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What's for Dinner? Part 88 [OLD]

Whether you are grudgingly wearing a scarf to the farmer’s market, or basking in the sun as you tend the grill, spring is here, and our plates are changing with the season. What’s for dinner, chowhounds?

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  1. After putting in all of the screens, we've woken up to a blustery forty-something degree day. Tacos don't seem to quite fit the bill, but I'm stubbornly going ahead with the meal.

    To start we are having small salads, and a spicy corn soup (a recipe I found on Chow last summer, and really enjoyed--I don't strain it after the puree though). The boyfriend will then get to enjoy fish tacos, with shredded cabbage, and the cilantro lime crema-ish sauce that he eats with a spoon if I let him. I'll likely make a small batch of black beans for my own tacos . . . or use my own corn tortillas to make quesadillas to eat with the soup. If I do the latter, it is likely to be more work for me, and even more food for him, as the boy is incapable of ignoring the presence of melted cheese. I can't really fault him there, though.

    6 Replies
    1. re: onceadaylily

      have you not tested out your reaction to fish yet, OADL? fish tacos are mighty tempting....

      1. re: mariacarmen

        I actually broke down and ate shrimp (Chinese food from a place that does not reward the vegetarian eater) only two days after I learned what it was like to look like bad wallpaper, and it, of course, happened again. And given that there may well have been fish sauce in the dish, in addition to the shellfish, it didn't really provide an answer. So, I decided to wait a few weeks, and let my system clear out before I tried again. I *was* thinking about trying it again tonight, but really regret not doing it a few days ago, when it was eighty degrees in our apartment, and a cold shower would have felt merely refreshing.

        When I told my mom what was going on, she said, "Oh, no, honey! That's too bad. I guess you'll just have to eat . . . BACON!" and started giggling. I love her. ;)

        1. re: onceadaylily

          that's great - your mama knows where it's at!

      2. re: onceadaylily

        love fish tacos, and anything with melted cheese....why can't you eat fish, oadl? You probably have already told the story & I missed it.....

        1. re: Phurstluv

          The past few months, I've been getting hives when I eat fish. I was hoping that it was a specific type of fish that was responsible, or even something *else* that was in those dishes, but I think I'm just delaying the inevitable: admitting that my body is rapidly growing intolerance to fish. I haven't 'tested' shellfish yet (whenever I've eaten it, it was with other types of fish), so there's still hope for me to enjoy those delicious shrimp.

          I ate a fish taco last night, and I got the hives. Boo. It was a damn good taco though. ;)

          And I hope your foot is better, Phurst, and that you are back to your usual dynamic, nurturing self.

          1. re: onceadaylily

            Bummer, oadl, that's unfortunate for you. I know what it's like, too, to watch everyone enjoy their ice cream, pizza, etc and know I can never eat like that again, but you learn to adjust and adapt. And perhaps shellfish will not give you the same problems, seems many are allergic to shellfish, but not fin fish. Thinking good thoughts for you.....thanks for asking about my foot, slowly but surely, at least I don't need the cane, anymore : )).

      3. As it was my sister's bday yesterday, I'm taking her out to dinner tonight, to the slightly more casual offshoot (Plum) of a 2-Michelin-starred restaurant (Coi) we tried about 4 years ago and absolutely loved. Still one of the top 2 most memorable restaurants I've ever been to.

        And as there will be a thunderstorm here tonight, tomorrow i'm thinking something hearty - and warm. that's all i've got so far. Maybe a spaghetti aglio olio from another thread I keep going back to.

        Maybe I'll be inspired by something Daniel Patterson whips up for us tonight. Though I doubt it, everyone's doing their spring menus these days.

        3 Replies
        1. re: mariacarmen

          Very nice sis, mc!! I hear Plum is very good!! Enjoy!!

          1. re: Phurstluv

            ugh. things fell apart. we didn't go. total bummer. hopefully we'll reschedule soon. ) :

        2. So, a cause for celebration tonight at Harters Hall. The football team that I have supported since I was a lad has won its first trophy in over 30 years, winning the FA Cup against Stoke City this afternoon.

          We arrived back home from Rome with 10 minutes to spare before kick-off. So there isnt much in the house to eat. Hence, there''ll be celebratory steak sandwiches.

          "Blue moon, You saw me standing alone, without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own........" Or, as they'd say in Rome "Forza Azzurri"

          4 Replies
            1. re: Harters

              Congrats on the win! Good eating in Rome, I expect?

              1. re: roxlet

                Very good eats, roxlet.

                I'll be posting restaurant reviews to the Italy board of both Chowhound and Egullet - check it out in about 36 hours

              2. re: Harters

                Congrats to your team winning its long-awaited trophy, Harters! And welcome back from Rome. :-)

              3. Last night I made a BIG cozy creamy quinoa casserole (with spinach, mushrooms, cottage cheese, sour cream, Parmesan, Aleppo chile, a squeeze of lemon juice) and served with steamed green beans in a shallot-Dijon vinaigrette. Perfect creamy + tangy combination. Happy on a chilly evening.

                2 Replies
                1. re: twilight goddess

                  You've totally got me hooked on this quinoa casserole, I make it a few times a month now!

                  1. re: twilight goddess

                    I love quinoa, and though my standby recipe is mixed-grain quinoa and rice pilaf, this casserole of yours sounds really intriguing.

                    What's your recipe?

                  2. We were going to go out to dinner tonight, but since my son's Egyptian coach has made plans to go to Queens and eat Egyptian food and smoke shisha with another Egyptian, we are staying home and making ribs! I'm very excited. I'll make some slaw with that, and we will be in hog heaven tonight!

                    1 Reply
                    1. We'll be enjoying Tuscan chicken milano with jam filled cookies for dessert tonight. We just got our new Netflix movies in, so it will be a cozy dinner on the couch for my Fiancé and myself.

                      Now... To go finish up work -- the sooner I finish, the sooner we can actually enjoy that dinner. :)

                      1. OK, so it's the middle of May, right? RIGHT? (I can't hear you!) So why does it remain cloudy and cooler than it *should* be here? :::::grumps::::

                        Oh well, it was errand day for me. Zero Waste Day being held at my workplace complex got rid of the ancient stereo system (that I'd not used in about 4-5 years but sat in the entertainment center I got rid of before the move) along with a working microwave, a broken VCR, and two old computers (after they removed the hard drives for me and smashed 'em up).

                        I also got a "big food shop" done up in NH along with some wine shopping at their state liquor store. My chest freezer in the garage is happy again now that its belly has been filled. :-)

                        After working around the house for the rest of the day, dinner will be Sauteed Chicken with Leeks and Apples. It sounds like more of a fall meal, but that's what it feels like outside anyway, so it'll work (and with tomorrow's expected rain, Sunday dinner will also be "comfort food" - and both will give me leftovers!)

                        http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/sau...

                        Tomorrow - I paint. :-)

                        1. Starting with dessert first: I am making a strawberry-lime sorbet with vanilla. I had some strawberries that needed to be used immediately and over a cup of vanilla syrup that was leftover from Easter's dessert, so into the blender with some lime juice, about a couple of ounces, from one lime, surprisingly. All of that is now in the ice cream maker, that I have had for a few years, a Christmas gift that I've only used once. But since the bowl of it has been permanently stored in one of my freezers, and I had all the ingredients, I figured I'd go for it. Tasted the mixture, and it almost tastes like strawberry shortcake, with the vanilla, can't wait to try it after dinner.

                          Dinner will be son #1's favorite (since we had turkey tacos for lunch, son #2's favorite): cheeseburgers on the grill. I think I will make two with cheddar, and two with mushrooms & swiss, bacon on all of them!! All the fixings, some nice looking tomatoes at the store so we will see how this year's crop tastes. Baking some french fries for the kids and making some fried pickles as well. Sun has finally come out, so it should warm up nicely as we light the grill in a few hours.

                          1. It's cold (and will be rainy tonight) here in SF but the spring vegetables just jumped into my basket at the farmer's market today. Tonight I broiled some local wild salmon and served it with a sorrel cream sauce, with a side dish of sauteed favas, english peas, morels and spring onions with lemon zest, and some whole wheat walnut bread. Plus a bottle of German Riesling and we had a terrific spring meal.

                            Tomorrow, just a simple red coconut curry with beef and broccoli di cicco and lots of lime juice at the end, served with brown rice.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: farmersdaughter

                              that side dish sure sounds good, and very Spring-like, despite our rain. Bay to Breakers will be soggy this year.

                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                It was - and for a nice little flavor kick i used ghee instead of butter to saute the veggies in. Really not the right dish for last night's weather, but we made do.

                            2. Nothing inspired here just a beef roast in the crockpot with potatoes, carrots, and onions. Also having corn on the cob and steamed broccoli. Made a chicken dressing casserole yesterday with leftover grilled chicken to take to work for lunches this week along with the leftover broccoli from today.

                              1. As expected, it's a cool(ish) and rainy day. So since I'm planning on getting some painting done, it'll an easy-to-put-together meal of meat loaf, sour cream mashed potatoes, and peas. I suspect I'll pull some Plum Ketchup out of the freezer with which to top the meat loaf before baking.

                                And there will be meat loaf sandwiches for work. :-)

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  Meatloaf sandwiches were sooo welcome in my lunchbox when I was a kid. I didn't care that the catsup had soaked into the bread by lunchtime. Lucky you!

                                2. I've been deserted by the love of my life for a couple of days. She's gone off to London with her sister to see an exhibition.

                                  I'm taking the opportunity to have a mega takeaway curry. Dunno quite what but lamb will be heavily involved.

                                  (By the way, my Rome restaurant reviews are now up on Chowhound and egullet)

                                  1. Rainy and raw here. I put a pork shoulder roast in the oven at 5:30 this am. Just scored the skin, seasoned with S/P and into the oven at 325. have already sneaked a bit- so good. It is going to make an awesome gravy. Have mashed potatoes, corn, asparagus, cabbage salad and rolls ready to go. If there is any left over ( it is about 8#), will make pulled pork for later in the week. It smells so good, I cant wait for dinner!
                                    Tomorrow, my neice is coming for dinner, and she wants fondue. Have the french bread, green apples, ham, small red potatoes and brocolli. It will be her baby's ( 16 months) first taste of fondue. I think I will just serve it with a salad. Another good meal to look forward to!

                                    11 Replies
                                    1. re: macca

                                      macca, you and I both said that it's "rainy" in our area. However, sitting at my computer, I can use the phrase "it's pouring out" and I wouldn't be wrong. And we get 5 days straight of this, with little sun in between. Ahh, well - at least we're having Spring in the Boston area vs. going from winter to mud season to steamy hot Summer. :-)

                                      ETA: Just five minutes from me posting this, the rain has slowed to a bare drizzle, and the sky has brightened from the dark gray border on the CH page to the pale gray middle section of the CH pages. :-) What's that saying again? If you don't like the weather in New England, wait 15 minutes! :-)

                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                        We've got the same crappy weather here in the NY Metro area, and it is also supposed to be hideous all week. Sometime around 5AM the rain was like a monsoon, and my Egyptian guest was in awe -- he'd never seen anything like this. We get rain like this timed to when the white azalea come out so that they can turn brown instantly. We were planning on grilling tonight, but with this weather, it looks like it's going to be Moussaka.

                                        1. re: roxlet

                                          Rains dried up here in San Francisco, sun is out, tho it's still chilly. Still figuring out WFD... beef chuck something, i think...

                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                            Maybe a little springtime stew with some baby turnips, etc.?

                                            1. re: farmersdaughter

                                              ooh, wish i'd seen this. i went for a weird combo, not sure how it'll come out yet. beef chuck cut into chunks, seared, then sauteed onions and chopped up some tomatoes, garlic, and butternut squash. mixed the whole thing in a casserole, added chicken broth, non-fat greek-style yogurt, and a bunch of smoked paprika. Covered with foil and the whole mess is in the oven for 2-3 hours. So.... a little like paprikash, but we'll see what it actually turns out to be. i was thinking of serving it with whole wheat spaghetti, to further confuse things, but the BF doesn't really like WW pasta. hmmm..

                                              I've also got dinner going for tomorrow night: slow cooker pork adobado from:
                                              http://www.slenderkitchen.com/slow-co.... i'm using some Bolivian dried peppers my sister brought home, so I have no idea what they'll be like, but i think the chipotle will overpower everything anyway.

                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                I bet it turns out great! Would love to know how the NF yogurt did with the long cooking . . . does it curdle at all?

                                                Tomorrow is meatless Monday for me (husband has band practice on Mondays so I'm solo or occasionally with a friend) so I'm going to try this gratin with greens, farro and gruyere cheese; very virtuous. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/13/hea...

                                                1. re: farmersdaughter

                                                  Hi FD, i posted down below the results of the goulash (not paprikash, apparently, since it was beef instead of chicken). the yogurt pretty much disappeared, but i think it tempered the smoked paprika so i'm glad i used it. not that delicious sour cream richness, but it was really good. nice and hearty, and sweet from the butternut squash and peas.

                                                  I have not tried making anything with farro yet - is it a very chewy grain? not that i'd mind, just curious. that recipe does sound really virtuous, but delicious.

                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                    I love farro. It's pleasantly chewy and very nutty, like barley, but the grains are bigger and more dense. It's my go-to whole grain since I cook lots of Italian food. It's very versatile. It's perfect in lentil soup, and it makes great room temperature grain salads. You can also make a farro "risotto" out of it-nice with mushrooms or radicchio and drizzled with some good balsamic at the end.

                                                    The grains stay separate and don't get dried out or stiff when it cools off. Give it a try although if your BF doesn't like WW pasta he may be put off by it. I'm one of those people who prefers whole grains to white (and I also prefer non fat milk to whole milk) so I'm not always a good gauge of what most people would like . . .

                                                    1. re: farmersdaughter

                                                      you may be right about my BF not liking it. i really do like the texture of WW pasta. him, not so much. But I'll give it a shot.

                                          2. re: LindaWhit

                                            Still raining a bit- but, as you said, the sky has brightened. Just want the warm weather. If it wasn't mid may, i would be tempted to turn my furnace back on!
                                            Oh well, nice dinner in the oven, my brother and his family will be over for dinner- probably soon, as my nephews game was most likely raing out. Cant wait for the pork shoulder. I already made the gravy, and it is delicious! Stay dry!

                                        2. Yes -- chilly, cool, and gray. I am going to make African peanut stew, using the link below as a guide, dressed up with some greens too, probably spinach:

                                          http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/afri...

                                          1. Last night I seared off a whole mess of scallops and served them with farro cooked with chiles and olive oil, which I then sauteed in roasted tomato-garlic puree from last summer.

                                            Threw in some blanched favas and wild asparagus and dotted it all with sheeps milk ricotta. It was delicious, and we ate it greedily in front of some bad tv.

                                            It is cold today, and mostly grey and rainy. I threw some babybacks into a low oven an hour ago, and I may give them the bbq sauce treatment later, but right now salt and pepper is smelling good enough to me.

                                            I am mostly trying to warm up the house with the rib cooking, it's so strange to feel this chill in May! Maybe today's the day to use up that last box of firewood...

                                            None of the above is on my diet and all leftovers will be going home with my guests later today. Those scallops were dang good though. -And surprisingly point friendly if you forget to add up the olive oil. ;)

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: rabaja

                                              My mom used to make ribs with just salt & pepper when I was growing up. Coming from South America she had no idea what bbq sauce was, but I always loved those ribs. although she used the country-style thick ones. Your scallops/fava dish sounds amazing.

                                            2. To my fellow chowhounders, my dinner is rather embarrassing. Sam's Club broccoli and cheese stuffed chicken and steamed veggies.

                                              A million (good) things have been going on in my life and keeping me very busy and thus away from the kitchen (and the forums). I have the 10lb weight gain to prove it :(

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: cityhopper

                                                Those million good things make up for the staying away from the kitchen and the forums - hope things settle down for you BUT remain in the "good things" mode. :-)

                                                1. re: cityhopper

                                                  No reason to say that, cityhopper, we enjoy reading about ALL the meals, even the not-so-Chowhound-ones!! Still sounds tasty and satisfying, and that's really all that matters.

                                                  1. re: cityhopper

                                                    Keep that good-thing trend going, cityhopper - you can always come back to the kitchen!

                                                  2. Mmmm, tonight it was slow cooker spaghetti with a homemade meat sauce. Now that I have my Crock Pot liners, the slow cooker is getting the use it deserves.

                                                    We're both so full that we didn't even desire a dessert, but we do have cookies leftover here.

                                                    As a plus, we have enough leftover sauce to cook up some noodles really quick and have a second helping later.

                                                    Dinner tonight made me realize that I should start making my spaghetti sauce in larger batches and freezing it. That was way too much work for two meals worth of spaghetti.

                                                    18 Replies
                                                    1. re: Levaeria

                                                      That's what I do when I make sauce, and it's nice to have a stash in the freezer for those nights when I don't have any ideas for dinner. And Crock Pot liners, I have seen the ads for those, will have to look for them at my store. Brilliant idea!

                                                      1. re: Phurstluv

                                                        Crock Pot liners are AMAZING, I was skeptical at first, but my Mother-in-Law bought me a pack so I tried them out. They eliminate the clean up time and allow you to pick the meal up, in the liner, and toss it right into the refrigerator! I highly recommend them. In stores, they're pretty pricey, but you can get great deals on Amazon or other websites.

                                                        I'm making a big batch of sauce today to freeze for later occasions. I just have to decide what to freeze it in...

                                                        1. re: Levaeria

                                                          Not to be a naysayer, but those things probably release a lot of BPA into your food. Especially if you are cooking tomato-based sauces. Similar to the issues with plastic wrap on greasy or acidic foods or tomato sauce in BPA-lined cans.

                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                            Depends on the exact nature of the plastic used, of course.

                                                          2. re: Levaeria

                                                            Funny- my crock is really easy to clean. Even when I cook a tomato sauce, with sausages and meatballs, and leave to simmer most of the day, it reinses out easily. Same with stews and gravies. It is porcelain, and cleans like a breeze. Cleans like a non stick pan!

                                                            1. re: macca

                                                              Same here. I make chicken stock all the time in my crockpot, so it'll have the residue of the mirepoix and any herbs that are floating around (along with tiny bits of chicken) and it cleans up like a breeze. I just don't see the need to spend money on additional plastic when it cleans up so easily. A few minutes of elbow grease (should there be a need) with a scrubber sponge is worth not spending the money.

                                                              1. re: macca

                                                                Mine's rather difficult. Maybe it's temperature settings are wonky, I did inherit it from my Grandmother.

                                                                Even when set to low, whatever I cook in it ends up leaving a nice burnt ring around the side. It requires a good 10 minutes of scrubbing just to get the burnt bits off, I hate it.

                                                                Maybe what I need is a new crock pot, not potentially hazardous liners... Thanks for pointing that out to me!

                                                                1. re: Levaeria

                                                                  yeah, the new ones are a joy to clean. Kind of like a Le Creuset.

                                                                  1. re: Levaeria

                                                                    Levaeria, of course do check those liners, but I have to say, if they are specifically designed to use for cooking in crockpots, I highly doubt they are unsafe.

                                                                    That being said, however, there was that issue of those baby bottles leaching BPAs, so I guess you just never know.

                                                                    1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                      plus i just read that all cans of tomato products contain a lining that leaches BPAs into the food (as CM noted above.)

                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                        " all cans of tomato products contain a lining that leaches BPAs into the food"
                                                                        Terrific!

                                                                        Caesar Salad/H2o

                                                                    2. re: Levaeria

                                                                      You will love a new one. I got one about 3 years ago- I had my ol one wince the 70's! they are a breeze to clean. And, if you want, they have the crock pots that lock down for travel-with a lockdown on the cover for the spoon. Got one for my SIL ( she makes a killer clam chowder for family events), and she loves it.

                                                                      1. re: Levaeria

                                                                        Do you soak it, Levaeria? I usually let some hot soapy water sit in it for a few hours, and it cleans up easily enough. (My crock pot is about 25-30 years old - one of the first pieces of kitchen equipment I bought myself.)

                                                                        But if you *do* get a new crock pot, please note that they cook a LOT hotter than the old ones like you and I have. Food that used to take 8-10 hours to cook are done in 5 hours (or way overdone, if it's chicken and the like, in 8 hours). I can't use the smaller one I have that's newer if I'm setting it before I go to work due to the overcooking.

                                                                        I'll keep my old crock pot until it kicks the bucket. :-)

                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                          I agree, the older ones are the best.
                                                                          My sister got my Mother's crock pot, and I'm so jealous.

                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                            Yes, I soak the Crock for about an hour prior with hot water and dish soap. The burnt on stuff is just so thick, it takes forever to get it all off...

                                                                            After reading all of this, I called my Aunt (professional caterer) and she said that my Grandmother's Crock Pot was dropped a few times and never worked right after that. She couldn't believe I'm still using it and pleaded with me to toss it out and buy a new one.

                                                                            Looks like I'm in the market for a new Crock Pot, time to search Chow Hound and find some recommendations. Thank you all for your advice/input. :)

                                                                            1. re: Levaeria

                                                                              Ahhh, that might have something to do with it. Maybe it's actually cooking at a higher temperature after being dropped. Not sure how that would happen, but I suppose it's a possibility.

                                                                              As for a new crock pot - look for one that has a timer, since they *do* cook hotter now. That way, you can put something in frozen, and it can turn itself on LOW at a later time and be properly done when you get home from work (assuming you do so).

                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                Yeah, it baffles me too. I don't know what's up with this Crock Pot, but after the discussion here and one with my Aunt, I'm certain there's *something* wrong with it.

                                                                                I have the luxury of working from home, but a timer would still be nice as I do like to sit down and work without interruption. I'll have to head to a store and look for one, I'm a bit uncomfortable about buying a Crock Pot from the internet. Thanks for the tip. :)

                                                                      2. re: Levaeria

                                                                        levaeria, i'm with you 100%. those liners make things so neat and easy to clean up.

                                                                  2. I made what people seem to call a sausage roll here (in central NY), but it's basically a sausage and pepper stromboli.

                                                                    http://crisisbrownies.blogspot.com/20...

                                                                     
                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                        I love strombolis to a ridiculous degree. Anything pizza-esque isgoing to be devoured in this house. :)

                                                                    1. We're in the middle of a kitchen remodel, so sandwiches. Check back again tomorrow when it will be...sandwiches. Maybe on Weds we will mix it up by having wraps.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: iambecky

                                                                        Microwaves and hot plates can really help you change things up -- more than just hot sandwiches :-)

                                                                      2. Since there is not much sorbet leftover from last night, I decided to bake some turtle brownies for dessert tonight. Smells so good in my kitchen right now.

                                                                        Just shelled a bunch of fava beans, will blanch & peel them shortly. Four large Idahos just came out of the oven too, will split and stuff two for tonight, then, save the other two for later in the week. Found what I thought was a "mystery meat" package in the freezer the other day, hate when I forget to label things! Anyway, luckily, it turned out to be a tri tip roast. So after thawing yesterday, I placed it on a rack with seasonings, and let it air dry in the fridge until today. DH will grill it outside for about 30-40 minutes. Served with a fava bean salad with feta and bacon, baked stuffed potatoes and steamed broccoli with garlic bread crumbs. And we'll open a nice big Cab to go with it. Love Sunday suppers.

                                                                        1. Went to the Farmer's Market today and picked up some beets w/attached greens....roasted the beets & have plans for them so sauteed the greens & tossed them with some leftover roasted grape tomatoes & served with a leftover piece of steak & shrimp. And I drizzled some reduced Balsamic over the top. Delicious!!

                                                                          1. Here's a pic of the strawberry-lime sorbet with vanilla I made last night.

                                                                             
                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Rubee

                                                                                Thanks, Rubee! That means a lot coming from you, taker of gorgeous food photos!!

                                                                              2. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                Phursluv, that sounded so good when you described it, and looks so pretty! your family is lucky.

                                                                                1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                  Is vanilla syrup just a simple syrup with vanilla added to it? Looks great. Def adding it to the repitoire this summer.

                                                                                  1. re: giorgionadi

                                                                                    Yes, it was 2 cups of water, 2 cups of sugar. Once it cooled, you stir in 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract. Gives it a wonderful flavor, but turns it a shade of brown! No one sees that though.

                                                                                2. Haven't been doing a lot of good cooking this week as we've been busy and eaten out a few times. I have to mention the Taste of the Nationn charity event we went to on Friday. Arizona's was held in Scottsdale and our table featured Deseo which was Miami-inspired and simply fab - Menu link below. And what fun! I was one of three judges for the mixology competition. Link to pic below from fellow judge and Chowhound JK Grence The Cosmic Jester, which tells the story ; )
                                                                                  http://twitpic.com/4x8ine

                                                                                  Tonight I'm planning Mexican - one of Rick Bayless' crockpot recipes from Mexican Everyday "Puerco y Papas al Gaujillo". Basically combine potatoes and cubed pork shoulder (I used blade roast), toss with guajillo sauce, and cook on high for 6 hours. The kitchen smells great. The sauce is made in a blender with toasted guajillo chiles, tomatoes, garlic, Mexican oregano (I used Penzey's), Worcestershire and salt. We'll eat it as tacos, and planning on prickly pear margaritas too.

                                                                                   
                                                                                   
                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Rubee

                                                                                    Lucky duck, I saw your twitter posts, sounded like a blast!! How do you get picked to be a judge? I would give my left, um...{thinking hard not to be crass..} foot to do a gig like that!! Okay, maybe the right one, the sprained one!!!

                                                                                    1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                      The joke was that all three of us were picked according to our alcohol consumption. HA. It was really fun. But harder than it looks! 14 cocktails and they were all so varied and different. But I'll be sure to tell the committee I'd love to do it again. Also just found out today that there's going to be a new Arizona Cocktail Week in February of 2012. You should plan your vacation around it ; ) The people behind it are some of my favorites in the local industry so I'm, needless to say, excited about it.

                                                                                      1. re: Rubee

                                                                                        Hahaha!! Maybe I can come out next February!! That would be fun!! Wonder why LA doesn't have a Cocktail Week? Wimps!!

                                                                                      2. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                        And speaking of cocktails - about to have dinner. Margs to start (thanks E who always make sthem with extra salt because of me). And the end result of the blender picture above - tacos for me, and burritos for Ernesto.

                                                                                         
                                                                                         
                                                                                    2. We had a late lunch yesterday, so for a snack I used up the keema from last week in some samosas, some of which which we had with some yogurt (wanted sour cream, (semi-) reason prevailed. The weird thing with the dough (bleached a-p flour, a bit of oil, a bit of salt, water to make it into a dough) was that I rolled them out and stacked them prior to filling, spraying with Pam to keep them separate. By the time I got to the last couple, I could have stretched the pieces out to 8 inches or more, they were like bubble gum. What the hey?

                                                                                      Tonight, veal scallopine with hazelnuts (Marcella's Italian Kitchen), a family favourite, as my mom used to say, white asparagus fortuitously found this afternoon, sprinkled with chervil, ditto (Greenwich Produce in Grand Central Terminal) and maybe some saffron rice. Watercress salad.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                        Your dinner this evening sounds wonderful, BT. I'm a sucker for anything veal scallopine. Will have to check that one out, thanks.

                                                                                        1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                          It's really a super recipe. The asparagus was delicious, I put some lemon juice and melted butter over it and garnished it with the chervil, a marriage made in heaven.

                                                                                      2. So it turns out i made some sort of goulash with the chuck roast. The non-fat yogurt i used pretty much dissipated, but it mellowed the paprika. cooked up some ww angel hair spaghetti to not quite al dente, and then mixed the meat and sauce into the drained pasta until it finished cooking. added frozen peas at the very very end before serving. It was quite tasty, but the BF did not love the ww pasta. Also, i made this dressing for our salad: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/04/sk...
                                                                                        it was pretty good over red leaf lettuce, cukes, radishes and scallions. nice and fresh tasting.

                                                                                        1. Chicken satay, poblano, and cubanelle pepper skewers drizzled with peanut sauce, served over rice. On the side we had fruit salad leftover from brunch and some delicious roasted bok choy. I marinated the bok choy in a sauce of oyster sauce, fresh garlic, mirin, salt, pepper, and sugar before blasting under the broiler. Simple and so good.

                                                                                          1. We made goi cuon (Vietnamese summer rolls), which is one of our default meals when we're feeling something light and healthy.

                                                                                            I wish I'd made it to the farmer's market this weekend. *sigh*...

                                                                                             
                                                                                            23 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                              I love these! My default meal is a boca chicken burger. You are doing much better!

                                                                                                1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                  Yes. Soy and wheat gluten I believe. They are my junk food and I have probably been eating too many of them over the last month or two. An improvement over Amy's roasted veggie pizza and bean burritos though, which were my prior, "Oh my gosh, I'm so tired and busy and it's 8:30pm, I can't possibly COOK", meals. Those two led me to weight watchers :).

                                                                                                  1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                    I think you might be the only person who's ever told me Bocas were their junk food. :)

                                                                                              1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                Love these too, especially when I know I should be eating lighter and healthier. Your picture made me so hungry, love the beautiful photo with the fresh herbs too.

                                                                                                1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                  Beautiful picture - it's just past 8am my time, and I'm hungry! LOL

                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                    Maybe something here to tempt you, Linda?

                                                                                                     
                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                        Gorgeous pics, Harters. And I love the distinctly Euro penmanship on the signs.

                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                          Read (one of?) your Rome report Harters, about your disappointment with the zucchini blossoms. i lived in Italy for 5 months 6 years ago, and would see those beautiful blossoms all summer. The bummer was that i'd see them in the stalls in the morning, but I'd wait to purchase them, so they wouldn't get squished in my bag, and by the time I'd get back to take the bus home (bus didn't run very regularly) the blossoms that were left had wilted in the sun. Only once did i get to buy some early enough to make something with them at home. They're so delicate and delicious when done well.

                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                            We never see the flowers in the UK - or, at least, I've never seen them in general supermarkets or greengrocers. It's probably because most of our courgettes (we use the French rather than Italian name) are imports.

                                                                                                            This year, Mrs H is determined that we're going to try and grow some veg in pots on the patio (the garden is too full of flowers). And I want to try a couple of courgettes. I think it might be tricky in a pot but, hey, you dont know stuff until you try. Radish and "cut and come again" salad leaves have germinated so it's a start. And I've bought alpine strawberry plants that seem to be settling down.

                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                              Fraises des bois are one of the most heavenly things in the world. In containers? Must do.

                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                They should be fine (hope so).

                                                                                                                I have a path that leads from the house to the "back patio" where we have a table & chairs. The flower beds on either side only have hot colours - yellow, red, orange and so on. The plan is that the walk along the path (it's not long - only about 6 metres) will start with pots of cherry tomatoes. Then you'll come to the pots of radish. And then the strawberries. So, I get the eats and to keep the colour scheme.

                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                  Nice. Still haven't embarked on The Garden Project.

                                                                                                          2. re: Harters

                                                                                                            THAT'S alotta meat/sausages! LOL Oh, for a butcher like that near me. :-)

                                                                                                            Your pics from Rome are beautiful, Harters! I love that they sell the zucchini with the blossoms attached. That would certainly get me to try squash blossoms!

                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                              Must admit I should have paid more attention to biology lessons at school - I always thought the fruit didnt develop until after the flower had faded but clearly not the case.

                                                                                                              FWIW, we had stuffed flowers in the restaurant one night and they were quite disappointing. Lots of promise - stufffed with a ricotta mix, dipped in batter and deep fried. But the filling was bland and a bit, erm, claggy and the batter was soggy.

                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                Soggy batter = not good at all. I do still want to try them (squash blossoms), however.

                                                                                                                And I've now added a new word to my vocab - "claggy". I *think* I know how you were using it...sort of like sticky in the mouth?

                                                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                              Thank you, LindaWhit. :) Hope you've had breakfast by now...

                                                                                                              1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                A cup of instant maple oatmeal does not a breakfast make. Oh well. :-)

                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                  That's gotta be better for you than the hotdog I just ate.

                                                                                                                  Good on both of us for having something more or other than coffee. Small victories... :)

                                                                                                          3. Last night, I made Tyler's Ultimate Meatballs al Forno with Creamy Polenta. About a third of his recipe. It was very good. Definitely adding it to the rotation.

                                                                                                            Tonight, I'm going to make a mushroom quinoa casserole someone posted in a quinoa thread on these boards. Looks good, so I'm looking forward to it.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: haiku.

                                                                                                              Oooo, that sounds good, haiku. I will have to look that one up and try it, thanks!

                                                                                                            2. Upcoming.....one of my favourite "home alone" dinners.

                                                                                                              A marinade of light soy sauce, mirin, grated ginger (or a bottled teriyaki sauce if I'm feeling ultra-lazy). Fish fillets get 30 minutes in this (I usually use tuna - which herself regards as un fit for human consumption - but I have salmon tonight). They go under the grill for 5 minutes or so until just cooked, turning once and basting with the marinade.

                                                                                                              Meanwhile, thinly sliced cucumber gets 15 minutes in a different marinade - rice wine vinegar, sugar, dark soy sauce.

                                                                                                              I'll have that with noodles, tossed through in the wok with spring onions and any leftover fish marinade. And some sushi ginger.

                                                                                                              1. Beef and broccoli last night. I don't know if I don't like beef and broccoli or if it's just the poor quality of supermarket beef in NYC that makes this dish a total loser for me every time I make it. I velveted the beef, got a decent sear on the meat and broccoli and made my sauce from quality oyster sauce, Kimlan soy sauce, sesame oil, sambal and beef broth. And yet it was just so meh. Maybe it's time to raise the white flag.

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                  I'm with you on the *meh* factor of Beef & Broccoli.

                                                                                                                2. I'm looking for inspiration for tonight's dinner but we did have a tasty dinner last night. Huli huli pork, coconut rice, and garlic ginger green beans.

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: suburban_mom

                                                                                                                    What do you have in your freezer/pantry, sub_mom? Maybe we can help. :-)

                                                                                                                  2. leftover moroccan-ish chicken tonight, along with couscous, and goulash-ish beef too. tomorrow, we attack the pork adobado.

                                                                                                                    1. we bought a new grill a few weeks ago and have used it almost every day since. tonight we had grilled rib eye with bearnaise and some grilled veggies

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: L987

                                                                                                                        that made my mouth water. i haven't had a good steak in about a year. that's sad and needs to be rectified.

                                                                                                                      2. Courgette, pea and feta fritters for dinner tonight: a recipe torn out from delicious magazine. Unusually for that mag, it was delicious! Fresh and green, with occasional nuggets of hot salty feta, golden and cripsy on the outside, and light and fluffy inside. Half the batch is cooling for lunch tomorrow, but they won't be as good when they're cold and soggy... maybe i should eat them now while they're at their best... they're mainly vegetables, right?... mmm

                                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: gembellina

                                                                                                                          pleeeeeeeeease can you write it out, or paraphrase? pretty please?? with peas on top?

                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                              But of course, my dears.

                                                                                                                              I grated one medium-sized courgette into a bowl, added a couple of handfuls of frozen peas (still frozen), some chopped parsley (would have preferred mint), and approx 100g of feta, crumbled. Season, sprinkle over 2-3 tbsp flour, and mix in two egg yolks.

                                                                                                                              In a separate bowl, whisk the 2 egg whites to stiff peaks and fold into courgette mixture. Fry in batches til golden - I think it did about 3-4 mins each side.

                                                                                                                              Serves 2 with a salad, or 1 and a small lunch if that one keeps sneaking back into the kitchen to nibble...

                                                                                                                              1. re: gembellina

                                                                                                                                I've given up on "Delicious" but this sounds a bit good. Do you have anything to dip them in? Something yoghurty and eastern Mediterranean would work, I think.

                                                                                                                                Wonder if grated aubergine would work......hmmmmm.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                  It suggested yoghurt with sweet chilli sauce. I put a bottle of hot sauce on the table but decided they didn't need it, as they were nice and moist and tasty all by themselves. Deciding against sriracha is a BIG DEAL!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: gembellina

                                                                                                                                    wow, it really is! i do think the sweet chili sauce sound good, but i'll try it solo first. thanks for the recipe, G.!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                      Oh, no. I'm going straight for the yoghurt/chilli sauce concept.

                                                                                                                                2. re: gembellina

                                                                                                                                  That sounds great. Thanks for the recipe!

                                                                                                                            2. Friday I came down with a cold and I made chicken stock. For dinner I had chicken and rice soup + an artichoke.
                                                                                                                              Saturday, more chicken soup + an artichoke.
                                                                                                                              Sunday I used the last of the chicken stock in Heidi Swanson's "A Good Soup for the Sick," with the additions of hulled barley, carrots and an anchovy + an artichoke.
                                                                                                                              (I tend to crave artichokes when I'm sick)

                                                                                                                              http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...

                                                                                                                              And tonight, to finish off and say goodbye to my stock and my cold, I'll have Sunday's leftovers with a poached egg on top (I'm all out of artichokes). And tomorrow I'll wake up right as rain. I'd better, anyway.

                                                                                                                              1. It's kinda cold in Melbourne at the moment, and I'm feeling kinda under the weather... so pasta is the best sort of comfort food! Tonight it's gonna be home-made gnocchi with butter and sage and parmesan... mmmm :)

                                                                                                                                1. Tonite I felt like a spicy Tex-Mex-ish stir fry......brown rice, shrimp, sliced chicken sausage, veggies I already had, salsa & stir fry till heated! Easy & done! Very tasty with a cold glass of white....

                                                                                                                                  1. Raining, so it's an easy noodle soup tonight. I made the base from beef broth, hoisin, lime juice, Sriracha and a dash of sesame oil. All I needed to take it to the next level was to fill it with noodles, meatballs (from Ikea), ribbons of broccoli stem and a topping of sliced scallions and a flurry of sesame seeds. Couldn't be easier.

                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                      Sounds inventive and delicious. What kind of noodles did you use?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                        I used the thickest wheat noodles I had on hand, which happened to be spaghetti. Udon or wheat starch noodles might have had a nicer texture, but this worked for me.

                                                                                                                                    2. Simple lentil soup (http://culinspiration.wordpress.com/2...), tomato salad (white vinegar, sugar, salt, olive oil, parsley, shallot, lemon pepper), and roasted potatoes and beets. Sun tea. Pretty basic.

                                                                                                                                      1. I figured out dinner - chicken Parmesan burgers, oven fries, grilled asparagus with Parmesan. It was a good meal!

                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: suburban_mom

                                                                                                                                          sounds good! tell us more about those burgers? do you use ground chicken?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                            Agree, sounds amazing! chicken and parmesan is always a win!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                              Ditto that - sub_mom, can you let us know what the chicken Parm burgers are all about?

                                                                                                                                            2. The ex-hubby went fishing yesterday and wanted to bring me a bucket of fish uncleaned...after that catfish incident, he should have known that would be a no-no! So, he offered to clean the fish if I cooked some and since I still love fish, I agreed. Cooked up a batch of breams and one lonely catfish (delish!). On the side, I steamed some rice with green peas which was seasoned with Mrs. Dash Southwestern seasoning blend. A garden salad of spring mix, tomatoes, carrots and green bell pepper accompanied... Later in the evening, my neighbor brought me a bag of goodies from the monthly church dinner that I normally attend but didn't today including the usual suspects (chicken & dumplings, fried chicken and baked spaghetti) along with pig pickin' cake, brownies and german chocolate cake. To top it off, my current man made a run for a couple of Wendy's frosties and chocolate Haggen Dazs for the freezer. I think I'm set (lol!) Did I mention I'm a chocoholic??

                                                                                                                                              Tonight's dinner started with ham & bean soup and grilled pimento cheese sandwiches (It's raining here), and finished with ice cream.....

                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                  Nice, Cherylptw, always nice to have two men catering to you! Take revenge on the evil finger-stabbing catfish by putting yourself around as many of his brethren as possible.

                                                                                                                                                2. Kind of on a Vietnamese kick here...

                                                                                                                                                  Made Vietnamese style pork chops and a spring green, Persian cucumber and cilantro salad with a lime and sauteed shallot vinaigrette.

                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                    ooh, could you share your marinade for the chops?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                      Gladly, mariacarmen. :)

                                                                                                                                                      - 1/4 cup fish sauce - I used Tiparos brand today, which seems to be widely available.
                                                                                                                                                      - 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp packed brown sugar
                                                                                                                                                      - 2 Tbsp lime juice
                                                                                                                                                      - 1+1/2 Tbsp water (you may wonder why not just use less fish sauce, but I often find that adding a little water dilutes the fish sauce in a way that mellows the bitterness of the salt element)
                                                                                                                                                      - 1 Tbsp minced garlic
                                                                                                                                                      - 1 green onion, finely chopped
                                                                                                                                                      - 1 tsp lime zest, finely chopped
                                                                                                                                                      - 1/2 tsp black pepper
                                                                                                                                                      - 1 Tbsp oil

                                                                                                                                                      Combine all ingredients and stir until brown sugar is completely dissolved. I like to marinate at least an hour or two if I can, redistributing the meat 2 or 3 times to make sure it's evenly and thoroughly marinated.

                                                                                                                                                      This marinade is enough for 3.5 to 4 pounds of chops. I usually put a couple of tablespoons aside before marinating the meat to make the vinaigrette.

                                                                                                                                                      Hope you enjoy. :)

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                        yum! so, basically a nuoc cham? i don't think i've ever used it as a marinade, just as a dipping sauce or dressing. sounds great, and i have those ingredients. thanks!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                          Sounds great! Going to be making this marinade in a few minutes. How about shallot vinaigrette. How do you make that? Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Rheta

                                                                                                                                                            Morning, Rheta.:)

                                                                                                                                                            I posted the entire recipe here:

                                                                                                                                                            http://ridiculoushungry.blogspot.com/...

                                                                                                                                                            I used 2 tablespoons of the pork chop marinade as a base for the dressing. Please let me know if you have any questions. Hope it works well for you.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                              Thanks inaplasticcup! I can't wait for dinner tonight!! :-)

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                        I love Vietnamese pork chops, sweet & garlicky are the kind I make, so yummy.

                                                                                                                                                      3. Dinner's from the Harters cookbook of the week - Nigel Slater's "Appetite" (2000). Like all of our Slater collection, it's very well thumbed.

                                                                                                                                                        And this is such an easy peasy dish, I don't know why we havnt cooked it before. More general guidance than precise recipe, it's on a page headed "some quick frying pan suppers".

                                                                                                                                                        A couple of pork chops are coated in seasoned flour and fried in butter. When they're done, they're kept warm while a sauce is made. Most of the butter is tipped out and a glass of booze goes in - wine, vermouth, Madeira, he's not really fussed what. We've got some Marsala. That bubbles for a bit and then more "stuff" goes in - herbs, or capers, lemon juice, whatever - again it's one of those pages of a Slater book that makes me want to give the man a big man-hug. Now a few more little chunks of butter are whisked in to gloss up the sauce. And that's it.

                                                                                                                                                        With some Jersey Royals and some shredded steamed cabbage.

                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                          Sounds great - a very simple yet tasty dish, Harters!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                            Hey hey, there's where my chervil is going tonight before it goes west. Love Slater.

                                                                                                                                                          2. Dinner was, for the most part, thrown together from the pantry and freezer. We had black beans and rice with chorizo, and as the non pantry/freezer part some really delicious cornmeal coated fried okra. Man, those were good!

                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                      I know. Good song from his best album tho.

                                                                                                                                                            1. It's cool and rainy here so I'm thinking hot chicken taquitos with sweet potato fries. I just have to remind myself to let them cool off a little bit so I avoid burning my tongue (a problem I have been plagued with ever since I started cooking my own meals. I can be a little impatient about the cooling process...)

                                                                                                                                                              1. Today I made a wonderful Tuscan soup with spicy Italian sausage, white onion, fresh spinach, chicken broth and golden potatoes. It was done in under an hour, which is always a plus, and has an amazing subtlety to its broth that the fiancé and I love.

                                                                                                                                                                We were initially skeptical of trying it, but I needed to use up the sausage and spinach. I'll definitely be making it again. :)

                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Levaeria

                                                                                                                                                                  Sounds delish! Care to share the recipe.... :o)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hto44

                                                                                                                                                                    6 cups chicken broth
                                                                                                                                                                    White onion, diced
                                                                                                                                                                    5 links spicy Italian sausage
                                                                                                                                                                    4 golden potatoes, cubed
                                                                                                                                                                    2 cups fresh spinach
                                                                                                                                                                    2 tbsp. heavy cream
                                                                                                                                                                    salt and pepper to taste

                                                                                                                                                                    Remove the casing form the sausage, crumble and brown in a frying pan with the chopped onion.
                                                                                                                                                                    Place the meat and onions into a large pot. Add the broth and potatoes. Boil until the potato is cooked.
                                                                                                                                                                    Add spinach and boil until lightly cooked.
                                                                                                                                                                    Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the heavy cream. Salt and pepper to taste.

                                                                                                                                                                    There you have it :) It's wonderful!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Levaeria

                                                                                                                                                                      Thank you! Can't wait to give it a try.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Levaeria

                                                                                                                                                                        Sounds excellent, right up my husband's street. Thanks for this.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                          I'll keep an eye on the forum, let us know how it goes! You won't regret it. :)

                                                                                                                                                                  2. Well this past weekend's cooking marathon consisted of the Duck, Duck, Anchovy Ragu recipe that Sam Sifton had in the NY Times magazine a few weeks ago (helpfully left on my chair by my father -- "oh, what's this?" "Don't you think that looks really good??") and a Pork Tenderloin in Mushroom Marsala Sauce. The pork is a tried and true Fine Cooking recipe that a cousin reminded me about recently. I think the ragu will be really good but after the amount of time I spent making it I couldn't really tell nor did it appeal. I froze 5 portions for my father and brought one home to throw in my own freezer -- it will be great in a week or two. Huge bonus is nearly 2 cups of gorgeous rendered duck fat. So last night it was rotisserie chicken with some roasted broccoli and 3 teeny tiny little red potatoes that got the same treatment as the broccoli. And yes, I did eat a lot of the skin off the chicken while it was hot and crispy because hey, it will only go to waste once cold and we CAN'T HAVE THAT. So tonight some cold skinless rotisserie chicken, with Jamie Oliver's chard and bean recipe if I can salvage enough chard out of the bunch I bought last week and didn't use, and if not, caesar salad with my own garlicky dressing. And a large glass of red wine, of course!
                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/24/mag...
                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/po...

                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                      Oh my goodness, that Duck-Anchovy recipe looks AMAZING.

                                                                                                                                                                      What's the chard and bean recipe like?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                                                        The chard and bean recipe is simple. From memory, saute chopped garlic in olive oil, add some anchovies and red pepper flakes and stir till the anchovy melts, then dump in canned rinsed cannellini beans and a slurp of broth or water to heat through, add blanched sliced chard, heat through and stir in a big squeeze of lemon juice (critical ingredient) and a pat of butter. It's very good without the butter and excellent with the butter, I make it both ways.

                                                                                                                                                                        Last night there was no salvageable chard and after walking the dogs in this disgusting cold, wet weather, cold chicken and salad was not floating my boat so I indulged in ramen soup -- a package of ramen noodles cooked in low-sodium chicken broth with a big handful of bite-sized broccoli florets. When done I stirred in some chopped chicken and a ton of chopped kimchee along with some extra kimchee juice. Yum, total comfort food.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                        "And yes, I did eat a lot of the skin off the chicken while it was hot and crispy because hey, it will only go to waste once cold and we CAN'T HAVE THAT."

                                                                                                                                                                        This is me. :-D

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                          LW, I'm of the same mind!
                                                                                                                                                                          To tell the truth, I thought that duck recipe looked rather ehh...especially after reading what had inspired it (the wild fishy duck). What's next, seal? (I love duck, I love fish, I use fish sauce etc in meat dishes, this did not float my particular recipe boat.)

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Soup is looking to be my dinner tonight.
                                                                                                                                                                          I am craving some sort of tortilla soup, but will likely make it without the actual tortillas. My sister makes a great chicken broth based soup with lots of lime juice, avocado and bulgur. I think I'll just go in the kitchen and try to make something good up.
                                                                                                                                                                          I am really wanting a brothy, spicy sort of soup, maybe with cumin, oregano and some fresh cabbage added near the end.
                                                                                                                                                                          Wish the good weather would return soon. All this rain is making me cocoon inside and now I am on day two of sheer laziness.

                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                            no kidding, what happened to our Spring! your soup already sounds as if it's more than half-way there rabaja... and remember, one corn tortilla is only 1 pt. toast it up with some pam and cut it into strips and it'll give you that corn-goodness taste for your soup. love the idea of the cabbage too.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                              Chicken tortilla soup is on my menu as well. This cold, damp rainy weather has got to go! We were abused enough this winter!

                                                                                                                                                                            2. assorted steamed veg and a lightly sauteed pounded chicken breast, big salad, H20

                                                                                                                                                                              1. Last night was just reheated leftovers, some prime rib eyes that were grilled & frozen a month or so back, half of a baked potato each, and some steamed broccoli with garlic breadcrumbs from Sunday's meal. Did I mention that I feel blessed that my boys will eat broccoli??!

                                                                                                                                                                                Tonight is an easy weeknight meal of bbq chicken teriyaki, some rice cooked in chicken stock and the last of the steamed broccoli, with some ginger mandarin dressing on top. The chicken is chopped boneless thighs, marinated in a bit of teriyaki sauce, then a touch of bbq sauce to sweeten it a bit. So easy, and sometimes, like tonight since we are running out for a karate class, I just put it in the microwave to cook it, the boys really enjoy this recipe. More turtle brownies for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. It's going to be a meat loaf panino tonight since the mashed potatoes and peas/corn mix is gone with last night's leftover dinner. Thin slices of meat loaf, goat cheese, some Plum Ketchup on buttered Tuscan Pané bread and pressed in the grill pan. And some chips, I think, along with slices of Ataulfo mango. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. To start.....a jar of pate we brought back from France earlier in the spring, crusty bread, cornichons, home made plum chutney.

                                                                                                                                                                                    To follow.......brown gloop from the freezer. In this case a one-person portion between the two of us of a sausage & bean casserole (based on a Nigel Slater recipe).

                                                                                                                                                                                    To follow......remnants of a big of mixed salad leaves.

                                                                                                                                                                                    To finish.....pineapple and apricots.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Tacos from my Sunday crock pot of pork adobado, with habanero-flecked jack cheese. Cilantro rice. Salad. The adobado has been sitting in the fridge since Sun. night, must be extra good by now. Can't wait.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Last night was

                                                                                                                                                                                        - arroz con pollo
                                                                                                                                                                                        - spring greens, tomato and scallion salad with lemon shallot vinaigrette
                                                                                                                                                                                        - fried platanos maduros.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Tonight will probably be snausage and biscuits with gravy and some fruit.

                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                          Boy, that picture of the plated-up meal made me hungry and I just ate lunch!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                            oh, beautiful, all of it! snausages - love it. good girl!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Last night I picked up some turkey meatballs at the market. Rather than buy a jar of pasta sauce, I made a curried tomato sauce with cumin, coriander, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and bayleaf. Note: turkey takes to cloves much better than I though -- I'll have to use a heavier hand next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                              This morning I opened a can of salmon to make kedgeree for breakfast. I'd like to incorporate it into dinner somehow. Current thought is a rotini salad with scallions, cherry tomatoes, celery, bell peppers and a dressing made from dill, celery seed, mustard, lemon juice, yogurt and mayo.

                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's an Anglo-Indian breakfast dish of rice, hard boiled eggs and flaked fish lightly curried and finished with cream. Kedgeree was the inspiration for my breakfast, not the end product as I didn't want rice, so I simply sauteed flaked salmon in butter with scallions, smoked paprika, curry powder and Sriracha and finished it off with yogurt. Rather than a boiled egg, I made it sunnyside up because there's nothing more decadent than yolks draping every delicious bite in the morning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks! Love when I learn about new food. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Originally a breakfast dish for the upper classes in the 19th century, it's now more common for a casual dinner or lunch. Here's the recipe we use:
                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/ma...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Spent ages googling recipes for Dorado (Mahi-mahi). I settled on a mix of an Alton Brown recipe with adaptions, and a recipe on AllRecipes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Dorado was marinated in coconut milk, then got a crust on the top of crushed brazil nuts and breadcrumbs, then into the oven. Made a sauce with fish stock, coconut milk, pineapple, mango and chilli; reduced and liquidised, then thickened to make a surprising sauce that worked with the fish. Also made cous cous to go with that, using the remainder of the fish stock and coconut milk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    It all worked together really well. The only change I'd make next time is a thinner crust on the fish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: haiku.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Love Dorado, haiku. And what you've done with it, sounds very nice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Round our house, a chilly rainy day in spring or summer says just one thing: fish soup. A frisse salad first to use up the last of the duck confit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                        duck confit & frisee! whole dinner sounds wonderful. I want to be able to say "i need to use up the last of this duck confit."!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                          My husband always makes a ton of confit in the fall for wintertime cassoulet making, but by the summer, it's just not something you are really in the mood to eat. I'm glad that big crock is out of the fridge making room for more summer beverages -- if it ever gets to be summer here!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. It's been cool and rainy here and that put me in the mood for soup, so I had some French lentil soup, accompanied by some crusty French bread with shallot and chive Boursin and Running With Scissors chardonnay. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Well, I've finally given in. I will actually cook something in this rancid shack we call our apartment for another week or so, cause eating out every night is becoming very old very quickly, not even taking the financial side into consideration - thankfully, cheap eats abound in Berlin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          But I digress. After having had a fabulous dish of orecchiette with white asparagus, strawberries, and scamorza at the place next door to us, I've decided to make something similar:

                                                                                                                                                                                                          bought 5 massive tortelacci stuffed with asparagus, these will be simmered for 10 min. or so, probably in the water I cooked the asparagus in. I'll throw in a couple of chopped up strawberries, then toss all together with some grated parm (couldn't find scamorza at the market, but I'm sure the parm will do).

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Not looking forward to using what little equipment there is, but I'll make do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                            This is extremely interesting. I assume it served cold and dressed with olive oil. Would you add any herbs? I could see mint in here, but I can see mint in pretty much anything I eat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                              No, it's a warm pasta dish. The 'sauce' is probably mostly drawn butter and the melted cheese. Ya know - real health food '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've thought about herbs, and almost got chives. But the dish was so simple & good the way it was, I'm not gonna futz around with it. Well, save for subbing the tortelacci for orecchiette.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I like the strawberry idea and I bet you have real ones there, you lucky thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                              i'm also intrigued, especially by the strawberries in the warm pasta.... and you're presumably stuffing the tortelacci yourself, since you mentioned cooking the asparagus? i've never seen these... do you make the dough yourself or do you buy it prepped and ready to stuff?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                the tortelacci were bought at a fresh pasta stand at the market. they are pretty large, bigger than tortelloni, and simmer for 17 min.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                the strawberries are german, so yeah, they'll be awesome. strawberries and asparagus are a common combo here, often in salads (like jungmann probably assumed).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                i think i'll slice the asparagus into penne-sized bits and just let it 'cook' together with the pasta.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                i do wish now i had some smoked scamorza....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i'm sorry, still not understanding.... are the tortelacci stuffed with the asparagus or not? are you then cooking whole (sliced) asparagus separately to mix with stuffed pasta?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i'd love to taste german strawberries....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    yes, the tortelacci were stuffed with a mix of green asparagus, ricotta, some herbs, and assorted other fillers (?). i had bought a lb. of fresh white asparagus which i peeled, sliced 1/2 inch thick, then simmered together with the tortelacci for 17 min.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    drained the pasta & asparagus, added butter, parm, and strawberries to the pot, returned the pasta & asparagus to it and tossed it all around. it was nice, but if i do this again, i won't used stuffed pasta and different cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    the spargel & strawberries were delish, tho.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Pollack in my fish share yesterday got made almondine style, as they suggested. Great suggestion I wouldn't have thought of -- delicious, must remember to do that more often. Served with gorgeous local asparagus and almost the last of the teeny tiny red potatoes I've been working though. Perfect light pre-surgical dinner for my father. (He's out and doing well.) I believe he'll be on scrambled eggs and ice cream tonight, I'm planning on spaghetti carbonara with some asparagus mixed in. Soft enough so if it appeals he can have some too. I know for a fact we will both be in need of that glass of red wine!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                glad your dad's ok. enjoy your meal & wine!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Tonight it will be steak au poivre with frites, if I may do a language mash up. My husband made fried okra the other night, and wants to reuse the oil since it is very clean. So frites it is!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  yumboski, if i may mash some languages up, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    How is that a language mash up? frites & au poivre are both french, so I thought.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I said, "with" frites instead of "avec."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Pretty sure it will be a rare night without the BF home for dinner, so i'm having fish. not sure what yet, have to go see after work. i'll probably make fish tacos, dredged lightly in flour and pan fried, with some type of cilantro cream, cabbage, minced shallots, and lime, in corn tortillas, with a big splash of XXX habanero hot sauce. Farmers Market across the street from my house is on tonight,and they're touting their berries online, so that'll be what's for the rest of dinner/dessert. and whatever other veggies look good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I'll probably dig out a tub of meat sauce in the freezer and add the remaining meat loaf (chopped up) and serve it over spaghetti with grated Parm-Reg and and small salad and garlic toast alongside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Well, we were prevented from doing the marketing yesterday by receiving the dreaded 12-4 slot by the cable company during an outage here, and had other errands that took up the whole morning. So, pantry dinner it is. I've decided to go with a simple, but spicy black beans soup as I have onions, garlic, limes, and sour cream. The lack of cilantro is regrettable, but the boy will get over it, especially since I have the making for the nachos he claimed to have a craving for last night. The sun actually came out today, so it feels like spicy food and beer are the perfect way to end the evening.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It was interesting, being out of touch for a day or two. I don't like cell phones, and only use our landline, and when our cable went out, I lost phone and internet as well. I was reminded of how many books I own, and also found that my cat is not as interesting as I thought she was.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Tonight we tried a new shepherd's pie recipe, it came out okay... Or is it called cottage pie when it's made with ground beef?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My fiancé and I love shepherd's pie, but I just can't find a recipe that we like. The one we tried tonight might be a good base to work with, the potatoes were lovely, the beef just wasn't flavorful enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I got the recipe from ( http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/shepherd... ) and used the suggestions about adding gravy instead of broth. What didn't equate in my head until we were digging in is that the broth would've added salt to the beef while the gravy did not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'll try the same recipe next time, add some garlic salt to the beef mixture and paprika over the top of the potatoes with a layer of cheese. If anyone has any other suggestions, they'd be greatly appreciated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Levaeria

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mine also adds garlic, uses tomato paste instead of ketchup, and uses a bunch of chopped fresh herbs -- rosemary or marjoram. In the interests of getting some fiber in there I also add the smallest kind of canned white bean (you almost don't notice they are there) and some chopped spinach. I put chopped carrots in the meat part instead of on top and my layer between the meat and potaotes is high heat roasted/caramelized farmers market plum tomatoes from my freezer. I think the whole thing is probably completely inauthentic but it is very tasty. Mmm, there a batch waiting in my freezer, that's WFD some night next week when I'm home again! It's fun to take something like that that you know you like and really concentrate on trying and tweaking till you reach your ideal version. I have done that with shepherd's pie, salmon cakes, meatloaf and a few other basic comfort foods that I know I reliably like and can freeze.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Well tonight, based on the PW post, I am making Penne a la Betsy and hopefully eating it while watching the B's take the lead in the Eastern Conference series.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: hto44

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Worked like a charm, you better keep eating Penne a la Betsy....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Levaeria

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Mine is similar to GretchenS' except it is more of a Mexican spin on it. And I often use ground turkey, but the meat gets browned with some onions, then tomato paste is added with cumin, oregano, chili powder and garlic. If I don't have the paste, then a can of chopped tomatoes goes in, but I prefer the paste and some water to make a sauce. Add a can of chili beans, then when in the dish to be baked in, I use grated cheddar over the top, or whatever cheese I have that would work. Then the mashed potatoes on top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have also made a shepherd's pie with leftover roast beef, cubed and in a mushroom gravy. It's more like a leftover pie, with whatever was left over from the roast beef dinner. I don't top this one with cheese, but will add frozen peas to the meat mixture and top with the leftover mashed potatoes. It comes out very tasty, and is a nice way to use up the leftovers of a more refined meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Levaeria

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                There was a recent long (and increasingly tedious) thread about the cottage/shepherd pie debate. In this debate, it was universally accepted that these are originally British dishes. In the discussion, the several British contributors all said that it is cottage pie when its beef, shepherds pie when its lamb. Most American contributors said its always shepherds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In the end I took the view, that I didnt give a freaking shit what Americans want to call it in their own country - just dont try and tell me what my traditional food is called.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The secret to a good pie, whether lamb or beef is long cooking and to remember it was orginally a leftovers dish from the Sunday roast. My mum would just mince up the leftovers and add it to the thinned down leftover gravy, as I recall.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Try mixing in some cheese to your mashed potato. Good with beef, it won't really work with lamb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nope. Lamb & cheese are not best friends in my view.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      you should give youvetsi a try some time (you like mediterranean/greek food, no?). it's lamb shanks braised in tomato sauce with orzo, and juuuuust a little shave of kefalotiri or kasseri.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      but hey. not trying to convert anyone here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Convert me any time you want .......sounds delicious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for that tidbit. I'll have to start telling the man he's having Cottage (not Shepherd's) Pie for dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: Levaeria

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have heard that this recipe is excellent, but I have not tried it: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/da...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sauteeing the tomato paste intensifies the umami flavor you are looking for, as does the worcestershire sauce. I'd also add some beef base (Better than Bullion). And you might want to consider scooping all the veggies out of the pan and browning the beef separately, at high heat, to get a good sear. Otherwise, it might just steam in that crowded pan, which doesn't do much for flavor. Don't forget to season the meat with salt and pepper before browning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If not traditional, some nice browned mushrooms would also give your sauce great flavor. And you can make a roux before adding the broth (cook 1 or 2 tbsp. of flour in an equal amount of butter or oil, whisking, until golden, then whisk in your broth). You can also up the garlic and add some fresh thyme, parsley, a bay leaf (remove before topping with potatoes, and maybe a touch of rosemary. Remember, if the filling seems lacking when you're making it stovetop, adding some potatoes on top is not really going to change that. If all components of the dish taste good, the end product is likely to, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4. Don't you just hate it when they do the potato/corn combo? Blech. Probably potato baked in foil (

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Don't you just hate it when they do the potato/corn combo? Blech. Probably potato baked in foil"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ^^^Uh no^^^.  It was a gorgeous outdoor kitchen where the grills were stupendous and huge surrounded by anything I'd want in an outdoor kitchen if I were lucky enough to have one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The steak perfectly grilled, the 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      'bakers' huge specimens all in a row on the grill no foil in sight, the corn all lined up, full length (not halvers)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      painted in herbed butter, dinner was superb.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Honestly I would not have ordered something I hated much less I thought of as "blech". Who would...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      hummmm"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But corn and potatoes??? Guess they were really into starches. That's the blech I was referring to. I see it with those "manly" tv dinners :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i always thought corn on the cob and a big old baked potato was standard american fare, together, no? you wouldn't like a lot of south american meals, then, either, c oliver. Most meals are served with potatoes AND rice. i don't eat that way normally now, but it's what i grew up with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I always hate it when those are the choices, but I grew up in a family which very clearly stated, corn was NOT a vegetable.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree, but I insist it be on almost every dinner table when in season here.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Can't wait.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hi maria. We spend a good bit of time in Rio and the typical side dishes are rice, black beans, French fries. Oh, yeah, and farofa (toasted manioc flour) sprinkled liberally over everything. So I get it. But I'm like rabaja. Growing up - in the South, mind you - corn was considered a starch (pretty sure it still is!) and corn OR potatoes would be served but not both. That was my only point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                yum, that sounds so good! but yeah, starch bombs. There's a typical Bolivian dish called Plato Paceño which consists of boiled corn, boiled potatoes, fava beans, and slices of fried white cheese, with llajwa (Bolivian hot sauce) poured all over if you so desire. It's delicious, and maybe because the textures are so different i never thought, growing up, wow, this is all so starchy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  that sounds yummy to me, mc!! I believe cultures had a reason to load up on the heavy starches. Most people worked the land and with their hands, they needed the extra energy to do the hard labor they had to do. Now we realize how little we actually need today since most of us are so sedentary, here in the US, especially.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yep. The majority of the people eating those meals in Rio are men who look like real workers. Young and thin and they need to pack it all in. Along with the two litre bottle of Coke :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Empanadas de picadillo and little spring greens salad with pickled red onions, cucumber and cilantro.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I'm visiting in Charlotte and neighbors invited us for dinner. I was treated to the best chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and green beans with gravy from HEAVEN for dinner, with strawberry ice cream and fresh local strawberries for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I could get used to this food.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thank you, it really was! We came back from the beach sick as dogs and they wanted to make sure we had a good dinner. People in the south are really neighborly!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. 1st CSA box of the year!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tomatoes, basil, and broiled onions with sliced and broiled sausage on pomodoro bread from Snohomish Bakery. Green salad with cukes and radishes (uh- mazing- these guys slay the root veggies, all of them) and sauteed baby beets and beet greens. (Garlic, onion, salt)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We have some good looking potatoes, more greens, radishes, rainbow chard, and some of the end of last years apples that still taste good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Bought a sole filet, dredged it in seasoned rice flour, just because i'd never used rice flour before, and Rabaja had mentioned using it for her chicken laab, but i didn't have any at the time i made mine (what does the rice flour add to a dish like that, Rabaja, or anyone?) and sauteed the fish in a little canola oil until nice and crispy, golden brown, light, delicate. i was out of cilantro - HORRORS! - who runs out of cilantro? so i made a chipotle in adobo "crema" instead, with brown cow non fat yogurt (hooked on that stuff) and some cumin. sliced up some cabbage, shallots, serrano and jalapeno peppers, green garlic from the FM, put the whole thing in three griddled corn tortillas, splash of habanero hot sauce.... tadaaaaaaa - fish tacos! really quite good. super expensive (for me) organic cherries from FM, and some gigantic sweet Albion (new to me) strawberries for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              WFD Friday: pork chops are marinating overnight in a nuoc cham kinda thing, inspired by inaplasticcup, up-thread, with some of the newly purchased green garlic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Seriously, woman. Out of cilantro??!?!?! Who does that???

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My Thai friends love their rice powder on the laarb, but since I'm not used to it, it tastes like an unfinished element to the dish. It's a little gritty and doesn't add much to the the flavor for me, but I think it's an acquired taste. Maybe I'll like it more over time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That chipotle with yogurt sounds yums. I'll have to try it on our next fish taco night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hope the pork chops are to your liking. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Those fish tacos sound delectable. It's not even 9am and I want that in front of me now.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The toasted rice powder kind of coats the ground meat in larb, giving it some moisture, in my mind. I think that comes from the starch in the rice.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Gritty would be bad, and I would grind it some more if you were getting that texture on your teeth, or sieve it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have made it in the past, but buy it from time to time at 99 Ranch. Larb to me is not the same without it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Now, back to those tacos...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm going to grind it finer and give it another shot. I think another issue is that the rice powder I've had before (at restaurants) doesn't taste all that toasted. (Or maybe I wasn't paying enough attention...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So did you like the result from using the rice flour? Sounds like yes. I have it and would be interested in using it the same way. TIA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      thanks ladies - Rabaja, i have rice flour, not toasted rice powder - is there a difference? between flour and powder, i mean. and do you toast it yourself or do you buy it toasted?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      C. Oliver - i really did like the fish coated with the rice flour, but then i did a google search comparing wheat flour to rice flour, and found that rice flour is nutritionally inferior and way more calories. i just used a dusting on my fish, so i wasn't really concerned about any of that. i know it's a good sub for those with celiac. i liked the way it coated the moist fish without clumping at all - i think it's finer than wheat flour - or at least the stuff i bought is. but it gave a very nice light coating, not a super thick batter, of course, just a nice light crispness. perfect texture for the tacos.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      the chipotle/cumin yogurt was delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      pork chops are still marinating in fridge for tonight!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The toasted rice flour gives larb a nutty flavor. You can buy it pre-ground, but if you have rice in the cupboard, it's easy enough to make it yourself. Just toast the rice in a hot pan, stirring occassionally. You'll know it's done when the grains are browned and they smell nutty. When grinding, be sure not to go too fine. You want them to add texture to the larb as well (a tip from our late friend, Sam).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Last night was low key. Made some stuffed mushrooms, and quesadillas with mature cheddar, served with sour cream, salsa and mango salsa.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tonight I'm going to attempt a chicken pot pie. No recipe per say, just read up on it online and I'll make it up as I go along. I'll make a rocket salad to go with it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Tonight's dinner comes from the Harters cookbook of the week.....Giorgio Locatelli's "Made in Italy"....which just about avoids the long trip to the charity shop. Most the dishes are more restaurant than homey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Anyway, to the food.........which is still a bit cheffy for me.........some basil, parsley, garlic, bread, Parmesan and olive oil get whizzed in the blender. These form a crust on a couple of plaice fillets which are then fried, crust side down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Meanwhile, some new potatoes get boiled till just cooked through and are sliced in half. Just before serving, they get a couple of minutes in the frying pan, along with a few olives, to brown up a bit. And a little passata gets reduced in a pan, along with some more basil. Recommended cheffy presentation - spuds on the plate, drizzled with the passata; fish fillets artfully arranged on top; a little drizzle of olive oil. Some as yet undetermined veg alongside, probably asparagus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Harters that sounds wonderful. the crust on the fish especially sounds delicious. and the idea of olives with lightly fried potatoes -mmm!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        what is a charity shop? sorry, don't get the reference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A charity shop is like our Salvation Army, Goodwill, or a consignment shop.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            mc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            shops selling second-hand goods donated by the public as a way fo raising income for the charity. Several of our major charities operate chains of shops like this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mrs H is a devoted vistor. Not only donating our old stuff to the cancer charity shop in the village ( http://www.suerydercare.org/pages/sho...) but she scours all of the local ones looking for interestign food serving dishes and the like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Nah, Book's on its way to the shop. The dish just wasnt the sum of its parts - and there was precious little else in the book we fancied cooking. A victory for style over substance - bit like his restaurant (where my notes from our 2008 visit said we had a similarish plaice dish tat was about the best thing we ate - which was not saying much).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ah, i see, i figured it was like our Goodwill stores, but i couldn't get the connection between your dish and the store! now i know - it's curtains for that book!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sorry your dish wasn't all that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Today I'm going into the city to watch my chubby round cherub of a niece. I'll be heading home for dinner though, as my sister and her boyfriend eat at like, 9:30pm when they are finally done with baby duties and can find the time to make something. I don't relish driving home at 11pm (what can I say, I'm getting old), so I'll need to think of an easy dish to throw together tonight. Fish would be ideal, or maybe those shrimp I have in the freezer.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There's always the chicken boca burger, but I am going to try to do better.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It may be a good night for Nigella's lamb and red lentil ragu. Haven't had that in ages.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Tonight it's going to be one of my husband's favorites, a zucchini rice gratin. I'm also making a bruschetta of sorts with sweetened mascarpone, strawberries and some new fig balsamic that I bought yesterday. I need something else in the veg realm to round the meal out, but I am not sure what yet...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: arp29

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Could you share the recipe for the gratin? Sounds good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sure! I don't really have a recipe per se, but if you follow these general guidelines you'll be in a good place...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -Slice 4 medium zucchini/summer squash into thinnish rounds, toss in olive oil and salt, and roast at 400 until golden
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -Combine about 2 cups cooked (brown or white) rice - the amount is really pretty flexible - with a few egg whites, herbes de provence (1 tsp.), 1 small satueed onion, 2 garlic cloves sauteed, handful of Romano cheese (can use parm), salt/pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -Coat an 8x8 pan with oil/spray and pour rice mixture in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -Spread some sort of tomato/tomato product on top of rice (I've used roasted tomatoes and vodka sauce...the vodka sauce is what I use most because my husband loves it)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -Layer on zucchini and sprinkle with another handful of Romano
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -Bake at 400 for 30 minutes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Friday nights have typically been "Takeout Fridays" but we're trying to do more at home....so tonite is now "Casual Friday" and will be pizzas.....veggie, chicken BBQ and pepperoni/mushroom...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Steak and potatoes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Steak was a ribeye. Roasted fingerling potatoes, fresh asparagus. A Charles Krug cabernet to wash it down. Linda Ronstadt will be on the box. Deb did the heavy lifting, I opened the wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. After a busy and long week, and another busy day, I've taken out a few things from the freezer to thaw so now I have to cook them, even though I'd rather do take out, but hey, I had two nice lunches out and one dinner out this week, at my fave chain place, no less, so I will cook anyway!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ginger glazed chicken, fried rice with peas & pineapple, and something green, possibly the last of the large bag of broccoli. I thawed some chicken legs and thighs. Will make a paste with some fresh ginger, garlic, olive oil and teriyaki sauce. But I'm out of teriyaki so I'm trying to remember what else is in it besides soy sauce. Ponzu? Pineapple juice? Maybe I'll try a splash of both. Those get marinated for 10 minutes, then baked for 20 at 450*. Then broiled for a minute to crisp up the skin. Will fry some cooked rice and add some frozen peas and scallion, then some fresh pineapple to the mix. Broccoli will probably get steamed and dressed with some low fat sesame vinaigrette, but I was bummed my store was out of the usual ginger mandarin dressing I use for so many things, look like I have to stock up for next time. I bought an apple pie for dessert, and some nice Pinot Grigio for me. Glad it's Friday!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That ginger glazed chicken sounds delicious! Especially with the skin crisped up. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We did Pinot Grigio tonight, too. That's my go-to these days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That ginger-glazed chicken sounds wonderful!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Tonite was fridge cleanout meatless Friday, so we did penne with roasted veg and feta, some crisp Pinot Grigio and lemon vanilla fritters with strawberry jam. (I'm on a deep fry kick. :) )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lovely pasta, IAPC. And those fritters sound nice as well. I grew up on savory fritters, and have never actually had sweet ones. If I had a deep fryer, you'd have likely sent *me* on a deep-fry kick with the lemon vanilla.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm holding out until I pick up one of those screens first. ;) Terribly messy to deep-fry without one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I find that the deep DO contains the oil pretty well. But, hey, I went induction over a year ago and cleanup is NO issue for me anymore.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks, OADL! Like c oliver, I like to use a Dutch oven to deep fry, too, but I hear ya on the cleanup. Little particles still find their way onto surfaces.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Went out last night to a gathering of a large group of folks from another message board I post on (non-cooking related although I've managed to find a few who are interested in good food! LOL) and knew I would need to get some food into me to absorb the liquid libations. So I sat with a few who were eating and chose an appetizer of 3 sliders. They were surprisingly good with tomato, lettuce, all on mini brioche buns of sorts, and what I believe was Russian dressing to slather on the burgers. Did the trick of absorbtion. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But when are bars going to realize you DO NOT NEED TO TURN UP THE MUSIC SO LOUD THAT NO ONE CAN HEAR ANYONE ELSE SPEAKING? Some tea and honey will be needed throughout today to sooth the hoarse voice I have this morning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But....we have sunshine today - windows will be open, birds will be singing, and I'm sure people will be out mowing their lawns all around New England, since it's the first time they've been able to do so in almost 10 days! LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              (reposted on Part 89)