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What's for Dinner? Part 101 [old]

(Note: A new What's For Dinner thread has been started at: http://www.chow.com/topics/802249 If you've got a comment on an entry below, go ahead and add it, but you want to post about a new dinner, please jump to the new thread. Thanks -- The Chowhound Team)

One hundred threads of wonderful dinners, enjoyed, and shared. I remember finding What’s for Dinner, and loving how much I learned from (and was inspired by) every poster. So I’m grateful that I get to start the What’s for Dinner 101, because that’s what it felt like to me. Okay, I’m annoying myself. Enough sappiness. What’s for dinner?

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  1. Just as redux of the black bean burritos with guajillo sauce, but this time I did a cilantro-heavy Spanish rice, and mixed a quarter cup of the sauce *into* the rice--oh, dear god, I had to restrain myself from just eating the rice--and then drizzled the rest of the sauce on top as I baked off the batch. I cannot get enough of these peppers.

    I might have to fetch a third burrito before I finally give in to sleep. Even though it's cold. And I'm full.

    9 Replies
    1. re: onceadaylily

      That sounds delicious, lily. I don't make beans often enough, I think. There's a bag of black ones waiting for me in the cupboard. Think I might have to take 'em out this week or next...

      1. re: inaplasticcup

        Thanks, Ina. Black beans are a particular favorite of mine (especially refried, which is what I made last night). I have bags of white, red, and limas that are actually getting dusty. I don't know why I feel the need to keep so many types on hand. I feel bored by the red beans just by looking at them.

        I doubled the beans last night, so tonight we'll either have more burritos, or just black beans and rice. And it just occurred to me that I don't have to cook tonight. Huh.

        1. re: inaplasticcup

          i used to not make them as much as I do now and I owe that to my crock pot really. It's so easy to just throw them in add water and cook on high for about 5 hours while you do whatever else you need to do. And you can do so much with the leftovers (refried beans, bean dip, tostadas, burritos, bean burgers, etc).

        2. re: onceadaylily

          How do you make your guajillo sauce? Mine always seems one dimensional and I'm not sure if it's me or my chiles.

          1. re: JungMann

            I doubt my chiles are any better (at the price I get them), but I'm glad you asked. I don't really care for mine 'straight', but it adds a wonderful flavor to whatever I add it *to*, and I've been wondering what I can do to make it better in it's own right. The hungry loves company. The recipe I stumbled upon a few weeks back is very basic: half an onion, a clove of garlic, four toasted and soaked chiles, one cup of water, and salt, blended until smooth (I haven't bothered to strain it, but I would if using it to soak pambazo). The raw onion seems to overpower it a wee bit for me, until I add it to a hot dish . . . and then it's love.

            I've had a few thoughts (nothing earth-shattering, though). One was to add a roasted garlic clove to add to the mix, another was to replace the water with something better, and then I was wondering about adding an oil to create an emulsion (I was playing with the idea of infusing the oil with oregano, since I love it in the types of dishes this sauce pairs so well with). I was also wondering if I could use the soaking water instead of plain tap, but haven't googled that. Google's probably going to tell me I'll die if I do it. I was also thinking about adding a pasilla to the next batch, or a very small amount of toasted cumin seeds. And, yeah, another thing, this sauce pairs so well with tomatoes that I wondered about introducing an acid in the sauce.

            No, I haven't been thinking about this at all. ;) Care to share your recipe with me?

            1. re: onceadaylily

              Mine is usually roasted guajillos, garlic, onions, cumin, oregano, bay leaf, oil, broth and a splash of vinegar. Oftentimes I'll add roasted tomatoes (bad tomatoes may be behind my failures) and other spices like cinnamon, cloves or allspice.

              I think you're onto something with the raw onion and clove. I'll try that with my tomato-less salsa the next time I need a sauce for chicken breast and let you know how it goes.

              1. re: JungMann

                See, you beat me to the acid. Are you roasting the dried chiles, or are you able to get fresh?

                1. re: onceadaylily

                  I have a Filipino palate; I put acid in everything. I've never thought to look for fresh chiles, though given the smallness of my NYC apartment, curing and drying chiles is just the hobby I need to frustrate my living situation. I already got a sound talking-to from my roommate for putting up too many preserves (it's only 5 quarts was my defense). Luckily I live a few blocks away from a Mexican grocer so I can walk over and procure dried chiles without taking up precious counter space.

                  1. re: JungMann

                    You're too funny, JM. I haven't seen fresh guajillos either . . . but I found dried at the first place I looked, and so I declared it a victory and stopped looking.

                    And I'm trying to imagine what would motivate me to complain about access to homemade preserves.

        3. Last night was multi-course leftovers:

          Tomato gazpacho
          Samosas (Costco!)
          Cold poached salmon
          Naan with hummus

          1 Reply
          1. re: DuchessNukem

            Oh, inspiration for Sunday rooftop dinner...poached salmon and garden dill yogurt! Thanks !

          2. Can't believe it's so far along already! Wasn't it just yesterday that part 100 was started? :P

            Last night was a quinoa, chickpea and spinach salad (with some other goodies in there too) with a smoked paprika dressing. Dessert was custard tartlets, with some extra for tonight.

            Tonight - I'm thinking crumbed fish and vegetables. Lazy days are needed.

            5 Replies
            1. re: haiku.

              Does seem like it's going a little faster, doesn't it? I think it's because a lot more people are chiming in with their meals, which I think is fairly awesome. :)

              What goes into your custard tartlets, haiku? Are they like the ones you find at the Chinese bakery?

              1. re: inaplasticcup

                yep, we got a lot of fine new newbies with the 100th thread.

                1. re: inaplasticcup

                  I did notice a lot of new names on the last thread. It's fantastic. Well done to those of you who keep it going!

                  I wouldn't know as I've never seen a Chinese bakery in SA. I think they're also called Portuguese Custard Tarts.

                  I lined some ramekins (sides and base) with shortcrust pastry (I think it's usually made with puff pastry, but it worked so well with the shortcrust pastry), pricked holes all over it and baked until very lightly browned. While that was going on, just made a normal custard on the stovetop - eggs, sugar, milk, a bit of cream, a little cornstarch to thicken slightly. Once the pastry was done, I poured the warm custard into the tart shells and popped it back in the oven. Don't fill it to the top as it will overflow - about 3/4 should be good. Remove from the oven when they're a nice brown colour at the top, and leave to cool. They will deflate. Eat cold or at room temperature. Delicious.

                  Did a Google image search, and they look like this:

                  These would have been made in a cupcake pan. I made mine bigger and in ramekins, as I only wanted to make 2 and didn't want to wash the pan :)

                  1. re: haiku.

                    Those sounds simple and delicious. I think they're a lot like the ones you find at the Chinese bakery only probably better because for some reason, all the ones I've ever gotten at a Chinese bakery have a slight hint of porkiness to them. :D

                    1. re: inaplasticcup

                      Easy quick dessert (if you're using the cheat's version of ready-made puff pastry, even more so :)).
                      Perhaps they're trying to combine the entree and dessert? :P

              2. Duck and mole enchiladas, taco salad.

                4 Replies
                1. re: DoobieWah

                  Now *those* sound delicious. I had a duck-filled chile relleno at a local restaurant once, and it was amazing.

                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                    Thanks, they were good.

                    I slow roasted the duck last Sunday and reserved the meat while rendering two cups of beautiful duck fat, (honestly that is what I was after). So last night I went ahead and froze the cooked breasts for future Chowing and lightly stewed the rest of the meat in OJ. The mole sauce I picked up at my local spice dealer; it's incredibly good.

                    Corn tortillas, duck and mole sauce. (A few toasted sesame seeds to top.)

                    That's it.

                    Really good.

                      1. re: DoobieWah

                        oh man, i made mole before from scratch and was pretty unimpressed, but with duck? and if i found a good pre-made sauce?? duck in any prep, really, totally sends me.

                  2. This may be because I am new but I am interested in how much time everyone spends cooking dinner. I find the thread inspiring. There are some wonderful ideas here.

                    It is probably grilled pizza starter with grilled marinated (chipotle, tequila, lime, garlic) shrimp, grilled corn-butter cooked tomatoes-cilantro-cumin salad, and potatoes in foil on the grill. And smores. I have both boys home at the same time and that's what they like.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: qandieladie

                      Welcome, qandieladie! :)

                      Dinner runs anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes for me, depending on how elaborate the meal, but I think 45 mins to an hour is more the norm.

                      How exactly do you make butter cooked tomatoes? I'm intrigued... ^-

                      1. re: qandieladie

                        I try to limit it to 60 minutes max, clean-up included. I get home somewhere between 5 and 6, and the other half gets home at 18h45, so I try to have it ready when he gets back.
                        Sometimes run over when I'm trying to make a more elaborate meal :). But I try to save those for the weekend.

                        I'm also curious about those butter-cooked tomatoes.

                        1. re: qandieladie

                          This summer I've been reluctant to spend more than 45 minutes making and eating dinner most weeknights. On productive weekends, I've done prepwork to make meals during the week a quicker affair, but more often than not, I just make do with whatever's lying around and won't heat up the house.

                          1. re: JungMann

                            Thank for your replies. Everyone thinks I am crazy if I spend an hour but that's just how long it takes. We still eat around 9 and don't always get all the dishes done.

                            1. re: qandieladie

                              I don't know about you, but I *hate* to feel rushed when I'm cooking. I'm much more likely to make mistakes (not reading a recipe closely enough, cutting myself, making a mess, burning something) if I feel pressured or pressed for time. Most of the time, cooking is my way of relaxing, something meditative. I'd just as happily spend an hour on it and do it well (without raising my blood pressure) than hurry things and feel stressed out.

                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                ChristinaMason - you are SO right. The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.

                                1. re: nvcook

                                  Couldn't agree more. I am pretty slow going in the kitchen and I hate any one breaking my chops when I am trying to cook. It's something I enjoy, and I don't like being bothered. Tonight, I had some one breaking my chops, and my dinner suffered for it. My chicken was dry, I never make dry chicken. :( And I left stuff out of my sesame noodles. My dinner was less then 'meh. '

                                  1. re: Matahari22

                                    I think I'm slow too but I don't care. That's why I don't get those cooking shows where it's all about the time. I don't think I have ever cooked anything in 20 minutes. ok, eggs.

                              2. re: qandieladie

                                If everyone thinks you are crazy, you are running with the wrong crowd! Keep hanging out with us, we won't think you are crazy.
                                You are right, it takes as long as it takes to produce something good. I try to keep it at, or under, an hour on weeknights, don't always succeed if I get inspired along the way. No limit on weekends.

                          2. I have leftover cooked, un-sauced spaghetti noodles from two separate meals in my fridge right now, enough for a whole new meal. And I have a veggie box from my CSA arriving tomorrow, so tonight I will clean out the crisper drawer and use whatever I swipe from my parent's garden (mine is so pathetic I've given up for the summer) and make a "primavera" sort of thing, probably with some eggs to hold it together.

                            So, a spaghetti carbonara/primavera?

                            zucchini, kholrabi, grape tomatoes, a red bell pepper, some celery, a bit of spinach that would be going into the compost tomorrow if we don't eat it tonight, etc.

                            I'll let you know how it turns out.

                            1. I have leftover spaghetti from a few night's ago as I made the entire box. :-/

                              So I think I'll whip up a peanut sauce and then do a quick sauté of seasoned chicken, carrot slices, onions, halved cremini mushrooms and red bell pepper and toss it all together and call it tonight's dinner.

                              3 Replies
                                1. re: tzurriz

                                  Yes, I read your post just after I posted mine and thought the same thing.

                                  BUT...I *just* came back here to say "OOPS!" Forgot I was having dinner with a friend tonight (until my calendar reminder pop-up).

                                  So this will be tomorrow's dinner. :-)

                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                  ooh... now i'm thinking peanut or cold sesame noodles instead of what i'd originally planned...

                                3. Not sure yet. It's actually cooled off enough here that cooking doesn't sound like a nightmare today.

                                  1. i want to do something with the bday guanciale my sister gifted me, and i'm thinking creamy polenta, and a tomato sauce, but a very light one that doesn't overpower the porky goodness. we'll see what actually happens....

                                    1. I abandoned my planned dinner last night to make a version of shecrab's dirty rice and man, oh man was that good. Here is the recipe she kindly provided: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7999... I changed it up a bit: sauteed a few chicken livers in a mix of butter and bacon grease so the edges were crispy and the middles still a bit pink, then took them out and in went chopped onion, celery, Cubanelle pepper, parsley. Their liquids deglazed all that tasty fond from the livers. Added some chopped fiercesomely hot smoked andouille sausage i had in the freezer and my freshly-cooked long grain rice, then lastly the chopped-up livers and stirred it all up. Served with more chopped parsley on top. SImply amazing! Shecrab, I toasted you and also raised the glass in memory of your dear sweet cows. Hope you felt the good vibes come your way.....

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. Frequent reader of this thread but I'm pretty sure this is the first time I post!
                                        Last night was a bit of a hodge podge since we are trying to eat the bounty of veggies from the garden and clean out the freezer.
                                        We had:
                                        Porcini from the freezer that were sauteed with garlic and parsley and served on crostini, zucchini flowers stuffed with herbed goat cheese and fried in a very light batter, leftover Veal T-bone steak from the night before and grilled zucchini and eggplants from the garden. Plus I couldn't resist the huge bag of Ontario corn cobs at the grocery store so we had one each of those as well.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. I had leftover cornbread and instead of leaving it lying on the counter for days and then throwing it out, wanted to do something nice with it. Cubed it, layered it in a shallow baking dish, made a custard with eggs and milk and soaked the bread in this for about 15 minutes. Then put it in the oven (with a lot of sharp cheddar grated on top). It was really good! Savory cornbread breadpudding.
                                          I also made a salad of barely cooked broccoli, dressed with a tahini/ orangejuice/ yoghurt/ kurkuma sauce. Sprinkled with pumpkinseeds. The dressing sounds a little weird but was delicious.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: Klary

                                            I'm stealing that cornbread idea, because I made last night's cornbread with whole wheat flour, and it was a little dry. Fine for croutons, but not so great for eating out of hand.

                                            1. re: Klary

                                              I'm a BIG fan of savory bread pudding, never thought of doing it with cornbread. What a great idea, thanks!

                                              1. re: Klary

                                                hooked me too Klary! But why do I want to stuff it in huge thick pork chop? yum.

                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                  I love to use leftover cornbread to stuff thick pork chops. I sautee onions and celery with diced chorizo, garlic, etc. , add crumbled cornbread and moisten with some chicken broth. Then stuff in thick chops.

                                                  1. re: MAH

                                                    Now *that* sounds tasty! I can also kind of see it as a stuffing for peppers or squash with some country sausage, onions, and celery. Might have to try that.

                                              2. We have some of the 'sauce' I made for last night's tuna ceviche - coconut milk, ginger, coriander so I am going to us it in foil parcels with salmon and throw it on the barcecue. Will have it with stir fried bell peppers, bean sprouts and whatever else is in the bottom drawer. Should be enough sauce to drizzle over.

                                                I kind of want savoury corn bread pudding now though!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Rocky74

                                                  <I kind of want savoury corn bread pudding now though!>

                                                  Me, too! I'm going to give this recipe a shot: http://www.savorsa.com/2011/05/colby-...

                                                  Have to sub. cheddar for cobly, but that should be alright.

                                                2. Spaghetti and meatballs.
                                                  Pasta will be from the box (Barilla thick spaghetti), sauce will be homemade (fresh tonight). Meatballs will be the bad boys we made after grinding chuck and pork last week. The meatballs were merely browned, kept in the coolerator and will reach their full potential in the sauce.
                                                  A quality evoo will be at the ready: parmigiano reggiano, red pepper flakes, too. Wine will be the house red.

                                                  1. Indian Panini?
                                                    Yesterday I made small-sized naan to use for sandwiches. The sandwich with sliced tandoori chicken was heated on a grill pan then served with yogurt and a couple of chutneys based on COTM recipes: mango chutney with nigella, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, and mustard seeds, and a cilantro/mint chutney with lime and chiles.
                                                    The side dish was spinach, onions, tomatoes, and chiles with garam masala.
                                                    I made a playlist of classical and pop Indian music, which might have annoyed Mr. NS by the end of the evening. He made no complaints however, as he knows that I do like to stick with a theme.
                                                    There were mango-lime-chile powder paletas for dessert, but we never got to them. Too tired and too full!

                                                    15 Replies
                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                      what a GREAT theme dinner! i don't know where you live, but i'm almost willing to move out of San Francisco to be your friend and neighbor.

                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                        Thanks mariacarmen! Funny you should say that, preparing this meal made me miss SF (where I lived most of my adult life), and the wonderful variety of restaurants. But if you're willing to give that up, you are welcome to come be my neighbor!

                                                      2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                        Homemade naan - how lovely! Did you also do a Bollywood dance for the Mister? That would certainly have made the music more tolerable. :D

                                                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                          Yeah, I thought about it, but since he thought my super-cool Indian outfit was a nightgown, I figured I had taken the theme far enough!

                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                            Themed down to the outfit! You are 25 kinds of awesome. :)))

                                                        2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                          I love making playlists to go with the cooking. The entire meal sounds wonderful, but that second chutney is especially appealing. Mr. NS doesn't complain, because he knows he is a lucky, lucky man.

                                                          1. re: onceadaylily

                                                            I'm lucky too, tonight he made dinner!

                                                          2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                            Sounds yummy.
                                                            Naan is always something I struggle with, as I always have the tandoori naan in my mind as the ideal and while all the recipes I've tried have been good, none quite meet the standard.
                                                            How would you say yours compares? Care to share your recipe/any insights?

                                                            1. re: haiku.

                                                              I was a bit disappointed in this naan recipe from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian. It used baking soda and baking powder. It's been a long time since the last time I made naan, but I'm pretty sure I used to use yeast. The naan in this recipe is started in a heavy skillet over a burner, and finished under the broiler. Although it was good (especially for the sandwich for which I intended it), it was a bit too crispy for me, I like a softer naan. So I'm still in search of a better recipe.

                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                I've been looking a naan recipes lately (inspired by the thread BB Indian Home Cooking), and while Raghavan Iyer's recipe in that book does call for both the baking soda and powder, there are adaptations of his recipe that have only baking powder (no yeast though).

                                                                Here are two, if you're interested:

                                                                The first recipe cooks in an oven, while the second is done on a grill. I like a softer naan as well. If you try your hand at this again sometime, and find a recipe that works for you, I'd love to hear about it.

                                                                1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                  Thanks for those ideas. I haven't tried the recipes in 660 Curries, I'll go there next time. Meanwhile, I have eight balls of dough left that I have to use up!

                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                    Have you tried the recipe from Mangoes and Curry Leaves? I've had pretty good success with that one.

                                                                    1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                      No, I haven't. I see it is a yeast dough, which may be what I'm looking for. Just requested the book at the library to take a look. Thanks for the recommendation!

                                                            2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                              No kidding, this sounds wonderful... Now tonight what to do with some shrimp, Indian style? You're an inspiration to me L. Nightshade!

                                                            3. It might be delivery, but it's what's for dinner. Pad Thai, Basil Fried Rice, Vietnamese Rice Noodles, Green Curry and Hot and Sour soup!

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                mc, what Katrina meant to say was that she *delivered* it from her kitchen to the table. mmmkayyyy???

                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                  Oh! Thanks for letting me know... I wasn't aware we can't post something we didn't make :( I thought I read over the guidelines carefully. Oops... I won't do it again. Thanks again for the tip, I feel terribly embarrassed.

                                                                  1. re: Katrina_R

                                                                    Don't be embarrassed. People do post the forbidden restaurant meals here occasionally. I think Maria was just letting you know the potential fate of your post so you didn't wonder if it disappeared. But there might have been someone lurking here who had a fistful of basil, and some leftover rice, and got a little inspired.

                                                                    And I think that whenever anyone types the word M&O#D, that post immediately gets flagged for the perusal of the sternest of the M&O#Ds.

                                                                2. Caramelized Corn Soup with Seared Scallops.

                                                                  So I did go steal corn from BFF's. Just two ears. I left them a message, they were at work. :) I sautéed some bacon and minced onion, put that in the slow cocker. Then in the drippings, I caramelized the de cobbed corn. I took the corn, half a red bell pepper, and a small tomato, 1 cup chicken broth and ran it through my high speed blender, and into slow cooker. Added the other half of the bell pepper, chopped, a diced potato, and a sage leaf. Cooked 3 hrs. I seasoned the scallops with a southwest spice mix before searing.


                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. quinoa and black beans (olive oil, garlic, onion, bay leaf, cumin) with a side of sweet plantain. I baked the plantain (best when it is turning black) until it came out of it's own skin and mashed it with olive oil and salt; that was so simple but so good. I have so much energy right now.

                                                                    1. Chicken thigh kebabs with onions and green bell peppers, basted with bourbon bbq sauce. I made cornbread bread pudding with the leftovers from last night and much of what needed using in the fridge: eggs, extra-sharp cheddar, herbed goat cheese, marjoram, evaporated milk, and sauteed onion, corn kernels, and grape tomatoes. A touch of cottage cheese, too, since I was short on eggs. The pudding was nice and crispy after finishing under the broiler.


                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                        oh that sounds good, adding tomatoes to the cornbread bread pudding (somehow it feels like there's a 'bread' too many in that!). Will try that next time, mine was very rich, the acidity of the tomatoes would be nice.

                                                                      2. Decided to use up the macaroni from last week's mac n cheese request, so it was a very kid-friendly meal of macaroni with pork ragu and spring greens with tomatoes and a superbuttery, perfectly ripened Hass (gawd I love those things), with some of our leftover balsamic vinaigrette from last night.

                                                                        1. I had planned to make a teriyaki marinated pork tenderloin that I defrosted, along with a quick veggie stirfry. But after the day i had even that was too much effort. So it was a bbq chicken pizza made with a storebought crust and rotisserie chicken rolled about in some spicy homemade bbq sauce i had in the fridge, red onion, shredded mozzarella, minced garlic and shallots. a quick "cheat" dinner, but still yummy, and oh how I needed that glass of wine...(and it's friends sure to follow).

                                                                          I have been truly inspired by the beautiful and thoughtful meals that fellow hounds routinely whip up. yet after long days in court and wrestling a toddler into bed, sometimes we do what we gotta do...

                                                                          We recently moved out of the city to the suburbs and have many less delivery and takeout options for those days when i don't have the time to do some more inspired cooking, or the energy, even as late as we eat dinner after the little one is asleep. i'm finding inspiration helpful as I revamp a part of my weekday dinner routine and have to come up with quicker, lower effort meals on the fly when the best laid plans of carefully mapped out meals just aren't possible.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: MAH

                                                                            Your pizza sounds pretty good and better than takeout. I agree with you that WFD is such a good place to pick up ideas and let them marinate. Plus, it's fun cooking "with" others :)

                                                                          2. I got home late tonight so had to come up with dinner from pantry ingredients. Behold...Seared Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast w/ Rosemary Shallot Pan Sauce and Braise Kale.

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: LiveRock

                                                                              What a perfectly splendid and yummy-looking bit of improvisation!

                                                                            2. Inspired yet again by Linda Whit, i went with cold asian noodles. i poached a b/s chicken breast in chicken broth, chunks of peeled ginger, whole crushed garlic cloves, whole coriander, cilantro stems, a little salt, and a little rice wine vinegar, and let that cool. Spaghetti (couldn't find Chinese noodles in my hurried, after-work shopping foray) was boiled and cooled. Made a dressing of soy sauce, minced ginger, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, toasted hot chili flakes, granulated garlic, a little sugar, a sploosh of fish sauce, and tossed the cold pasta with that and slivered pickling cukes, a ton of scallions, and chopped cilantro. I think I over-poached the chicken a bit, but it soaked up the dressing nicely. Wanted to add some chopped peanuts but refrained in deference to the dentally-challenged BF. On the side i roasted an ear of fresh sweet corn in the broiler, chilled, scraped the kernels off and tossed with minced jalapeno, a little rice wine vinegar, a little olive oil, salt, and diced fresh papaya. The whole thing was pretty darn yum and I'm rather pleased with myself. although i forgot the toasted sesame seeds.

                                                                              Tomorrow is the BF's bday, so we're going out to eat (some comfort food place he's been wanting to try for which I hold out no great hope, but hey, it's HIS bday), so my guanciale/tomato sauced creamy polenta experiment will have to wait for yet another night.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                Holy smokes, there's no inspiration from me, as that's WAY more than I'd be doing, mc! LOL

                                                                                I'm glad it tasted good - and happy birthday to the BF!

                                                                              2. Mr Duzzit's usual 10 hour day turned into a going on 13 hour day so nothing fancy tonight. He'll practically fall asleep at the table when he gets here. :(

                                                                                I toasted some rice, added the leftover tomato and italian pepper paste (both from the garden,) left over from a few nights ago, herbs and spices of a cajun nature, large chunks of the zucchini I picked this morning, some water since I'm out of stock (so glad chickens just went on sale cheap so I can..... stock up!!!) and put a tight lid on. Its something that is easy to keep warm if he's not home by the time it's done.

                                                                                Its good comfort food for the overworked man of the house.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                  Sounds hearty and yums, weezie. I'll bet he loved coming home to that. :)

                                                                                  1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                    He'll try anything and he's always really appreciative. He's a good guy. :)

                                                                                2. I came home from a rough day to find Mr. Nightshade had made fettucini and was in the process of making tomato sauce. He sauteed up some pancetta and chicken livers, added a bunch of herbs from the garden, topped it off with a bit of grated pecorino, and we had dinner! What a lovely treat.

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                    Yay for Mr Nightshade, looks delicious! Must try that combo sometime soon, have only just realised how much I like chicken livers....

                                                                                    1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                      I've come to love chicken livers with pasta. My favorite includes both chicken livers and Italian sausage, from the Dean and Delucca cookbook. I plan to cook that one with next month's meat order.

                                                                                    2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                      Lucky woman, my husband can burn steamed carrots!

                                                                                    3. I made spaetzle for the first time today, using the recipe from Smitten Kitchen (http://smittenkitchen.com/2011/03/spa...). My sister used to waitress at an Austrian cafe when we were in high school and she would bring home leftover spaetzle every night. I hadn't had it for years, but I had a craving for it tonight, so I decided to give it a shot.

                                                                                      It turned out very well, if I do say so myself. I sauteed some fresh thyme with butter and onions until the butter was browned and the onions caramelized. I tossed in some mushrooms and kosher salt, and then the little dumplings once they were all done. Added some fresh ground pepper. Grated some fontina cheese over the whole thing once it was on the plates, and served it with a nice garden salad and glasses of red wine. Delicious!

                                                                                      Cooking the spaetzle was somewhat time consuming (I used the colander method) but very worthwhile, and there was enough left over for lunch tomorrow for both me and my boyfriend. I will definitely be making this again in the future.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. We had the coolest day we've in a very long time,about 80 or so. (It's going to warm up though). So I decided to get the kitchen nice and hot and make a traditional Ozarks meal. Pinto beans and ham, fried taters, fried eggplant and cornbread(still couldn't get myself to turn the oven on), with cukes and purple onions in vinegar.
                                                                                        I would never thought of doing that with leftover cornbread. To me,leftover cornbread means dressing. If I don't have that much cornbread left, I stick it in the freezer until I have more to add. And dressing does sound good to me. My sister used to have another Thanksgiving during the summer,maybe we need to as well.

                                                                                        1. Planning to make lentil tacos tonight. I finally found some imported corn tortillas that were not ridiculously overpriced at the store, so will be using those. I usually just use flour tortillas.

                                                                                          I also have some of the quinoa salad from Monday's dinner left over. I'm thinking of adding some sardines (having some serious sardine cravings) and an egg to that, making little balls, rolling in some breadcrumbs and frying. And I just managed to convince myself by typing that, so I will be making it!

                                                                                          1. Homemade Pizza hit the table last night. I used pineapple, and ham as the star topping.
                                                                                            I have no idea why nor did I ever think I would, but I love Canadian bacon and pineapple on pizza. A nice bowl of tomatoes to go on afterward. Of course red pepper flakes first. I love the hot and cold, and the sweet and salty thing.

                                                                                            Dessert was a gorgeous Peach Cobbler made with the peaches from my neighbors tree! The best ever. It was that or a crisp, and memories of my own Peach Cobbler won out. Nothing like it hot out of the oven.

                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                              Oh what I would give for good peaches, chicklet! This whole season's been a bust for them down here. Even when they feel dense and smell amazing, they're just not sweet. At least I got good mangoes this summer...

                                                                                              1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                here too! most of the peaches i've had this summer have been mushy/dry/flavorless. i'm "making do" with manila mangoes.

                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                  replying to inaplasticup and mariacarmen, I made 4 large jars of peach jam today ( our favorite). so simple, sugar, lemon juice, the juice from the peaches, the peaches, and a bit of Grand Marnier. How lucky am I to have such generous neighbors?

                                                                                                  We had BLTs using my tomatoes from my plants - the house smells like bacon and peaches, very confusing!

                                                                                                  1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                    Chef Chicklet: One of my favorite bacon creations is bacon baked with hot peach chutney-- the salty-sweet-spicy combination is great!

                                                                                                    1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                      Really? I did the jam natural pectin test yesterday and thought it was fine. You know you put a little on a plate, let it sit and then it should gel up and if you tip the plate if the pectin is good, the jam won't run. Well it didn't and I jarred it and plunged it into a water bath for good measure. This morning it's loose. drat. More like a fruit spread, not horrible, but not like all my other jams. I refuse to use pectin, I've never had to. I did one major boo boo. After skinning them I usually keep them overnight in the fridge to sit, this seems to be the magical trick that has always worked for me. I was tired, hot and wanted to clean up, so I finished them off. See? That's what happens when you hurry. I'll need to can more so I get that gorgeous peach jam I'm so used to.

                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                        Thank you. There's no recipe, I follow a sunset one, but all fruit being different will vary with the amount of sugar needed for just the right amount of sweetness. But when you get it right, it's over the moon good.

                                                                                                      2. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                        That jam sounds lovely.

                                                                                                        I have a next door neighbor I've never met whose very productive lemon tree I can see from my bathroom window, and it seems they never harvest their lemons. I always think that if I ever see that neighbor, I'm gonna ask if I can buy their lemons from them, but they never seem to come outside...

                                                                                                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                          Leave a note on their garage door or front door, they're bound to see it. Senseless to waste good fruit that one could eat. Or, here's what I did the first year with my neighbors peaches. I made them a small jar of white peach and grand marnier jam made from the peaches on my side and that were going to drop. I carried it over and from then on they share them with me all the time. Come to find out they're not so fond of peaches and they didn't mind at all.

                                                                                                2. Got an early gig, so dinner will have to be easy -- probably a riff on my zucchini carpaccio, as in just making a damn zucchini salad with oo, lemon splash, fresh mint, feta & toasted pine nuts.

                                                                                                  Maybe a shrimp ceviche since the tuna ceviche turned out lovely. Would LOVE to grill tonight, but... well, no time.

                                                                                                  1. On tonight's menu: Greek turkey meatballs on pitas with tzaziki and a salad with watermelon, arugula, red onions and feta.

                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: suburban_mom

                                                                                                      Nice! Tell us more about those meatballs.

                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                        Since it is a new recipe, I will report back on the results tomorrow.

                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                          Meatballs have promise but weren't quite right. I will try again with some tweaks and possibly post the recipe when I get them super tasty.

                                                                                                          1. re: suburban_mom

                                                                                                            Have a link? Maybe we can help you recipe-smith.

                                                                                                              1. re: suburban_mom

                                                                                                                Try soaking the bread in milk, skipping the breadcrumbs altogether, and sauteeing the onion and garlic before adding. When the onions and garlic are almost ready, add about 1 Tbsp. of tomato paste to the pan and let that color as well. You might add a little nutmeg, too.

                                                                                                                Here's a similar recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ca...

                                                                                                      2. I really shouldn't come on eher until dinner has actually been eaten as I get tempted to abandon the plan.

                                                                                                        Tonight I can't as some American friends are coming over to watch the pre season NFL and always ask for 'something British' - so we are doing bangers and mash. I am going to sear the sausage and then braise them in an onion, bacon and cider (the alcoholic type) mix that we really like. Having it with creamy mash and garlicky green veg. Way too wintery for our 95 degree heat but it never gets cold enough for proper comfort food so we have it year round!

                                                                                                        1. DH got home last night with a limit of large mouth bass, so that is WFD tonight. Will soak the fillets in a mixture of milk and egg then roll in crushed ritz crackers then fried up. . . yummmm! Serve with fried potatoes and green salad and lots of fresh lemons and ice tea.

                                                                                                          1. Haven't posted in a long time(but I have lurked off/on)...

                                                                                                            Last night:

                                                                                                            Made a compound butter with basil, lime zest and juice- pan seared/bathed mahi mahi fillets - very lightly crusted on "top" side with herbed panko -in a mixture of the butter and evoo, then topped fish with a sauce made of the same butter and reduced with a little of last night's leftover chardonnay. Used the same chardonnay and basil to make risotto, sautéed baby asparagus tender-crisp and topped with a touch of the compound butter- Yum

                                                                                                            Dessert was Whole Foods choc chip cookies

                                                                                                            Tonight is fish tacos with grilled swordfish, mango-jicama salsa and avocado

                                                                                                            probably more cookies for dessert, although I do have a new container of gelato in the freezer to try...

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: JenJeninCT

                                                                                                              Welcome back, JenJen. :)

                                                                                                              That risotto sounds loverly.

                                                                                                              1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                ty Ina- it was, if I do say so myself :)

                                                                                                            2. To complement leftover grilled chicken, a fresh-from-the-market cauliflower dressed in an anchovy/caper vinaigrette on bed of spinach and arugula. Good and good for you (sodium not counting...)

                                                                                                              1. Tonight's dinner was a sort of breakfast spaetzle made from last night's leftovers. I browned more butter with thyme and onions, added some sliced blueberry-chicken sausage, tossed in the cold spaetzle with salt and pepper and sauteed until the sausage and spaetzle were brown around the edges. Sprinkled some grated fontina over the top, piled on a couple of over-easy eggs, added a squirt of sriracha, and it was carby, buttery, breakfasty heaven.

                                                                                                                1. Still just the three of us tonight. The boychild requested kimchi bokkeum again, so we packed that up along with some adult Kool-Aid (as well as some kid Kool-Aid) and headed down to the beach.

                                                                                                                  That last one's a sunset in progress for y'all...

                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. I made a Chicken Hash recipe i found online and my husband and daughter liked. It's just sauteed onions and garlic, add some precooked shredded chicken and diced potatoes, paprika, cayenne,fried together in a little oil/butter, finished off with fresh oregano and lemon juice.

                                                                                                                      1. I'm still on vacation...

                                                                                                                        Fresh (and sweet!) corn
                                                                                                                        Baked zucchini stocks (Parmesan and panko) with a caramelized onion dip

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                          You eat *just right* for vacation. :-)

                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                            Thanks! It's pretty easy in Maine ... :-)

                                                                                                                        2. Last night was homemad hamburgers that were filled with grated onion, a bit of maple syrup, really spicy mustard and a bit of bbq sauce (my husband's concoction).
                                                                                                                          My concoction for the night was a saute of onion, green peppers, zucchini, fresh corn off the cob, and basil. It was surprising very good.
                                                                                                                          We also had a tomato and cucumber salad but our tomatoes this year are no good at all. :(

                                                                                                                          1. Last night we had leftover corn soup and shrimp with pita toasts. Totally satisfying after several cocktails out!

                                                                                                                            1. Tonight will be a chicken pot pie (hope I can recreate the recipe I made last time, which was great). Dessert will be a coconut cream pie without the pie shell... so I guess just the coconut cream dessert part :)

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: haiku.

                                                                                                                                Had a ton of milk that needed using up, so I made milk tart instead. Crustless. There's some left over, to be had tomorrow night. SO taking me out tonight.
                                                                                                                                I've already decided on Shepherd's Pie for tomorrow's entree.

                                                                                                                              2. Lunch yesterday was one of my favorite Sichuan dishes, ma yi shang shu ("ants on a tree"), bean thread/cellophane noodles with ground pork. Last night we were craving nachos so that was dinner. I grated 1/2 sharp cheddar and 1/2 MJ, and topped with ground beef seasoned with ground ancho chili and other spices. Cantaloupe has been on sale so I pureed and strained a couple for agua frescas this week, mixing them up in different ways. The picture is with lime juice, sugar, Metromint Lemonmint water, and fresh mint. Great in margaritas too!

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                  Love those pictures. The drinks look so fresh and summery!

                                                                                                                                2. The boy just left for a guy's weekend, so I'm taking advantage of his absence and making the kind of simple peasant dish that he would consider an adequate *side*, and spend the rest of dinner telling me what I could have put in it to make it an actual meal. I'm braising white beans, onions, garlic, and green bell pepper in a mixture of oil, vegetable broth, a splash of vegetable juice (okay, it's V-8, you caught me), crushed red pepper flakes, and basil tossed in at the end. Grilled muenster on seeded rye bread to go with. I really want to say that I'm putting spinach in this, but I am suddenly very aware that I did not buy any yesterday. Son of a biscuit. At any rate, it's cool here lately, and this will be wonderful.

                                                                                                                                  As the boy left, he offered up one last peevish comment about my declining the invitation to come with. On his *guy's* weekend. It's wonderful to still love and be loved like this after nearly ten years . . . but they're sleeping in the car tomorrow night. And I'm thirty-seven. So, the thirty-seven year-old me is staying home to braise some beans and read a book. Have a good Friday, everyone!

                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                    Your dinner sounds lovely, I think you made the right choice to sleep in your own bed!
                                                                                                                                    I like making that type of dish when Mr. NS is not here for dinner. He's a big meat eater, so I often go the tofu, noodles and vegetable route when he's away.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                      I *did* buy tofu and noodles yesterday! I thought that would be nice for Sunday.

                                                                                                                                  2. Tonight's diner will be high temperature duck, cooked on the grill, and a corn salad made with celery, red onion, jalapeño, and cilantro with a olive oil, lime, and cumin dressing.

                                                                                                                                    1. Waffles, with crisp bacon crumbled into the batter; fresh sausage for DH(maybe I'll put an extra slice or 2 of bacon aside for me- not a sausage fan). Real Vermont maple syrup, of course, and icy cold milk. I have been getting organic, raw, unhomogenized milk from a local farm for about a year, and oh Lord, is it GOOD!!!

                                                                                                                                      1. Last of the Yucatecan black bean dinner.
                                                                                                                                        This Rick Bayless recipe is a keeper.

                                                                                                                                        here's a link: http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/vie...

                                                                                                                                        And yes, the xnipec salsa is killer.

                                                                                                                                        The second-place Yanks will be on the panel, maybe some green wine to wash the food down. It's a stand-up meal.

                                                                                                                                        1. Black Bean & Roasted Corn Stew with Blackened Chicken 

                                                                                                                                          Oatmeal Apple Muffins

                                                                                                                                          Carrot Apple Cake

                                                                                                                                          Eating my dinner, but I'm very distracted by the aroma of my baked goods, eyeing up the Carrot Apple Cake for dessert. :)

                                                                                                                                          1. Dh ended up at work today, normally a day off, and has to go to some work person's going away party tonight (I have no interest in going...) so I'm going to make one of my favorite comfort foods: chicken and dumplings. Even if I have to crank the air conditioning and sit in front of a fan to do it. :)

                                                                                                                                            I'm dying to make chicken tagine now that my preserved lemons are done so that will be later this weekend. And chili relleno before the pile of fresh chilis from the garden takes over the whole kitchen!

                                                                                                                                            1. So very lazy tonight, so I threw together a Thai-inspired noodle salad with some sauteed shrimp, lettuce, quick pickled carrots, mint, basil, green onions, and avocado, dressed with some of last week's spicy Thai coconut salsa.

                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                I don't think I could ever get tired of your wonderful meals and pictures, ina. Always so beautiful and scrumptious looking!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: TheHuntress

                                                                                                                                                  Why thanks, Huntress! What a lovely compliment to start off my morning. :)

                                                                                                                                              2. last night had seafood (mussels/squid/calamari/shrimp) and veg stirfry; with avocado, panko breadcrumbs (so necessary), and siracha on top; my boyfriend has more huevos when it comes to seasoning food, so i ask him to put in the seasonings and actually do the cooking (i just prep); i consider myself someone with a pretty high tolerance for spice, but my mouth was on fire at times; when i ask him what he puts in it, he tells me it's an "ancient Chinese secret" but he's not Chinese so i don't know what that means :)
                                                                                                                                                i also made a side of plantain (i had 3 left that were xtra ripe);i like to bake them until they pop out of their skins and mash them w/ olive oil and salt; the sweetness of the plantain went well with the stir fry and it seemed to make it Hotter (spice-wise) for some reason

                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                  what a lovely idea for very ripe plantains!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Klary

                                                                                                                                                    it's awesome, you should try it...make sure they are at least turning black for a better texture and so they are sweeter

                                                                                                                                                2. I had planned a light dinner around the smoked mackerel that has been living in the fridge, but then my husband came home from visiting a friend and brought 2 lovely pieces of beef fillet. Said friend received a gift of various meat from a client and wanted to share.
                                                                                                                                                  So, it's beef fillet fried in butter (it's the Dutch way), served with fresh fava beans, crispy pancetta and sauteed oyster mushrooms.

                                                                                                                                                  I also had a small bowl of the soup I made for my parents who are coming to lunch tomorrow.. tomato soup with rosemary, chickpeas, pasta and tiny meatballs.

                                                                                                                                                  1. Deb went to Whole Foods and came back with a mixed bag of heirloom tomatoes and some fresh mozzarella. Homegrown basil, Maldon sea salt and some Lucini evoo were all that was necessary to crown this light summer lunch.

                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. My man is fairly immobile b/c of knee surgery, so I thought I'd make something 'special' for us tonight"

                                                                                                                                                      cheeseburgers!!! kosher ground 85/15 beef, heirloom tomatoes, red onion, sharp cheddar, etc. etc.. Side will be homemade fries per the esteemed mr. barnes -- the taters are currently soaking in an ice water bath to be dried off completely in a couple hours or so, then will bathe in cold oil in our deep-fryer outside till up to the right temp. Then they will be eaten with ketchup & mayonnaise - The German Way!

                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                        You need to try them the Dutch way, lingua - ketchup, mayo and peanut satay sauce. Best by far!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                          I did, last year in Amsterdam -- I thought the "oorlog" sauce (why is it called war? b/c that's what happens in your stomach afterwards? :-D) was just mayo, peanut sauce & raw onions?

                                                                                                                                                          I always shied away from that all those years... had no idea what I was missing. My man is not too fond of my love for this, tho. I think the raw onions might be the culprit.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                            The onions just don't seem right to me - and you don't seem to get them in the Flemish part of Belgium (which I visit more often than the Netherlands).

                                                                                                                                                            Mrs H used to bring me back jars of satay sauce when she went on business trips . Just needed thinning down with coconut milk (or, more often with me, just ordinary milk) to get the right consistency. And it always needed some more heat - chopped chilli, Tabasco, whatever.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                          If you ask the French, ketchup & mayonnaise is the US way a la "sauce americaine." Stateside it really only seems to be popular out West, particularly in Utah. Makes up for not being able to have a beer with your burger and fries, I suppose.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                            Hope he's better soon -- my DH had knee surgery in May, and was back on the squash court in 3 weeks.

                                                                                                                                                            Nothing better than burgers and fries. That should speed his recovery!

                                                                                                                                                          2. Taking a risk with picky seafood eaters...Parmesan and Panko crusted trigger fish, roasted red potatoes and sauteed collard greens. First time ever cooking trigger fish...Wish me luck!

                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JBin

                                                                                                                                                              Good Luck! Never heard of trigger fish. I'd love to know how it tastes. I'm making salmon and rice with a huge side of avocado since it's the peak of the season.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                                Trigger fish is a mild white fish, mine was fresh caught in the Gulf of Mexico. It looks a lot like a snapper filet to me. It turned out to be VERY mild. In fact, I was afraid I would overpower the fish with other flavors in my attempts to make it palatable to my non-fish eaters. I used dijon in the egg wash and Parmesan in the panko crumbs as I breaded. I am glad I did...if I had not put much flavor in the breading, the dish wouldn't have had any taste.

                                                                                                                                                                Two out of three liked it...I'll take that as a win.

                                                                                                                                                                Enjoy your salmon. I REALLY want to like cooked salmon...it is so good for you. But alas, I just cannot learn to enjoy it any way other than raw at the Sushi place.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JBin

                                                                                                                                                                  thanks, i've been limiting myself to what's a Costco lately and have never seen trigger there, but i will check it out when i can; Salmon or any fatty fish tastes even "fishier" when cooked i think; i'm one of those people who hate the taste of fish fat or skin; i find it totally gross; i have to say a began eating salmon for variety and don't really care for it that much unless it's sushi (like u) or salmon burgers are really good. My favorite beach sandwich is actually...
                                                                                                                                                                  salmon burgers (from costco)
                                                                                                                                                                  munster cheese
                                                                                                                                                                  fresh bread
                                                                                                                                                                  mayo spiked with Melinda's hot sauce
                                                                                                                                                                  red oinion (cut large so they don't fall out)
                                                                                                                                                                  diced jalapenos
                                                                                                                                                                  salad greens
                                                                                                                                                                  This sandwich is so good i don't realize i'm eating salmon; and washed down with a strawberry smoothie (even better); when in season, i'll add avocado too :)

                                                                                                                                                            2. Rib eye steak for supper. It will be pan seared and finished in the oven. The bad boy has been sitting on the counter for a few hours now to get to room temperature. Sides will be heirloom tomatoes and corn on the cob. 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Charles Krug, to wash it all down. My underrated football Giants will be on the panel. We'll be standing up.

                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                Last night met a group of friends at a bar in Boston - about 15-18 of us, I think. I ordered some fried calamari for the group; they were fair. Oh well. What did I expect of a semi-Irish bar? LOL

                                                                                                                                                                Today has been busy - farmers marketing - I picked up lots of local fresh corn on the cob and local tomatoes. I roasted one bag of tomatoes while I was finishing the painting of the walls in the living room - the house smelled *great* of roasted tomatoes, garlic, and basil. I've got more tomatoes to roast tomorrow, and I can't wait to pick up lots more and do several more batches for freezing.

                                                                                                                                                                Since there was no fishmonger at the farmers market, I went spelunking in the chest freezer, and pulled out a 1 lb. bag of Burgundy Sirloin Tips. A baked potato and corn on the cob will complete the meal. And for steve h., I know it goes against the grain with red meat, but I'm going with white tonight - a Flip-Flop Chardonnay, a medium-bodied wine with the scent of pineapple and a slight hint of vanilla.

                                                                                                                                                                Tomorrow? Trim paint in the living room (I hope). And then the living room will be DONE and I can arrange with my sister and BIL to get my Grandma's dry sink (that my stepfather restored) up here and installed where I've been waiting to have it for over 9 years! Woo hoo!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                  Steve - what did you think of Colin Kaepernick? Not bad for a first outing. My daughter lived next door to him his last 3 years at Nv. Such a nice kid - we all have signed footballs

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nvcook

                                                                                                                                                                    Colin's pretty unflappable. He'll make an impact this season.

                                                                                                                                                                2. Made a baked omelet with bacon, caramelized onion, artichoke hearts, Honey Goat Cheese, and a mix of Mozzerella, Fontina, and mild Provolone on the top.


                                                                                                                                                                  1. Waiting for SO to come over and chop the head and fins off fresh caught trout. Have the dredging materials ready - flour, cornmeal, cayenne, S&P. Side of beans w/ salad ready.

                                                                                                                                                                    The fish gave me a scare when I went to put the milk away this am - awaiting on the top shelf w/ eyes bugging out at me.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Finally did something with that guanciale. Made a creamy polenta with cream cheese, more or less followed this: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/crea...) and a fresh tomato sauce following this: http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/08/fre... i did the version where you do the least amount to the sauce - no onion, carrot, celery, just a crushed garlic clove that i'd used to infuse some olive oil for drizzling, along with a bit of muddled basil. diced the guanciale and fried it up, sprinkled that over the polenta, sauce on top, chiffonade of basil over that. I found the guanciale too fatty for this dish (can't believe i'm saying that), even tho the crispy salty bits were nice. think it would have been better in the sauce itself. i almost poached eggs to put on top of the polenta, with the sauce over that, but i think that would have been overkill. on the side was, inspired by linguafood, a salad of zucchini tartare, chopped italian parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, s&p. the creamy polenta was my favorite thing of the meal. super filling!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. My hubs came back from a week long fishing trip in Alaska yesterday. So we are having grilled salmon, sticky rice, steamed green beans and a big green salad. Simple and delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MissusLisa

                                                                                                                                                                          Lucky you! How much salmon does one pull in after a week of fishing in Alaska?
                                                                                                                                                                          I am thinking of salmon for tonight, and am just hoping I can find a nice piece for $18/lb. That seems to be the best price I've found so far this year. I splurge as much as I can though, it's just so delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Huge overstuffed--and delicious--lobster rolls
                                                                                                                                                                          Sun gold tomatoes

                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                              Do you make your lobster salad with mayo or just butter?

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: vafarmwife

                                                                                                                                                                                Just a dash of mayo--and toasted, buttered buns (the right kind.)

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Chicken Croquettes, Gravy, Rice and broccoli by request for a cold summer day in Chicago

                                                                                                                                                                              1. Pork chops that have marinated in buttermilk with fresh rosemary, thyme and garlic. Browned in pan first and then finished in oven served with cream gravy, mashed potatoes, roasted broccoli with Parmesan cheese, pear walnut salad and apple pie.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. After many ho-hum, nothing to report here, meals, last night I cooked.
                                                                                                                                                                                  Made a ragu of shelling beans, romano beans with savory and sauteed spinach, to which I added halved Sun Golds and sliced Walla Wallas that had been sitting in champagne vinegar, olive oil, s&p.
                                                                                                                                                                                  This made a nice bed for a butterflied chicken breast, pan seared, but still a little pink and very moist.
                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm one of those weird people who actually likes b/s chicken breasts, I just try not to overcook them and luckily last night I didn't.
                                                                                                                                                                                  Off again tonight, thinking about salmon and feeling inspired by a turkish dinner I helped with on friday night...what to do, what to do?

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. My sister and her family are arriving later today so tonight's dinner for 10 people consists of:

                                                                                                                                                                                    2 chickens stuffed with onions, bacon, herbs and cooked on my grill rotisserie
                                                                                                                                                                                    Fresh picked corn on the cob - not sure if I will boil or grill (depends on how the chickens go)
                                                                                                                                                                                    Grilled romaine salad with red peppers, grilled red onions and buttermilk dressing
                                                                                                                                                                                    Pineapple upside down cake that I bought at Costco

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. as my savings dwindle my meals get more interesting (please excuse the sarcasm); tonight we'll have lentils and quinoa and of course as much avocado as needs to be eaten so that they don't go to waste

                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                        I feel your pain. We are a bit squeezed here as well. And the grocery budget was the first to get slashed. We'll have lentils sometime this week, I'm sure. I am jealous of your avocados. The prices here lately have been on the high side of their usual range.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                          it's what i look forward to eating for dinner these days; yes, thank God for them!

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Tonight, after four drunken text message, one morning-after phone call apologizing for the content of some of those messages, and twenty-four hours of silence, the boyfriend will arrive home. This is the last meal I can cook that my brain won't whisper "He doesn't like that" or "You know he'll ask you to make a sandwich if you put THAT in there". You'd think I'd come up with something more exciting than ramen soup.

                                                                                                                                                                                        It's very cool here today, and soup will be perfect. Ramen and egg soup with a base of shredded carrots, sliced cabbage, onions, garlic, and roasted tomatoes, and baked tofu. I'll add a pinch of turmeric to the mirepoix, and crumble a saffron thread into the vegetable/mushroom broth when I add the noodles and egg. I'll marinate the tofu before I bake it, but haven't decided what to put in the marinade yet. Maybe a ginger and sesame oil type of thing? I welcome suggestions. I'll do something toasted and bready to go with the soup, but haven't decided yet. Maybe just buttered toast.

                                                                                                                                                                                        And I *know* I bought mushrooms for this soup, but they are NOT in my refrigerator. I think they must have fallen out of the bag in the car. I think my mushrooms went on the road trip. Shitakes I can understand wanting to cut loose, but buttons? They're so young.

                                                                                                                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                          I feel yer pain, lily. I made separate meals for a long time - takes something out of you to do it cheerfully.

                                                                                                                                                                                          What ramen flavor(s) do you usually get?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                            I usually discard the flavor packets, as they (even the vegetable and mushroom) usually contain chicken or beef. But I just bought shrimp, and have a conundrum. It says that it contains 'artificial shrimp and lobster flavors'. What the hell? So . . . is it some kind of fish that might give me hives? Or is it chicken? The spit of an angry noodle-maker who spends a lot of time on the beach?

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                i do the same and thought i was the only one; i use the veggie cubes (like Rapunzel) from WF instead when i make soup w/ramens but i do add shrimp; the last time i made that soup i actually used spaghetti because i had run out of ramens; it wasn't bad at all. I also like the murgwort soba, buckwheat, and udons when i have the $

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I also like to switch out regular bullion for the flavour packets, and add a spoonful of Thai chili paste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've used sambal oelek in ramen before, BananaBirk. It adds a nice bite. And you've just reminded me that I have an unopened bag of chile de arbol in the pantry. I could use this arbol chile sauce to marinate the tofu: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    And you're not alone, crowmuncher. Ditching that packet is popular with people who are avoiding either avoiding meat, or trying to cut back on sodium, but who also don't want to give up their cheap noodle fix. I like to make a quick broth using Telma cubes (the mushroom is my favorite) and a mirepoix.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                              mmmm...soup w/ramens- super comfort food

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                                Especially when I get to use my kiddie soup mug. Ramen with a side of nostalgia.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                "Shitakes I can understand wanting to cut loose, but buttons? They're so young."

                                                                                                                                                                                                i love you.

                                                                                                                                                                                              3. When I lived in Minnesota, people would celebrate the coming of 50 degree temperatures like it was midsummer. Imagine Scandinavians pale with the grief of 5 months of winter, erupting in board shorts to play in parks still steaming from the icy cold. Now that I've been dealing with weeks of 80s and 90s in NYC for the past month, I finally understand their mentality and am celebrating today's rainy low-70s by eating like it's Christmas. In honor of this "cold" weather, I'm bringing out the lamb shanks I had saved in the freezer. I'm thinking I will braise them with yogurt in the Levantine manner, which will leave them rich, with the illusion of lightness from the yogurt. Perhaps a side of toasted tabbouleh with cilantro and mint or chive and dilled noodles. For the vegetable I may have to settle for roasted eggplants as the only other greenery I have is half a cucumber, which would look quite sad next to a kilo of lamb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                  When I lived in Minnesota, people would celebrate the coming of 50 degree temperatures like it was midsummer. Imagine Scandinavians pale with the grief of 5 months of winter, erupting in board shorts to play in parks still steaming from the icy cold.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  This happens up in the Boston area. If we get a 50-55 degree day in the middle of February, the runners and bikers are out along the Charles River in their tanks and shorts, kids are out on their skateboards, people are sunning themselves on park benches. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Had some nice weather yesterday, and a large veggie harvest, so I made up a nice fresh mixed grill over mesquite wood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I grilled some zucchini, eggplant, huge portobello caps, whole sweet peppers and whole sweet red onions, slabs of polenta, and skewered shrimp, marinated in garlic, sage, lemon zest, fresh peperoncino, and olive oil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also made a nice cold side salad of cucumber and red onion in a lemon honey vinaigrette and sweet sun tea to wash it all down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Breakfast today were spicy sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit sandwiches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    A fellow Chowhound (Hohokam) hooked me up with some fregola he brought back from CA (hard to find in Phoenix) so tonight I'm making a classic Sardinian dish with clams, saffron, and fregola. Not the one I'm using, but here's one Chow recipe: http://www.chow.com/recipes/11649-sou...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Is that the one from Sweet Myrtle and Bitter Honey?
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sounds divine, and hey, I could certainly swing the bones for some clams tonight...

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                        No, but that book is on my to-buy list! I'm using one in Italian Slow and Savory for minestra di vongole alla sarda:


                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                                                                        damn that's a good-lookin' sammie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. soba noodles with roasted broccoli, onions and garlic and bacon and some chili bean sauce.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        made a sauce of tahini, peanutbutter, chinese black vinegar, szechuan pepper, soy sauce and sesame oil to pour over the noodles. It was a quick ' lets see whats in the frdige' kind of dinner but turned out awesome.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        It was pretty spicy, a bowl of sliced, cool cucumber was a welcome side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Chicken saag, jeera pulao (clove-spiced rice dish), and naan bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Friday night was Shrimp curry with Jasmine rice and last night was pork chops and spinach cous cous. Forgot to take a picture of the pork chops etc. oh well.. that's what happens when you're uber hungry!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh thanks, it was a premade curry block, I forget the brand. You add the protein, liquids, veggies, and whatever else suits you. Very tasty though. I think the brand is Sun something...?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Kinda like that S&B stuff, I'm guessing. Looks like the Japanese kind. Is it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yep good eye there girl, that's it. A compressed block of curry spices. I just ate the last of it this morning. Yes and in fact my Japanese friends use that for curry all the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      hmmm I thought I replied. oh well. You are correct. Very easy when in a hurry and my Japanese friends do use it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I grew up on that stuff! Totally different from Indian or Thai curry but really delicious in its own way. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I love that Japanese curry. It was the first curry I ever had, and my ex boyfriends mom used to make it all the time for me. She also made a really good mac and cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Matahari22

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Me too, I tried it about 10 years ago, then started making my own mixes and using recipes.I have a spice grinder and the only one I haven't tried to make is fresh green curry and I need a mortar for that. (unless anyone has a trick to make it another way) I am a curry lover, but there's not a thing wrong with that shortcut we all enjoyed it. To top curry, I usually add scallions, cilantro, tomatoes, so many things, I love to mix the fresh herbs and vegetables with the piping hot cooked curry, it's a comfort food all of its own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. We finally have a day that's nice,not too hot to grill. So it's sirloin steaks, Texas toast, salad with a Louis dressing that I've tried to imitate from a restaurant dressing from years ago, corn on the cob picked locally yesterday, pasta salad,fresh tomatoes, and 10 lb. brownies. Eating light tonight...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MellieMag

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What is 'Texas toast,' MellieMag?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Lord help me, the living room is FINALLY painted (other than a few touch-ups here and there).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Dinner tonight will be chicken - I'm going to use some of the roasted tomatoes I've just made a second batch of, rough-chopping them for this recipe from "Great Taste-Low Fat" Time-Life cookbook from 1997.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sides will be steamed green beans and basmati rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Chicken in Piquant Tomato Sauce (Serves 4)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Tbsp flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1/2 tsp salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 boned and skinned chicken breast halves, about 1 lb. total
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 tsp olive oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  6 scallions, thinly sliced
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1/4 cup vodka, brandy or white wine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 cups chopped tomatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 cup chicken broth, reduced sodium
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1/2 tsp dried rosemary
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Tbsp prepared horseradish, drained
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 tsp cornstarch, mixed with
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Tbsp water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Tbsp low-fat sour cream

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Combine the flour, 1/4 tsp. of the salt, and 1/4 tsp. of the pepper in a plastic ziplock bag and shake the chicken in the bag to dredge it. Remove from bag, shaking off the excess.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil until hot (not smoking) over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Add the scallions/onions and cook, stirring frequently, until they're tender, about 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the vodka/alcohol (I'll probably use the wine), and return pan to the heat. Cook for 1 minute, scraping up any browned bits that cling to the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes, broth, vinegar, and rosemary and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes to blend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Stir the horseradish, remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper into the skillet and return to a boil. Return the chicken to the pan and cook until the chicken is warmed through, about 2 minutes. Return to a boil, stir in the cornstarch mixture, and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream. Divide the chicken mixture among 4 plates, spoon the sauce on top, and serve.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Congratulations, LW. What a relief it must be to get that painting finished and get back to the fun of cooking what sounds like a fantastic meal!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh, as much as I'd love to say I'm done, I'm not. I still have the dining room *and* the hallway to do. :-) (Although the stairwell will be done my my BIL, as that will require one of those bizarro ladders that folds every which way so the top of the walls can be reached.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The living room just took longer because I couldn't find the right paint to go with the one darker wall (the original paint I chose was too cool for the warmer tone of this one wall). I ended up with a patchwork quilt of paint (SIX different tries!) before I finally found the right one. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Slow Cooked Sausage with Potatoes, Bell Pepper, Onion, and Black Beans, slowly simmered in southwest spices and chicken broth, served over Creamy Polenta. It's really good, and a perfect rainy day dish.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Just finished an incredibly bland caprese -- the belgioso mozza just isn't up to par to what we were used to in Germany: buffalo mozza for approx. $2.50/ball, while here fresh buffalo mozza is $8.99 which I refuse to pay. But I ended up 'paying the price' anyway, with tasteless white rubber cheese, and equally bland, homegrown tomatoes from a friend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Things are hopefully looking up with regard to the main: perciatelli (or what we call maccheroni in Europe) frutti di mare -- squid, scallop, shrimp, assorted veggies, cherry tomatoes, garlic & onion & leftover HOT jalapeño with fresh parsley.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fingers crossed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Damn, that sounds like a nice main dish, lingua. My mozzarella pearls are just there for the . . . texture. The chewy, chewy texture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Love both the end product and mise pics, lingua. Seafood pasta sounds good tonight, but alas - it's chicken for us. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, though...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I picked some zuchinni, summer squash, and black krim tomatoes for a gratain (sp) ? Delicious with a layer of carmelized onions and thyme. I had some left over squash and tomatoes that wouldn't fit in the dish so I made a frittata with basil added in. That will be nice for breakfast tomorrow. This morning I roasted up the beets I had picked yesterday. Mom made a nice beet salad with red onions, ginger, jalapenos, and cilantro. Served up the garatin (sp)? and beets with a nice soft french bread. Summer in my belly!!! I made watermelon sorbet this afternoon with cranberry juice, sugar, and basil. Night all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. With no Egyptians in the house and my son with some friends in Manhattan, tonight was the night for my husband to get out some pork and make a super spicy vindaloo. It isn't a classic vindaloo since it had a little coconut milk in it, but man, was it good. That with some basmati rice was dinner, and I enjoyed every bite!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  What is the masala your husband uses for coconut milk vindaloo? I make a large batch of vindaloo paste with the usual base with fenugreek, tomatoes and vinegar and freeze the excess, but have never thought about experimenting with coconut milk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think it's a standard vindaloo mix. He doesn't use a ton of coconut milk, but man, was that delicious last night!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Fuschia Dunlop's braised red-cooked beef with rice, ginger-honey-garlic sauteed snow peas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Rain coming in tonight ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Roast chicken
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Local corn on the cob and green beans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Local new potatoes too, but they turned out to be too much for the meal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Had a buttload of plum jam from when the neighbor gave us tons of fresh plums, so I made a sweet, spicy, tangy, sticky glaze for the fried chicken that's reminiscent of (the wayyyy overpriced) Kyochon chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Soy slaw and steamed rice on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. veal saltimboca, sauteed garlic baby spinach, roasted brussel sprouts with pancetta. I was pleased the toddler enjoyed the saltimboca (sans sauce), she hasn't developed a fondness for spinach yet, so steamed green beans for her (which she wolfed down), she tried some brussel sprouts too, as a part of her bargain for more plain prosciutto (her fave) on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. More vegetable ragout. This time romano beans, oven roasted Early Girls, onion and cranberry beans, with lots of basil, roasted garlic and savory, finished off in a gratin dish in the oven. Breadcrumbs over the top would have been great here, had I thought of it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Scallops from the freezer were rinsed and sauteed with olive oil and salt. Nice, simple and satisfying (and cheap!).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Still thinking about Rubee's clams with saffron and fregola though...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cranberry beans? Are they called that because of their color?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. BLTs, from my own tomato plants, my oh my what a difference fresh homegrown tomatoes make with this sandwich. Juicy, juicy, juicy.. mmm and flavor, and that smell when you bite into one. I love fresh homegrown tomatoes, nothing in the stores compares.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. So it is blowing a freezing cold gale outside and is pouring with rain - finally the weather I crave all year round. So what do I crave to eat? Uuuuhhhh, salad of course! How did that happen? So instead of the wonderful aroma of a fantastic roast or stew wafting throughout my house I have been prepping a Thai beef salad. I have two fat steaks coming to room tempertaure as I type, that were previously rubbed with a garlic and lemongrass paste I made. I have some red onions steeping in lime juice, fish sauce, chilli, palm sugar, a touch of garlic and some sesame oil. Lots of coriander (cilantro), mint, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yep, just what one craves on a cold, rainy day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: TheHuntress

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think I might crave that salad on any day, Huntress. Those pickled onions sound right up my alley.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: TheHuntress

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LOVE me some Thai beef salad. Perfect summer dish. MIght inspire me to make some tonight. That, or larb, or som tam. Oh yes, I'm feeling Thai today '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Yesterday, my husband smoked a prime rib roast. It was AMAZING! We had fresh corn on the cob with it, and zucchini salad with zukes from my sister's garden. Perfect dinner, perfect friends, and we killed 2 bottles of wine. Moulin Rouge from Sandhill Crane Vineyards and a Pinot Noir that had been lurking in the back of the wine rack for too long, but went really well with dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    11 people total here for dinner last night, and two of the boys actually skipped out on the prime rib in favor of hot dogs! My 2.5 year old ate his portion of the roast, the other two boys portions, and a hot dog. Along with an entire ear of corn. I think he's about to grow again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tzurriz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We do smoke roasted prime rib a couple of times a year. IMO, there is no better way to do it. My DH does an Herbs de Provence rub. It is so delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Tough weekend, helping my father get ready for his move to a condo this week. I'm glad for him, he is so looking forward to it and the place is gorgeous, but it means that I will never again cook in the kitchen where my mother cooked. So, comfort food is in order. Last night when I got back that was pasta with a really good batch of spaghetti sauce I made awhile back and took out of the freezer (mmm, hot Italian sausage and artichokes). Tonight it will be my favorite crispy, slightly spicy chicken cutlet on a bed of garlicky sauteed kale. The crispy coating stays on best if you let it set up in the fridge all day so I made it this morning, it's just waiting for me.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        oh GS, totally know what you're going through, tho we gave up my mom's house last year and have had my dad in a rental. we're moving him into a new place in 2 weeks, and my sister will be in the duplex next door, so at least we can both be near still to cook for him. it is sad when they have to give up all their own memories too. but, too funny, my dad's FAVORITE meal that my sister makes for him is spaghetti - he could eat it 3-4 times a week, so we do the same = make huge batches, freeze individual servings. trying to make him branch out at 82 is an exercise in futility, and often frustrating for the cook! i hadn't thought about making breaded chicken cutlets - and my dad loves breaded fried steak (what we call apanados), so i'm going to try that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So with you on exercise in futility and related frustration for the cook! For my father, there is an added wrinkle: like a child there are things he likes one week and doesn't like the next and I have a hard time keeping up because he doesn't notify me when it changes, he thinks I will somehow know. I am sure it is a way of exerting independence when he feels that he has lost some because of health and mobility issues. Plus my mother always made the decisions about what they ate so at some level it must feel pretty good to say, "you know, I never liked xyz". But in a HUGE development, Friday night he actually thanked me for the "delicious meal" (steak, mushrooms, mashed potatoes plus green beans for me, he is not currently eating anything green lol) and that has not happened for so long I don't remember when it last happened. So we go along our merry schizo ways, you and me and I am sure countless others here and everywhere, making the old comfort foods when cooking for our aging loved ones and making new exciting ones (sometimes anyway) when not. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            are you sure we aren't long lost siblings? all dads of a certain age must be alike. my dad suddenly doesn't like beef anymore. except ground. thank god chicken and pork are still ok. for now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              you know, we must be! mine just ended a long period of "no red meat" although thankfully, bacon, corned beef hash and roast beef sandwiches did not count as red meat. (!!!) but that steak last Friday was the first in months. i don't shop ahead anymore when i go down there for the weekend, just try to have some ideas in mind and roll with the punches. and eat healthy during the week so i don't have a problem zipping the jeans after a weekend of eating whatever he wants, which always involves a lot more carbs than is good for me although it is mighty handy to have the excuse....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Way too much rich, carby, or spicy food this weekend. Tonight, I think we'll keep it simple: bbq tofu, corn on the cob, zucchini carpaccio with lemon, olive oil, chives, and maybe a little shaved parm, and romaine salad with cukes, tomatoes, and ranch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Funny -- I made zucchini carpaccio twice last week! Ok, once was turned into a salad, but who cares? Same ingredients, tho I added toasted pine nuts, feta, and fresh mint.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          W/end was unhealthy here as well -- scarfed down a pizza late on Friday after returning from a gig where we weren't fed (!), Saturday cheeburgers & very greasy fries.... yesterday pasta.... oy vey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tonight will be, courtesy of TH's inspiration, Thai beef salad. Seared hangar steak, sliced thinly, with butter lettuce, cukes, red onions, grape tomatoes, cilantro, lime & fish sauce and a sliced bird pepper. May well regret that choice tomorrow '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yep, I pretty willfully stole your carpaccio idea. Why mess with genius? ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It was delicious, which even DH admitted "despite my initial skepticism". Nice and light. We sparred with our forks over the last pieces. We also finished off the last of the corn soup (thank god...it was lovely but never-ending)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm making my first cherry clafoutis ever for dessert!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            p.s. even fancy bottled Ranch dressing sucks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I did too, Linguafood, night before last! but haven't tried it exactly your way yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. One of DH's fave fishes, monkfish, on sale at the market, so roasting with some of the compound butter that is in the freezer from last week. Baby heirloom potatoes roasted with evoo, s&p, baby dandelion greens sautéed with evoo, garlic and a squeeze of lemon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          All very plain, I know, but equally delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Leftover steak (ribeye). Egg noodles on the side with a little melted butter and some grated cheese. Veg will be tomatoes (Rutgers and Brandywine) and basil from the garden. Evoo and sea salt will be on the counter. Yanks will be on the panel. Wine will be the house red.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cleaning out the coolerator.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Is the coolerator the reefer or the wine cooler? And by wine cooler, I don't mean the Bartles & Jaymes...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's the big stainless steel guy in the kitchen.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The wine jail is a whole different animal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love coolerator cleanout dinners. They make me feel accomplished.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I agree. There's a bit of confidence when you know that yesterday's leftovers will be just as good, maybe better, in the next iteration.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. My husband's fantastic fried chicken with rice and gravy. It doesn't really go, but I was in the mood for ratatouille, so I made my lightened-up baked version and it is absolutely delicious. Tradition be damned!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                OK, out with that ratatouille recipe, please!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That dinner sounds delicious. I love fried meat, rice, and gravy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No recipe, really, CM. I cut up an eggplant, a zucchini, a red pepper, some tomatoes (I used 3 Romas) and an onion in roughly the same sized pieces and put them on a sheet pan. Lightly sprinkle some olive oil on top as well as some fresh thyme and kosher salt, and pop in a 400 degree oven. Stir around after about 30 minutes and sprinkle some red pepper flakes, if desired. Let bake until almost done, and then sprinkle with two cloves of finely chopped garlic. Let that cook all together until it's the way you like it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This ratatouille is not soupy or mushy. The vegetables stay distinct. It's good on pasta, as a side dish, or as part of a ratatouille fritata, which is my favorite way to eat it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Had ratatouille fritata for breakfast this morning. It was so good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Roxlet, those three things sound yummy together to me. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Another rainy day and I'm still on my comfort food kick. I thawed out some left over Vegetable & Mushroom Soup with Dumplings. (my cheaters dumplings, made with Bisquick)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. The Man can't go too many weeks without his beloved fish tacos. Tonight, we made them with black beans, mango, avocado, lime/cilantro/habanero crema and a new to me fish called swai, which is slightly springier in texture and stronger in flavor than tilapia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Great way to stretch a pound of fish over a family of four. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I like this board. I promise never to take crummy (lazy) snapshots and inflict it on you guys ever again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I rather like your tablescapes and meal pics. I get the sense you and Deb really enjoy your meals and one another's company. Keep sharing, please. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Will do. I just need to step up my game.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Edited to add: That's a compliment to you and others on the board.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Just mouth watering!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've been too busy to cook for a few days. Eating out and thawing prior meals.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm still waiting for you to toodle up to the Northwest in a food truck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You and steve would be the first people I'd drive to! (That would be one hell of a gas bill - I'd have to charge a lot for them tacos...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              that's our favorite too; when things are normal, we start off the week w/ fish taco night; since they haven't been we had spaghetti dinner instead last night; i wish u could email me some of those fresh tortillas; if u want fresh tortillas in sofla u pretty much have to make them yourself :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Your tacos look amazing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks, Rocky and crowmuncher! Fish tacos seem to be a popular meal with the WFD crowd.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                cm, the tortillas aren't fresh (not that it's hard to get fresh tortillas in San Diego), but I really like giving them a good char right over a gas flame. Makes them feel fresher. :P

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  something tells me they are still fresher than mine; when i buy corn tortillas from the freezer section at whole foods, it takes a little more than a good char over a gas flame to bring them "back to life"; the flour ones are better in that regard and don't fall apart and at least they don't have the nasty chems the ones in other markets have, but they still leave much to be desired; don't know about San Diego, but in LA i know wholes foods carries fresh tortillas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Tonight its chicken tagine and couscous. The smell is unbelievable making sitting here waiting for it to be done pure torture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Leftover roast chicken, fresh basil tomato sauce, fresh mozz,, parm regg,, and cooked egg noodles got mixed together, put in a casserole, put in the oven for 15 minutes, and then under broiler for 5. Side was corn/arugula/teeny sweet toms/diced zukes with a basil oil lemon dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It was ok, not as good as i thought it would be. although the BF is on his 4th or 5th serving. so much for leftovers for his dinner tomorrow night when i'm out SEEING THE GO-GOS!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not surprised the BF loved it. It looks like one of those heartydelicious type dealies that men seem to love.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Have fun at the Go-Gos and sing Vacation extra loud for meeeeeeee!!! :)))

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Tonight I made Thai red curry with chicken breast, Chinese eggplant, red and yellow bell pepper, galangal and Thai basil. Served with steamed rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A salad on the side, with baby arugula, spinach, cherry tomatoes, mango, mint. Homemade ginger-lime vinaigrette.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My boyfriend would freak out if he knew how much fish sauce he ate tonight, but I just snap the lid shut, put the bottle back in the fridge and he's none the wiser.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Was away for the weekend and had some great food including a vegan corn soup with lemongrass. It was so so good that I am going to try to recreate it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tonight though we are having smoked trout fillets with a salad of roasted beetroot, cherry toms, rocket and cous cous with homemad mango chutney on the side - should just be maturing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yeah... I bought some once when we were at the store together and when I took it off the shelf he said, "Not in MY food." He knows I use it (why else would we need a new bottle?) but it's best if he doesn't know how much of it he eats or when, exactly, he's eating it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          He obviously doesn't dislike the taste -- he loves everything I put it in. He just doesn't like the idea of fish sauce. He's squeamish about seafood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. spaghetti w/ garlic bread; both homemade and i added ground salmon burger (not homemade) to sauce; pretty tasty w/ some parm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            lots of fresh crushed garlic,lots of xtra virg olive oil, lots of oregano, s&p, salmon burger; tomatoes weren't fresh- just a couple of org tom sauce cans from Costco; don't add parm until i serve

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've never tried salmon with a tomato based sauce. Sounds good, though. Gonna have to give it a whirl one of these days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If u do make sure u use lots of parm and evoo and garlic :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. My crispy chicken cutlet was so good last night I made another this morning for dinner tonight. Letting it set up all day in the fridge yielded the best crust ever. And the chipotle pickled okra it occurred to me to have with it took it to the next level. Used up all the kale last night so it will be a mixed salad and more of the okra with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I would love to know how you make your chipotle pickled okra.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Alright, fess up and tell us how you do that crispy cutlet. You said it's your favorite, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The pickled okra is storebought, I'm afraid JM, a product called Smokra from a NYC pickle company called Rick's Picks which I am just plain giving in to my addiction to. It goes with things you'd never think needed pickled okra with them. :) I see that a blogger out there has tried to reverse-engineer them though: http://norecipes.com/blog/2008/07/31/... And I also see that I was wrong about the chipotle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The crispy cutlet has evolved over time, but basically, butterfly and/or pound the chicken till less than 1/2 inch thick, then salt, pepper and flour lightly, rub thickly with a mix of equal parts mayo and Dijon, few drops of Tabasco, chopped fresh rosemary (I added a chopped sage leaf as well for tonight), and finely chopped garlic. Let that chill until set a bit, an hour is great but 30 minutes works. Dredge heavily in a mix of equal parts panko and grated parmesan with a healthy handful of chopped parsley thrown in then chill to let the crust set up. If you do it in the morning and let it set all day the crust really hangs on and crisps up nicely. I saute on medium high in a mix of grapeseed oil and butter. Definitely not health food! But I do normally serve it just with a green vegetable or salad, for me it does not need additional carbs. Pickled okra is great or I have done homemade pickled red onions with it, the pickle balances the richness nicely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Does the okra retain a good crunch when it's pickled?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i really can't wait to make those cutlets! i think i'm home tomorrow to cook...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yay! But are you still having to do a mush version of everything? Have fun at the concert tonight!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the BF has gotten better (braver) at chewing things despite not having fixed the dental problems. so not so mushy anymore. still can't have, say, steak... but we're working on it. we missed our annual korean bbq for our bdays because of his damned teeth! thanks for asking, and thx for well wishes at the show!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Beef stew. Boiled potatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Perfect for the weather

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Must be chilly there, Harters! Not so much here in the NY Metro area. I'll look forward to some beef stew in about a month or so!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's forecast to reach 18 today. Almost shorts and T-shirt weather in comparision with the last few days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I teach until 9 tonight, so DH will cook the Niman Ranch bacon I got yesterday for BLT's with the heirloom tomatoes, romaine and delicious, hearty white bread we got from the Farmer's Market.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Locally made potato chips (they sucker you in by keeping a big sample bowl of them on the counter!) and ripe nectarines will complete the meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Homemade mac and cheese (with piave vecchio, midnight moon, prima donna, parmesan, and asiago)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Green beans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sun gold tomatoes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I'll start with last night. Pulled pork, creole mustard potato salad with dill, and broccoli slaw.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tonight, kielbasa that ended up in the oven instead of the grill because of a rain storm with the leftover potato salad and slaw.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have house guests so meals this week are serving 10 people.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. My boyfriend has a late class tonight, so I am only now in the midst of preparing:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Chicken thighs stuffed with a garlic-butter-blue cheese, rolled in a cajun spice rub, drizzled with olive oil and baked (I am sadly BBQ-less, otherwise I surely would've cooked these outside). Topped with fresh mango salsa. (My take on a recipe I found online that was surely intended to sell some specialty chicken product or another)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I intend to serve with corn on the cob and a salad made with arugula, spinach, avocado, grapes, green onions and blue cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. First ratatouille of the summer. I finally found some local eggplant last week, and I am glad it is here to stay. Last year we had them into November, and they are late this year, so through the fall would be fine by me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Not a trafitional one tonight, I used up what was around. Lot's of globe zucchini, poblano peppers instead of red (finally found those locally too!), thyme, basil and oregano from the garden and a pint of roasted tomatoes I roasted and froze last summer. Some baby fennel kept things interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It cooked away for an hour and then sat for two more. I think the flavors will be better tomorrow, and I secretly want to fry up some Indian spices and have it with eggs this weekend - if it lasts that long.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tonight I had it with a grilled chicken breast. Not bad for eating what was around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Dorado was on the menu, so I browsed through the Fish Without a Doubt thread on chowhound for ideas. I saw the tandoori fish and knew that was it! Made up my own tandoori paste and cooked the fish according to the recipe. Served it with my take on an indian potato dish, with some grilled baby corn and sweet peas. Dessert was yoghurt cake with a bit of frozen yoghurt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tonight will be chickpea curry with roti. Dessert... I'm thinking sweet potatoes - letting the natural sweetness shine through :). Odd take, but I like it as dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. last night it was leftover lentils and rice with a couple of fried eggs on top- cooked soft so that it oozed all over the rice; greens salad on the side

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Last night was a Med salad with five cheese lasagna.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I started a new thread here as we're well over the 300 mark: