? I'll pay halvsies on gas and motels.....think of the fun we'd have on the way to grub down with vafarmwife! And then the fun we'd have there!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                    You're on Mamachef! I've got my road food book on me at all times!

                                                                                                                                2. re: vafarmwife

                                                                                                                                  I know this is corny (forgive the pun), but I took a picture of my cornbread b/c it came out of the skillet so pretty.

                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                  1. re: vafarmwife

                                                                                                                                    Beautiful vaf! Don't you just love it when things happen just like they're supposed to!!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: vafarmwife

                                                                                                                                      not corny at all. we hear so much about the food, to me it's always a treat to see pics of it. looks delicious.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                        I had to get it really brown as I always give half to my mama and she wants it brown. If I took her light cornbread, she would ask if my oven wasn't hot enough. LOL

                                                                                                                                        1. re: vafarmwife

                                                                                                                                          That just cracked me up.

                                                                                                                                          And feel free to show us the food whenever you want. I always forget to take pictures, but love seeing everyone else's.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                          I totally agree. Now I want some of your delicious-looking cornbread please!

                                                                                                                                        3. re: vafarmwife

                                                                                                                                          I'm jealous of how well seasoned your pan is! Nice cornbread, too, btw. :-)

                                                                                                                                      2. Starter - a few salad leaves, prawns, marie rose sauce.

                                                                                                                                        Main course - roast leg of free-range pork (the first of the last delivery from Mansergh Hall), roast tatties, carrots and cauliflower, gravy, apple sauce. The veg weren't what was planned for tonight but we'd cooked them for last night's ill-fated steamed beef pudding (the meat from which has now had another 90 minutes in a lowish oven is *still" not bloody tender!)

                                                                                                                                        Sweet - lemon posset (supermarket)

                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                          Marie rose sauce, Harters? Please do tell!!
                                                                                                                                          Cold, wet and rainy here. Electric storms last night, and of all things a tornado touched down not far from here. I swear the world is spinning out of control, directly off it's axis.
                                                                                                                                          So, to combat the cold and feed the family, of which at least 5 kids and their s.o.'s will show up:
                                                                                                                                          Big pan of chicken and dumplings; the good kind. You all know what I mean; creamy, savory; just enough thyme to taste, just enough sage to make it right. Pot of string beans with a hock and onion; cubed white potato added for the last hour. I made some pickled beets yesterday that turned out really well, and am making a broccoli casserole and some rolls out of extra (on purpose) challah dough. Lauren (darlin baby daughter) made a caramel icing that she literally stood over and stirred constantly for an hour last night - first muy autentico Southie cooking that child has ever done, and I'm so proud of her! (Fried chicken next.) So we're looking forward to a warm-inside family dinner; probably some trivial pursuit 'cause we're competitive like that, and definitely golf on the telly in the family room, located far, far away from those of us who actually enjoy talking to each other........ : )

                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                            Tornado in Santa Rosa was just a bit too close for comfort, and totally bizzare to hear about. Yikes.
                                                                                                                                            What an awesome family day you have planned! I have never been able to master that frosting, she should be very proud.
                                                                                                                                            Enjoy and stay dry!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                              wasn't that the weirdest? glad it came to naught (injury-wise).

                                                                                                                                            2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                              mama enjoy your family day! sounds fantastic.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                Classic Brit sauce for prawns - at its simplest, mayo with a goodly dollop of ketchup.

                                                                                                                                                These days it usually gets given more cojones with lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco (all or any mix).

                                                                                                                                                Not an old traditional sauce. I've seen a story online that it dates to 1981 when a chef feeding navy crew diving on the wreck of the Elizabethean ship Mary Rose made it up with what he had available. The story continues that the name became "Frenchified" in the 1990s. The story doesnt quite ring true - we got well beyond Frenchifying stuff in the 1990s and were going back to our culinary roots.

                                                                                                                                                You'll often see it in Brit books also called "prawn cocktail sauce". The prawn cocktail was a very fashionable starter in the 70s and I certainly remember the sauce from then.
                                                                                                                                                http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyl...

                                                                                                                                                Weather has been good in north west England - I spent much of the afternoon pottering round the garden planting up some purchases from the garden centre - two new rosemary bushes, a lovely golden thyme and some pots of daffodils. Won't be long before the lawn needs its first cut of the year.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                  When I first visited the UK in 1980 Marie Rose sauce seemed to be on every menu. Half an avocado, lovely North Sea shrimp (more like langoustine/lobstery) and Marie Rose sauce.

                                                                                                                                                  Back in the USA:My mom used to call it cat-o-naise for catsup and mayo.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                    Ah, yes, I remember that starter well. The avocado was the sign that you were in a place trying to be posh. Everywhere else - just lettuce, prawns and the sauce (maybe a slice of cucumber, twisted for garnish).

                                                                                                                                            3. Well it's a balmy 40ºF here in Toronto today w lots of sunshine so it's time to pull the Charcoal Grill out of storage and have ourselves the first bbq of the season!

                                                                                                                                              To start will be a roasted baby beet, blood orange and watercress salad w fresh ricotta then for our main will be a herb-infused salt crusted grilled prime rib with Roasted Fennel w Cherry Tomatoes, Olives, Garlic and Olive Oil (from the COTM) and Crash Hot Potatoes. I've made a garlic chive cream for the potatoes and some truffle butter to melt on the roast.

                                                                                                                                              Now I'm heading out to buy some cheesecloth. This is the first time I've attempted making fresh ricotta and I'm really looking forward to see how it turns out. I have some blood orange gelato and dark chocolate almond biscotti for dessert if we all have any room!

                                                                                                                                              13 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                Breadcrumbs, your meal sounds just way far beyond good. Aren't those Crash Hots just the shizz? I'm catering a wedding in June and am thinking seriously about using them as the base for a lox/creme fraiche topping instead of going insane frying leeeeeetle teeeeeeny cute latkes.
                                                                                                                                                You will not BELIEVE how good your homemade ricotta's going to be. If you have any left over, it's great tossed into hot pasta with a handful of spring onions and fresh peas and a scattering of thyme, with just a taste of lemon zest scattered atop...and a dusting of.....buttered, crispy breadcrumbs.
                                                                                                                                                Let us know how it all turns out please.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                  I'm interested in a report (and your recipe) for the ricotta as well. I've bought the cheesecloth, but keep putting off making it. Yay for grilling! Dinner sounds wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                    mamachef we just love those Crash Hots and your catering idea is genius! I can't wait to try the ricotta and thanks for your recipe idea, I hope we have some left!!

                                                                                                                                                    oadl, thanks so much and I'll be sure to report back and, share the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                    Wish me luck!!

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                    Oh my. That all sounds heavenly! I spent the day with my sister re-reviewing/changing/choosing paint choices for the townhouse; checking out desks and TV consoles for the new townhouse, and just getting all tuckered out in general. Thankfully, I have some leftover pasta, sausage and peas from last night, so that's WFD.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                      Well, I'm back to report everything turned out beautifully. Thank-you for your encouragement, I think your good energy helped make this a success. The cheese was made without a hitch and was a perfect base for the beet salad. . . sadly, not a morsel left mamachef so I'll have to make another batch for your pasta!

                                                                                                                                                      I used blue potatoes for the crash hots which made for a pretty plate. The fennel side dish from the COTM was simply one of the best vegetable dishes we've ever had and I'd highly recommend it. I've pasted a link to my review and photos if you're interested and, earlier I pasted a link to the recipe online as well:

                                                                                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7691...

                                                                                                                                                      oadl, you'd asked for the recipe. I used one I found in Ethan Stowell's New Italian Kitchen book. I selected this because he uses whole milk as I liked the idea of a less fatty ricotta for this salad.
                                                                                                                                                      The recipe and process is simple but you need patience to wait for the milk to heat slowly:

                                                                                                                                                      Ethan Stowell's Fresh Ricotta

                                                                                                                                                      4 cups whole milk
                                                                                                                                                      1 cup buttermilk

                                                                                                                                                      Pour both milks into a large saucepan and slowly heat over low heat. Once milk reaches 165º F the curds and whey will separate and then you use a slotted spoon to scoop out the curds into a cheesecloth lined sieve placed over a bowl. After draining for about 45mins your cheese is ready.

                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                        That is so very beautimous it makes me tear up. What a good job! That looks so delicious, and you should be so proud of you, because I know I am!
                                                                                                                                                        Oh, and when you do make that next batch of ricotta, let me know. I have a recipe for a ricotta fritter made with diced dry salami that is absolutely delicious.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                          Gorgeous! Thanks for the update. So the buttermilk is acid enough so that you didn't have to use lemon juice or vinegar. Good to know. I'd prefer to use buttermilk, I think, as it would impart an improved flavor.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                            mamachef and oadl, thanks so much! mamachef those ricotta fritters sound divine and I've made a note in EYB to check back w you for the recipe, thank-you!

                                                                                                                                                            Yes oadl, it seems the buttermilk does the trick nicely. I even surprised myself!!

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                            BC, you make that look so easy! all of it, beautiful, i love the purple potatoes, will try that myself soon. And i just paid good money to go to a two-day class in a couple weeks to learn how to make mozz. i coulda just paid you! well, i'm going to get my money's worth and NOT try this until then, cuz i don't think they'll refund my $$.

                                                                                                                                                            oh wait. duh. ricotta. NOT mozz. but i know, equally as easy. i'm not only not a baker, i'm no cheesemaker. yet.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                              Thank-you so much mc!! I can't wait to hear about your mozz class, I would LOVE to know how to make fresh mozzarella. A farmer not too far away has started raising buffalo and i'd be more than happy to make a trek up there to get some milk to make fresh cheese!!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                Are you able to buy the type of milk you need? I read (funnily enough, just last week) that if pasteurized milk is used, then one has to buy a chemical agent to add in. And perhaps whey as well? Something like that. It seemed a bit troublesome. I'll bet the class was fun, though. I like to see how it's done as I'm learning.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                I did make this ricotta after I read your instructions, then I couldn't find your post to write back about it. Finally ran across it again.
                                                                                                                                                                It took about an hour over low heat for the milk to climb over 160 and for the solids to start forming, I kept thinking I was doing something wrong. But suddenly the milk separated into curds and whey. The ricotta has a nice fresh flavor, it's richer and less salty than store bought cheese. (The whey is certainly not very appealing, it makes me wonder what Little Miss Muffet was thinking.)
                                                                                                                                                                I'm taking a cheese making class in May, really looking forward to it now that I've tried my hand. Thanks, Breadcrumbs for posting this.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                  LN, thanks so much for reporting back on this! I'm delighted you tried and enjoyed it. You're quite right about the cheese being richer tasting than that in the supermarket. I was really surprised to have achieved such a rich flavour from whole milk.

                                                                                                                                                                  I'm really excited to hear about your cheese course LN, please let us know how it goes.

                                                                                                                                                            2. Tacos, tacos, tacos.
                                                                                                                                                              I managed to braise some chicken thighs last night, as I got home sooner than I thought it would from SF. Thanks to all the Bay Area peeps who stayed off the roads during the commute hour on a very rainy Friday.
                                                                                                                                                              I basically caramelized a yellow onion, threw in cumin, coriander, chiles, Mexican oregano and at the last minute a tiny bit of garam masala (call me crazy) and fried that until it was nicely fragrant. To this I added one of my last jars of put-up tomatoes (come on Summer!), and then layered five b/s chicken thighs over the top. A bit of salt and pepper, popped the lid onto my trusty tiny dutch oven and into a 350F oven for an hour and a half.
                                                                                                                                                              It's so easy to make tasty, low-fat chicken dishes this way. Sometimes I take it in a more Moroccan direction with the preserved lemon, olives and saffron, but you can really take it anywhere you want.
                                                                                                                                                              Anyway, today I will shred the meat and heat it uncovered to reduce the broth a bit.
                                                                                                                                                              I plan on darting out for fresh tortillas at my local tortilleria, hopefully they will have the little tiny corn ones. I have a ripe avocado, a head of green cabbage, some cilantro and lime. Hell, I may even put on a small pot of beans. Good grubbin' on what is predicted to be a cold, wet and rainy night. I think a fire in the fireplace will be in order as well.

                                                                                                                                                              1. For my first ever COTM foray, going to try Jamie Oliver's roasted Hamilton poussin wrapped with bacon and stuffed with potatoes and sage. Based on the fact that we have the handful of sage the recipe calls for. That and maybe his recipe for leeks in vermouth butter, or something with broccoli rabe, as the BF's never had it (!), if I can find it.

                                                                                                                                                                The picture of the little birds in the book are amazing - golden shattering crispness. Wish me luck!

                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                  <Golden shattering crispness.> How do you DO that? Perfect words, perfectly evocative, perfectly shatteringly succinct.
                                                                                                                                                                  Dinner sounds good too. : )
                                                                                                                                                                  Leeks in vermouth butter? I haven't got the book, but it sounds like a saute with a compound butter? That sounds outrageously decadent; all melty and sweet.
                                                                                                                                                                  Good luck, but gurrrrl you don't need luck! You got skilz and drive and The Passion! It shows!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                    oh mc, i'm really flattered, but i'm just not as adept at cooking as i am at eating! but, i will do my best and we will enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                2. Tonight is our 14th annual Fried Chicken Dinner, with the same folks we've had for these many years. One of our guests is a famous chef who is now usually in Hong Kong but is fortunately around for the event. This is homestyle food, and not something that most people feel comfortable preparing for him, but we know he loves it. Should be a lot of laughs, as it usually is. I made pimento cheese to serve with cocktails as well as nuts, and aside from the fried chicken, we have squash casserole, pole beans and potato salad. Potato salad is not typical -- we usually serve rice and gravy -- but it was a special request that I make my potato salad. I know I will be making doggie bags of it later tonight. If there is time, the DH is still talking about macaroni and cheese, which, as all you southerners know, is considered a vegetable. For dessert I made two lattice pies, cherry and blueberry, and a coconut cake with lime curd filling.

                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                    Wow, that all sounds so delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                      i think this may well be the first time i wished i was a southern belle...... wow, sounds fabulous. have a great time! can we know who the famous chef is? how impressive he asked for your potato salad! it must be awesome.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                        Quite an honor to have a chef ask for YOUR potato salad - ALL of your food sounds wonderful, roxlet - hope you have a wonderful time!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks all! The dinner was terrific, and the desserts were scarfed down and then a piece of each was taken to go by each couple -- including our famous friend!

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Brooklyn is where dinner was.
                                                                                                                                                                        Headed toward Peter Lugar, realized the wait without a reservation, and decided on plan B.
                                                                                                                                                                        After speaking to a very helpful direction-eer on the subway, he told me of his dinner with girlfriend 2 nights ago and sang it's praises.
                                                                                                                                                                        I'm thankful as my DeBragga & Spitler Dry-Aged Côte De Boeuf
                                                                                                                                                                        served with watercress salad plus frites I added, didn't miss a mark.

                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.frankspm.com/menuDinner.html

                                                                                                                                                                        1. So, the Jamie Oliver recipe didn't thrill as much as I'd hoped. I posted my review here:
                                                                                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7691...

                                                                                                                                                                          A couple of snags (left out the garlic (!!) in the fennel recipe) but overall i followed the recipe pretty diligently. So.... not a total success. But tasty enough.

                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                            Looks DAMN fine, mc. "Good enough," indeed.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. I saw The Road on last night and had a burning desire today to stock up on canned goods. It's rainy and windy so I did a semi-homemade pot roast - you know the kind onion soup mix, mushroom soup etc.-all of which I had on hand. I bought canned potatoes and canned green beans but ended up only adding the potatoes and having the beans as a little salad. And cibatta bread to sop up the gravy. I have some left over cab sav from grocery outlet and plan to watch a more uplifting movie tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Grilled lemon and rosemary chicken with jasmine rice and steamed green beans for Sunday lunch.

                                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: vafarmwife

                                                                                                                                                                                Well the chicken was somewhat successful. Hubby declared it pretty good and that is high praise from a man who has forbidden me to bring chicken in the house. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: vafarmwife

                                                                                                                                                                                  vafarmwife, is the recipe as straightforward as it looks? It sounds very nice. I love rosemary on chicken. And high praise, indeedy! (Forbidden to bring chicken into the house? My, what in the world do you do on the other six nights?)
                                                                                                                                                                                  I have been meaning to hit you up for a recipe for soup beans, if you've got one to share. Also, my secondborn has expressed an interest lately in what he calls Chuckwagon cooking, and is interested in salt pork served as a breakfast meat. Anyone who cares to chime in will be most welcome! Do I parcook it? Flour it? Tenderize it? Hang it from a string and swing a bat at it while blindfolded?
                                                                                                                                                                                  Holp!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                    Olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, chopped rosemary, and lemon juice made into a paste and spread onto the chicken the grill it.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Brown Beans-
                                                                                                                                                                                    I am assuming you are using dried beans if so soak them overnight. In large pot, combine beans, pepper, chopped onion, and ham hock or some other kind of ham. DO NOT SALT BEANS at this point. Fill up pot with water to cover beans. Bring to boil and then reduce to simmer stirring occasionally. Cook until beans are tender- may have to keep adding water. Don't let it boil dry. When beans are tender, turn off heat and salt to taste. Take some beans out of the pot and mash up, add back to pot. This thickens the soup. I like to cook mine the day before as I think the flavor develops. Serve with chopped onion and chow-chow and of course, cornbread.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: vafarmwife

                                                                                                                                                                                      yum, i can smell that ham hock now.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh and hubby has a bumper sticker that reads "Promote beef, run over a chicken" LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                      Salt pork is just side meat or pork belly so can't you just cook it as you would pork belly. I've recipes for frying it or broiling it.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. Well, there are a few things to report. One: don't ask me what posessed me to try a new dumpling recipe. I have a GREAT recipe. It required no improvement. But I was feelin' curious and creative, so (dummmm me) I went ahead and tried a brand new one! And I am here to tell you that it is entirely possible to create food that is disgusting-tasting, yet has no taste. That is terribly-textured, with no texture whatsoever. Those dumblings (yes, I spelled that intentionally) looked like gray layers of sedimentary rock. We ended up pouring the chicken and vegies from the stew over a fast batch of biscuits which I made according to my OLD TRIED AND TRUE recipe, and which worked out fine. Yet, because of my aversion to throwing things away, I have a wrapped package of dumplings that nobody, repeat NObody's, going to eat, in the fridge. They will stay there until I no longer feel guilty and do a mass fridge exodus. The passover of the Westinghouse.
                                                                                                                                                                                  Today I am helping out the youth program at a local church. They are preparing dinner for the families and older folks and community people who need a hot meal today; so in about an hour I'll be going over to supervise the roasting of some turkeys, hams and roasts. We have a cornbread baker and a biscuit-maker who learned at her Big Ma's knee, so bread is done. We have pans of macaroni and cheese to bake, and greens to wash and get on; to be served with a little hot vinegar at table; applesauce to make and spice; squashes to peel, steam and incorporate into a Southern squash/cheese casserole a la Hopkins' Boarding House. And then, in a nod to our passing Winter, we'll be doing pans of roasted root vegies with herbs and olive oil. I hope (I don't know for sure) It'll be eaten. We're not touching desserts, though; the church moms and Big Mas are all bringing their specialties: coconut layer cake, lemon meringue pie, hummingbird and Lane cakes. So that's "lunch" (around 2) which means dinner at home will consist of something along the lines of tuna sandwiches and soup. Or dumblings. Not. : )

                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                    Sounds like a nice thing you are doing. We all get a wild hair sometime and try something new. I like to experiment from time to time, but I find myself always returned to the tried and true.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                      mama, you are amazing. really. as if you don't have enough going on in your life. i'm sitting here on my couch chowing and that's all i want to do on a Sunday that finally isn't raining, and you've already put in a day of good deeds and good food. Bravo!

                                                                                                                                                                                      sorry about the dumblings.... and now, the recipe for the good ones, please. altho i probably won't get to them RIGHT away, as i'm sure they're not super WW friendly. then again, neither is mac-n-cheese. portion control! have a good rest of your sunday.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                        Yo, girl; staying bizzy makes me crazy, but it also keeps me sane. Those are a good bunch of kids. I booted them out of my backyard a year ago - they weren't being bad, just having a smoke and chatting, but it's MY backyard. : ) I've seen them consistently at their church program, we've chatted; two months ago they hit me up with this idea, wanting a little help and input. Today those little sweeties (12-17) served 150+ members of the community a fantastic meal. I'm hella glad to be home, but that was a good meal, and a great thing they did. I'm so proud of them.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                          Herb Dumplings! all right. I'm going to let go of a little secret here. I keep a small brick of lard in the freezer and use it for these and sometimes for biscuits. I know, I know....it's totally unhealthy. But honestly, when I'm making biscuits and dumplings, I'm not tripping out on the health aspect. Everything in moderation, to be sure.
                                                                                                                                                                                          In FP, put:
                                                                                                                                                                                          1&1/2 c. sifted flour mixed with:
                                                                                                                                                                                          2 t. baking powder
                                                                                                                                                                                          1 t. salt
                                                                                                                                                                                          1 T. each dried chives and parsley
                                                                                                                                                                                          Now dice 3 T. frozen lard, butter, margarine or shortening into it. Give it like 3 very brief pulses. You've done this before, with the biscuits; crumbs should be the size of small peas. Dump flour mixture into a bowl; add milk. Start with 1/2 c., give a stir. You'll probably need another quarter cup, but not more than that, to make the dough. It should literally just hold together and be fairly stiff. Now, bring your liquid to a boil (pot with tight cover.) and drop your dumplings by the heaping T. on top. Cover tightly; leave go 15 minutes. (Turn pot down, of course; a v. gentle boil is fine for these.)
                                                                                                                                                                                          Dumpling Nirvana. You should be able to look at them and see; they'll be twice as large and appear fluffy. Remove dumplings to a platter; thicken gravy.
                                                                                                                                                                                          Eat. Undo top button.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                            thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Me?

                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm having a brown gloop meal from the freezer - game stew. With new potatoes & purple sprouting brocolli.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Her?

                                                                                                                                                                                        She's fending for herself not being the world's greatest fan of game stew. That probably means cheese on toast and a big dollop of Branston Pickle.

                                                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                          Game? What kind game? (My youngest son, when he couldn't readily identify the protein in his meal, took to calling those foods, "meef.")
                                                                                                                                                                                          Mmmmm, herself gets Ploughman's lunch for dinner. I love Branston Pickle with some sharp Caerphilly and good bread..but I need some sliced roast and mustard and pickled onions on the side, to roll up and eat out of hand.......

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                            'Twas a packed of mixed meat from the farmers market - IIRC pheasant, venison & pigeon.

                                                                                                                                                                                            You gotta have pickled onions with a ploughmans - I believe it's wrtten into international law. Pickled onions are something I make every year - 5 or 6 kilos usually lasts till next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                              Didn't I read somewhere that the ploughman's was invented by a canny pub owner in the '60's? For that Ye Olde Englande flair?

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                The "Ploughman's" is/was a marketing success for the English Country Cheese Council in 1960 - a state run body which promoted cheese (and was one of a number of similar bodies which promoted various dairy products). It was around this time that cheese production started to pick up again after the effects of food rationing during and after World War 2 (and the almost complete destruction of farmhouse cheesemaking during the war).

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I thought it was from then but didn't know it was a cheese council thing. Interesting. The first I remember seeing it was at a place called "Say Cheese" (how original) in London, Ont. around 1970. Seemed quite exotic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                    When it's done well, it's one of the best pub lunches you can find. Unfortunately, there are too few places that do it well - serving cheap factory-produced cheese straight from the fridge, with cheap pappy bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am blessed with a pub about 5 minutes drive away that doesnt offer the Ploughmans - but does offer "cheese and pate lunches". Yes, it's one of those pubs with no pretensions and where folk will happily stand at the bar for hours drinking pints of Marstons, before offering you a fight. But the £5 lunches are legendary in the metro area. You get half a loaf of granary bread and the choice from the many cheeses and pate. The phrase "portion control" is unknown and even I have never been known not to take advantage of the doggy bags that are next to the napkins and pickled onions. Smart customers go for the "half and half" - smiling sweetly at the bar person - means you get almost a full portion of pate and the same of cheese. Eat the pate, take the cheese away in the bag for another day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nice. Why do I hear Ken and Rita hollering at each other?

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I am making for friends tonight Molly Stevens' moroccan chicken with preserved lemons ( I used the Bittman shortcut ones) , whole wheat coucous with homemade harissa, moroccan carrot and dandelion green salad, and coffee cheesecake.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I picked up some beautiful milk-fed veal shanks at the market yesterday as I've been keen to try a variation on an Osso Buco recipe that appears in the Gourmet Today cookbook. This one has a hearty sauce of mixed, wild mushrooms. It braises in the oven for 3.5 hrs so I better get cracking since we're hoping to have an early dinner tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Speaking of getting "cracking" we had a yummy breakfast today. I made the Eggy Breakfast Crumpet recipe from Jamie Oliver's Jamie at Home book. These would make a wonderful breakfast for dinner dish as well! Here's a photo and, a link to my review if you're interested:

                                                                                                                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7691...

                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                              I've seen him make that on his show, looked interesting

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                Ok, back to report on dinner. Are you a fan of Osso Buco? If so, I'd really encourage you to give the non-traditional Gourmet Today version a try. My "go-to" recipe is a variation of a Marcella Hazan recipe and we had to say, we preferred today's version against all odds. I simply couldn't imagine Osso Buco without tomatoes and some stock. This was fantastic. Here's a link to my review and, some photos if you would like to take a look:

                                                                                                                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7055...

                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The one in NYT Essentials made the best braised dish I've ever done. Husband husbanding the leftovers for solitary dinner, no girls allowed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'll have to take a look at it bt, thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. The usual Sunday night fare...a big heaping shepard's pie topped with panko bread crumbs and a cranberry and apple maple sugar pie for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rockability

                                                                                                                                                                                                  If the dessert you mentioned is an example of "same old, same old,", rockability, I'll be over directly. I'll bring my own pillow and blankie for my afterdinner nappy. Really, you won't have to do anything. I'll even do the dishes if you save them. : )
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Seriously, I'd like your recipe: ingredients only unless proportions are superduper relevant. Cranberries and apples and maple sugar sound like a dream combo, and unless I totally miss my guess, I won't be the only one asking. I know a certain bt who'll be all over this one, and a bwg too. : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mmm HMM. Want that recipe, pretty please with maple sugar on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Vignarola (everything sourced in the Campo de' Fiori), scottadito (Roman butcher) washed down by a Rosso di Montelcino. Deb did all the cooking in our little flat in Rome. Later, I took her out for a stroll and some gelato. Our kitchen re-build in Connecticut continues...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  29 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Jealous! What can compare?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                      The meal was so much fun. Everything conspired (market produce, butchers, so on) to make a very good meal. Still, this was a dry run for next Sunday when guests arrive. I'm lobbying to add a soup course (asparagus!) and a dessert of fresh strawberries. I may get a little fancy with the wine. It will be a bit of a nail-biter. I'll update after next Sunday's meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      --steve

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The food in Italy in the early spring is just so divine! I was talking to my gardener, who is from Sicily, the other day as he was trimming up my fig tree, and he was telling me about all these unusual figs that they have in Sicily -- some at Christmas and some in the early spring. Keep an eye out in the market -- maybe some will make it to Rome!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                          March is my favorite time of year here. Favas, peas, artichokes... and the list goes on. Shopping every day at the Campo has its advantage. I had some killer strawberries today that will make their way onto next Sunday's menu. I'll keep an eye out for the figs!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            And blood oranges?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes! Blood oranges and prosecco.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                >sigh<

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  yeah! why's he gotta rub it in like that, huh? why?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Now that is the way to do a kitchen remodel. Go to Rome to get away from it all!
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Good for you, hope you return to the kitchen of your dreams.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      No really, I'm not jealous. Not one single itty-bitty bit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm chuckling softly to myself. Deb said I planned it that way. I'm pleading the Fifth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm weeping steve, Italy is simply one of our favourite places on earth and we too have enjoyed doing some shopping in the Campo de' Fiori and of course, Rosso's are always terrific!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Since you're not too far from Trastevere, I thought I'd share one of our favourite restaurants in Rome with you. The atmosphere is casual and welcoming, the food is amazing and reasonably priced and the owners are lovely people, always happy to share a recipe. Here's a link to their website in case you get a chance to visit:

                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://allefratteditrastevere.com/eng...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the tip. We're always on the lookout for good places for a fun meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Over the years, it seems we cook more at home. This is not a knock on the restaurants in our neighborhood, rather it's a compliment to the great meat, fish, bread and produce we can source on a daily basis. Strolling the 'hood after a good home-cooked meals goes without saying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Faccia una passeggiata dopo la cena!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Always.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          NICE vacation, steve - both the location AND the food! Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            That sounds great Steve. We're having a few days in Rome in May - hotel is near the Campo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                              That's my neighborhood (Via Giulia). Please let me know if there is anything I can do to make your vacation even better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              --steve

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks, Steve. I think we have most things pencilled in (one dinner at Pagliaccio already booked). Isnt there a good gelati place on the Campo itself?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                John

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Howdy John,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Our favorite place for gelato is the Frigidarium just off neighboring Piazza Navona. It's across the way from the Abbey Pub and next to Baffetto (great Roman pizza).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Enjoy your stay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  --steve

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Many thanks, Steve

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              campo de'Fiori!! Lucky!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's our fifth year here. We love the neighborhood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So do you *own* a place there, steve, as a permanent vacation spot? Lucky, if you do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    No, we've been renting the same place on the Via Giulia for years. It's the top floor of a five-story building that dates to the 1600's. The rooftop terrace is part of the rental package. We spend most of the month of March here to shake off winter's dross. We love the neighborhood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Beautiful month to be there, if my one experience of it is representative. Lovely weather, sun, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's the best.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Certainly seemed like it after a winter in good old London, Ont.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        :::::BIG sigh:::::: You're still lucky to have that "getaway" place and for so long a period of time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. The Frankenchickens are seriously going to take over the earth....if they can remain standing, that is! B/S chicken breasts on sale for $1.77/lb. at a local supermarket; I bought two packages with two whole boned/skinned breasts in each. Each package was about 3.85 lbs. - so each breast half is close to a half pound. Sheesh!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm going to use one of the suckers for dinner tonight (as well as leftovers for tomorrow night's dinner!) and one or two will be poached for chicken salad for work lunches. Still not sure if I want THAT much chicken salad if I use two of the chicken breasts, however. LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'll be stuffing the chicken with a goat cheese, caramelized shallot and pancetta mixture (although the pancetta will be substituted with applewood-smoked bacon bits). It'll be served over basmati rice with steamed green beans alongside.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                * Exported from MasterCook *

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Goat Cheese, Caramelized Shallot & Pancetta-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Recipe By :Linda W.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Serving Size : 2 Preparation Time :0:00
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Categories : Poultry

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
                                                                                                                                                                                                                -------- ------------ --------------------------------
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Tablespoon olive oil -- divided
                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 ounces pancetta -- cut into 1/4-inch dice (or use your favorite bacon)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 garlic cloves -- minced
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 large shallot -- thinly sliced
                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 oz. goat cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Salt and freshly ground pepper -- to taste
                                                                                                                                                                                                                3/4 cup white wine -- divided
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1/2 cup chicken stock
                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Tablespoon butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                lemon zest and parsley -- for garnish

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                In a small fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tsp. of the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Transfer the pancetta mixture to a small bowl. Let
                                                                                                                                                                                                                cool completely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                In pancetta drippings over low heat, cook the thinly sliced shallot until soft and caramelized, stirring often. Remove from heat and let cool completely. When cool, mix together the pancetta/garlic mixture with minced thyme, caramelized shallot and crumbled goat cheese. Set aside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Create a pocket in each chicken breast per the instructions in the Notes section. Stuff each chicken breast with half of the goat cheese/pancetta mixture, making sure mixture is far enough down into the pocket so it doesn't ooze out but so there's enough of the mixture to be in each bite. Close the end of the chicken breast if you want by weaving a toothpick through the pocket opening to seal shut. Lightly oil the outside of the chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper on both sides.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                In a large nonstick frying pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Using tongs, carefully place the chicken breasts into the pan, browning for about 3 minutes or so on each side until well browned. Add 1/4 cup of wine towards the end of the browning. Remove chicken breasts to the baking dish, pour whatever wine was left in the frypan, and bake in the oven until chicken is done, about 35-40 minutes, depending on thickness of chicken, turning once or twice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Meanwhile, while chicken is baking, add white wine, chicken stock, and lemon juice to the same pan you browned the chicken in and bring to a boil, stirring to get any good stuff off the bottom of the pan. Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, reducing the liquid by at least two-thirds. Pour the sauce over the chicken on the last turn in the oven, and let it finish reducing in the baking dish. When chicken is done, pour the remaining liquid into a small saucepan and reduce even further. Mount sauce with the butter, whisking in until smooth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                To serve, slice chicken breast in several thick slices on a diagonal. Place slices on basmatirice, and drizzle with wine sauce over top, sprinkle with a pinch of lemon zest and parsley, and serve with a green vegetable.

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                NOTES : STUFFING CHICKEN BREASTS: Lay the breast on a work surface with the pointed end away from you and the flatter part of the meat to the left. Insert a long sharp boning knife in the center of the end closest to you (the rounded end). Draw the knife down towards you slowly, creating a small pocket (but make sure you don't cut through to the outside of the chicken breast!). Flip the blade over and do the same thing towards the fatter part of the chicken breast, making the pocket large enough to allow you to stuff the chicken breast. Again, be careful not to cut through to the outside of the breast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Remove the knife and, using a teaspoon, stuff the chicken breast as directed in the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Last night was feeling totally lazy so we had linguine with pesto, leftover James Beard's (Savoy) cabbage coleslaw (was an accompaniment to our brisket on the 17th) (read about it somewhere I have never been able to find again, a slaw remembered from a Portland department store or restaurant - sharp dressing of red wine vinegar and olive oil, and just a wisp of turmeric and cayenne in it), and sliced tomatoes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tonight is a braised pheasant on Alsatian wine sauerkraut with lady apples and bacon cribbed from an L magazine when we were living in Brooklyn - they had quite a good food writer at the time. Dreading cooking the pheasant because it always comes out dry...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Want to bake something too, maybe mamachef's Danish sheet.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And the last Big Love to follow...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You can get lady apples? Never again will I feel sorry for you, missing out on the West Coast seafood bounty, because you can get lady apples, and I can't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      They're from the Hong Kong Supermarket and were labeled "mini apples". I hope they're good. They also had miniature Deliciouses which I wouldn't buy on a bet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      SUCCESS! While I was writing this the old brain waved and I thought...let me brine that sucker! Dissolved a tb of sugar and 2 of salt in a bit of hot water in a big stainless bowl, filled it, dumped in bird, let sit 90 mins. (I had never brined anything before this.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bird succulent (I took it out a bit pink), sauerkraut ineffably wonderful (do not do this with anything but Alsatian white, it needs the sugar and fruit), chestnuts tender (once wrested out of their skins they had inexplicably been packaged with), apples (not really ladies, some mutant small Fuji or something) a nice contrast. Wild rice with mushrooms for him, fresh mashed for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That looks divine!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It really was rather good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Fritatta-like thing is in the oven for lunch, composed of the leftover (tasteless) J.O. cornish game hen from last night, and the very flavorful (albeit missing garlic) fennel, and the yummy sauce that should have been more to help out the tiny birds. Little parm reg went in. Hungry now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tonight: leftover pork curry i made for my dad over a week ago, which he ate a scant helping of, didn't like, so i froze the rest, and took out Friday, but we're just getting to today. I must finally learn that for my dad, the blander the better. Hmmm, he mighta liked that chicken last night....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      oh, and Mark Bittman's no-knead bread is sitting there, under a floured cloth, not rising properly. it's kinda flat and flaccid and refusing to grow twice its size. i moved it from the cold kitchen to the warm bedroom in hopes that will help. remember? i don't bake?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Dinner tonight was provided by a fellow chowhound. I was on the thread about favorite thigh recipes and had the ingredients in the house. It's Chicken Roasted with Garlic, Chiles and Soy. Here's the picture, it's delish. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oops, I hit post before I put my picture in...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh doesn't that look yummy mcel!! Thank-you for sharing!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. EDIT: WHAT'S FOR DINNER IS MY BREAD!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yay! You did it! That gives me hope for myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As the guy from Sullivan St. Bakery said, a 4 year old could do it! if I can do it, anyone can. has a beautiful crumb too (that's what we in the biz call it!!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Seriously GORGEOUS bread, mc! What kind of paninis shall you make with it? :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sensational, I'm so proud of you . . . and hungry too!! . . . .she says w a hearty lump of butter on her outreached knife!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That is completely drool worthy!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It would be even if I weren't on WW by the way, it looks absolutely delicious, and you have a bea-U-tiful crumb!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Absolutely perfect!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You made that? YOU MADE THAT gorgeous thing?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I bow humbly in your general direction.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Seriously. Maria. OMG. If you REALLY dislike your dayjob, you should consider going to school 'cause you obviously got the touch for it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I want some with (unsalted) butter and I want it right now.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As our friend would say, "git in ma belly!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My, my, my, Maria. I sure wish I could bake that..... yum! Congrats. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        awww...thanks all! i really can't take the credit tho, it's the Mark Bittman no-knead recipe which is as easy as falling out of bed. it's minimal effort for a great looking result. and foolproof. mcel215, you can absolutely do this! i've never baked before. i mean, i made a marzipan cake recently but before that, nada since i was a kid with my mom. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/din...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ok, having said all that..... i don't absolutely ADORE the taste of it! It's the perfect texture, great crunchy crust, wonderful crumb.... but the flavor itself is a little one-dimensional... i don't know how to describe it. it doesn't taste.... bready enough, or yeasty enough or something..... not "sweet" enough? it's not salty but it does taste like salt. there was almost a sour tang to it. and i do like sourdough, tho this isn't it. i think it's not yeasty enough. my sister made the same bread a few weeks ago and i have to say i felt the same way, so i wanted to try it to see if it was just the recipe. and it is. have others here tried this? i'm going to repost this exact same query on the Mark Bittman no-knead bread thread, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'll make it again, but i think if i get any pointers to improve the flavor, i'll be happier. it sat overnight, 18 hours, as suggested, and then a folding, then rested for 15 mins, then made into a ball, then sat another 2+ hours. baked for 30 mins. covered at 450, then 15 mins. uncovered. anyone have any ideas about the flavor? i guess it would be hard to tell if you haven't tasted it... or don't feel the same about the taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think I may know what happened. I get that yucky sour tang ("off" flavor) when I let bread dough over-proof. You want the dough just to the point where your fingers leave an indent that remains when you poke it. If you have a giant, over-inflated bowful of dough, it's not good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          See here: http://culinspiration.wordpress.com/2...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm glad you pointed that out . . . proofing seems such a harmless part of the process, and whenever I read instructions for such, and look at my daily schedule, I always wonder what an hour or three will do. Especially since I am not certain what dough is 'supposed' to look like, and might have a different picture in my head.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Methinks I need a video for proofing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              <Methinks I need a video for proofing.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              How about a photo instead?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This: http://culinspiration.files.wordpress...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not this: http://culinspiration.files.wordpress...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This troubleshooting chart is also supremely helpful: http://www.baking911.com/bread/proble...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You nailed it. Whenever I read the instructions, no matter how carefully worded, my mind inserts a picture of a pillowy dough. A *very* pillowy dough. Thanks, Christina.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              well, the recipe called for 18 hours, then take out and fold over, rest for 15 mins., then put under a towel for 2 hours until it doubles in size, and until it does not bounce back easily when you poke it. that didn't happen at the 2 hour mark, so we did leave it for another hour. it still never grew very much bigger, really.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              re your pics below - it didn't look like either of those, but more like the first - not overbloated. but no, it wouldn't have remained a big hole like that if i'd poked it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i guess i don't understand the terminology. i thought "yeasty" would be a slightly sweeter taste, not more sour. ours was slightly sour, not too sour. so yes, maybe it did proof too long. but that's the point of this bread, it's a no-knead bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              thanks CM!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                CI recommends 8-12 hours, I've never gone over 9 - I'm sure that's what happened, in addition to proofing your dough soured.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I've been inside all day, partly due to cold and rainy weather, and partly due to my chocolate lollipop making marathon. -I have to make about 350 for an event this week, and this year I'm making them without my favorite pastry partner. Hey, if noone is around to see me eat ounce upon ounce of delicious Valrhona chocolate blended by hand and sprinkled with sea salt, do I have to count up all the Weight Watcher points? One of the many perils of working in pastry. No wonder my jeans got so tight.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tonight I will console myself with pasta, two whole ounces of Barilla Plus with a chicken thigh ragu and dry jack. A side of broccolini to fill up the parts of me that two ounces of pasta never will.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          that is really tough, rabaja. i really don't know how people who actually have food-related jobs manage to NOT eat themselves out of their jeans, when i, who have nothing to do with that industry, can't control myself half the time. you just keep on doing what you're doing, have ONE (or two) lollipops, and then go back to what you're doing. at xmas year before last, when i was on WW, when making the family dinner, which i did every year, i kept a couple baskets of raspberries at hand and constantly snacked on those so my mouth would be full and my cravings would be sated and i would keep full, relatively speaking, so the desire to taste everything (and i mean more than taste) would be somewhat abated. it worked. good luck to you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That's so funny, I read your raspberry trick recently and found myself famished after a trip out for groceries around dinner time. I dug out the blueberries I'd bought for breakfast and ate half the container on the ride home! It totally worked to stave off my hunger.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As for the chocolate work, the first two days I kept sneaking bites (the chilled bits I get off the squeeze bottles after tempering are especially snappy and candy bar-like, sooo hard to resist), but then I started telling myself NO! It's just not worth it, to cheat like that when I'm trying to be so good otherwise. Adding up the points for chocolate was quite the wake-up call.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks again for your encouragement. I hope to make some good progress in the next month, as I have a 39th bday coming up, and I'm looking forward to a night out with the girls feeling good, not sad I still haven't taken charge of my body.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ooooh, rabaja that's tough. I didn't know you were in the pastry biz. I'd have a very hard time myself, faced with all that. It's funny....I was an ice-cream FREAK until the Summer I started working at the Mendocino Ice Cream Company (black forest ice cream, made on-premises, OMG. Lines out the door.) and after that, being faced with gallons upon gallons of the stuff, not so much. It took me a long time to thoroughly enjoy it again.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Great advice on keeping something "legal" around just to satisfy that sweet craving. In Summer, frozen green grapes work well too. I do commend you though, for trying to feel like you're in control and not the food. It's hard. I'm more a savory than sweets person, and I fail in the tasting area: after all, (s)he who cooks must taste, right? But a taste is just a taste, not half a bowlful of whatever I've made. But despite my love for the savory, I'd have one bitch of a time doing what you do and staying somewhat in control. I managed a patisserie in Santa Rosa, and my favorite thing to do was taste-test: chocolate curls, ganache, wine-poached pears......it does add up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Upcoming ......cauliflower cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Not just your bog standard cauliflower cheese. This is a recipe from the Harters cookbook of the week - "The Almost Vegetarian Cookbook" - written by Josceline Dimbleby in the mid-1990s and published for Sainsburys Supermarkets. The cauli is cooked to "al dente" and then mixed with the cheese sauce as usual except that chilli, garlic and sundried tomatoes have been added. Parmesan/breadcrumb topping and the dish is wazzed under the grill to crisp up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Now I could eat cauli cheese as a vegetarian main course quite happily. But we have some roast pork leftover from the other night which will go nicely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In a slight disappointment, we've found nothing we really want to cook from the next one on the shelves. The book was my mothers - the Good Housekeeping Cookbook, dating from 1954. There's lots of good stuff in there - recipes that are familiar to us today and have clearly stood the test of time in British cooking. It's also interesting how tastes have changed over the years - there's a heck of a lot of baking and, also much greater use of the cheaper meats and using up leftovers from roasts. It'd also be a surprise for people who might think British cooking in the 1950s was bland and boring. It wasnt - not as culturally eclectic as now of course, but "foreign" influences are there as is a good use of herbs and spices. I have to remember that 1954 was the last year in which food continued to be rationed after World War 2. Sugar was, I think, the last thing to come off - it's perhaps why I never developed much of a sweet tooth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Welcome to Lent. Tonight is my yearly tuna casserole, the recipe for which I forget every year. I know there's cooked pasta in there and one or two cans of cream of mushroom soup and tuna fish. I think I need to dilute things with milk, add some cheese and peas, probably a glug of fish sauce and some onions and top the casserole with garlic bread crumbs or potato chips. It's a thing best done by sight and served with ketchup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Good Lent to you, JungMann! And what you described is the tuna casserole of both my youth and my adulthood: just a plateful of squooshy, creamy, noodley "stuff." Comfort food for one and all on the right day.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You know, you just gave me an idea. I am completely burnt out on cooking, out of ideas; out of energy for that matter. But tuna casserole? I can make that to serve at work! All the vegetarians do eat fish, and the vegans are on their own today, with the exception of the usual roasted veg. and miso/tofu/veg soup.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So - retro Tuna Casserole; rolls and butter; green salad; and whatever's around for afters. At home, it's going to be about that simple too - just whatever's there. Leftover chicken gravy with veg. and chicken;rotkohl; pickled beets and eggs;leftover broccoli and squash casseroles. Works for me; no work; the fridge gets tidied, no food wasted.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yay! Thank you, JungMann, for the inspiration! And now I don't even have to go to the store!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I wish I could put tuna casserole together so easily. This is the culmination of many special side trips to the cheesemonger and to Harlem for cream of mushroom soup since it was on sale and I don't typically keep that on hand. Hopefully we both meet with success, but what's your advice? Does this casserole need onions or not?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I would skip the onions, but would make a stop to pick up one of those tiny glass jars of "pimento"...they are simply brined (not pickled) red peppers, of course, but the first time I added a generous amount to my recipe for Tuna Casserole (which is the same as YOUR recipe for tuna casserole) they lifted it out of the same-old category.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And forget the fancy-pants, crumbs on top...go with the crushed potato chips...if you are doing retro, do Retro!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LJS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nice on the pimiento idea, LJS. I always, always forget them. Especially in chicken potpie, which isn't quite correct without those lil red fellas peeking out....
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And indeed plus plus on the chips (or crisps, for JungMann.) : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "which isn't quite correct without those lil red fellas peeking out...."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ::::::Must. Not. Make. Rude. Joke.::::::::::::::

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ahahaha how did i miss that?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Gwwwaaaaah, Linda, I wondered who was going to say it....'cause I sure thought it, after I typed it. : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Don't forget, mamachef - you can EDIT your posts for at least 45 minutes if not longer after you first post it. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, but then we all would have missed one of those naughty little giggles that are so welcome on a grey and windy 'spring' day!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LJS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LOL! Very true, LJS!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      JungMann, IMO, no onions. This is a recipe that doesn't benefit from additions, although I do like your fish sauce idea; I'm assuming Nam Pla? Not Garum or otherwise?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Noodles, tuna, mushroom sauce, peas. Every now and then it's nice to slice some hardboiled eggs into it, but we have to be specifically wanting that version. Oh, and a great great topper? Crushed cheese crackers. Of the Tide-box orange variety. It adds a trashy little crunchy tang and texture to the finished product.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      But crushed plain potato chips are classic/fantastic.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Enjoy your casserole! I'll be thinking of you while I make mine!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I like the idea of pimento, LJS. I've never had that with tuna casserole -- I just don't know if I can make another trip to the store in this rain. And eggs? Wouldn't have put that together. If the combination of tuna and eggs is anything like my tuna fish salad, it should be stellar with crushed chips on top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fish sauce is going to be nam pla/patis. I buy low-sodium soup, so it's going to need some salt and while also playing back up to the somewhat bland tin of solid white albacore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I do have a recipe for an absolutely delicious tarted-up tuna casserole that involves Shell pasta, sharp cheddar, green and red bell pepper, sliced white and green onions, and sliced blanched almonds. It's from a Junior League cookbook, and is the only other tunny casserole I EVER make, 'cause it's that good. Completely different, but I think it would appeal to you. Want proportions etc?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Please share. This sounds like my recipe for pasta salad with tuna (minus the almonds), but I'd be willing to give it a go in casserole form. We've already established that I like the idea of onions in and peppers in the dish, so it could be quite good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'll publish it in part 79!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh, I have that JL recipe...I have even (gulp!) added some dry sherry to the sauce (and how would the JL Ladies feel about that?)...the Tio Pepe sherry and the almonds make such a nice pairing, I have used them to add heft to bland sweet and savoury concoctions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LJS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                They might clutch their pearls and wince but they'd get over it, especially since it's just sherry.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                BTW Amanda Hesser makes a nice point in the ENYT - that the taste of fancy food in the 50's and 60's was sherry (paraphrasing here) and that it's fallen out of use. Bring back sherry, the taste of elegance!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I started a new thread here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/773545

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. ...edit...