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Sep 5, 2011 04:24 PM

What's For Dinner, Part #105 [OLD]

Well, before steveh and I get in a heated battle as to which baseball team and park is better (MINE is better! LOL), I thought I'd start a new thread, as we're a good bit over 300 on the previous one. I'm doing the meatloaf thing as posted here:

What's cooking your way? Did you have a Labor Day holiday BBQ/grilling blowout? Or are you dealing with much cooler temps and already thinking about stews, soups, and warming fall-like meals? Post them here - we always need new dishes to salivate over, don't we?

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  1. The storm rolling through has brought with it something that has sent my otherwise dormant allergies into overdrive. In my opinion, there is no better cure for the 50 pound head than a big pot of Tom Kha, on the spicy side, with lots of big pink shrimp, oodles of rice noodles and handfuls of beautiful veggies in a super rich chicken stock that has been on the stove all day.

    Dessert is huge M&M cookies from a wonderful little bakery up north courtesy of some neighbors who's house we kept an eye on while they were away for most of the holiday weekend. They're the crispy kind of cookies so they're perfect milk dippers!

    2 Replies
    1. re: weezieduzzit

      Tom Kha and M & M cookies. What could be better? I love Tom Kha when it snows.

      1. re: weezieduzzit

        Last night was pork spareribs baked in the oven rather than put on the BBQ pit (and I could lose my Texas citizenship for saying that). But the temp was 100 + and the smoke from the Central Texas fires was thick in the air, even this far south, so it wasn't optimal cookout weather here.

      2. @Linda & steverino...don't forget Wrigley field my friends!

        BTW, the temp has gone from 100 3 days ago to 50 tonight. Gotta love Chicago!

        5 Replies
        1. re: twodales

          I've never been. I'll do better next season, I promise.

          1. re: twodales

            quote: @Linda & steverino...don't forget Wrigley field my friends!

            BTW, the temp has gone from 100 3 days ago to 50 tonight. Gotta love Chicago!

            I grew up in suburban Chicago (Elmhurst). Remember that the first night game at Wrigley Field was stopped because of lightning. Baseball was meant to be played during the day.

            1. re: Barbara76137

              Except the old ballparks are really *something* lit up at night - Fenway and Wrigley are something else. I've not been inside Wrigley, but my brother used to live about a 1/4 mile away, and I remember driving past several times when I visited him. Really cool place from the outside!

              1. re: LindaWhit

                The Cubs might---stink most of the time but the atmosphere in that park is amazing. There is a definite kinship amongst the spectators. We like to take foreign guests there especially...they are always amazed and impressed.

                1. re: twodales

                  Exactly. Wrigley and Fenway both have a history that no other ballpark has. I do hope the cities of Chicago and Boston can keep the grand old dames around for a long while.

          2. Lunch was a leftover makeover of last night's roast chicken - curried roast chicken salad naanwich and roast veg soup.

            And then for dinner, I remember watching some Food Network show about this place in LA that sells dogs with Thai style slaw on them, so I took some jumbo dogs from Fresh & Easy (which are really tasty and juicy, btw), boiled and fried them, put them on Il Fornaio hot dogs buns (also available @ F&E), and topped them with some Thai style slaw.

            Red Stripe Lager to wash it down. HOORAYYYYY BEER!!!

            13 Replies
            1. re: inaplasticcup

              Your pictures are making me so hungry, I think I might go make dinner right now!

                  1. re: inaplasticcup

                    Thanks, all. Hope everyone had a lovely day off. :)

                    1. re: inaplasticcup

                      those dogs are astounding. what's in that thai slaw, just the usual suspects?

                      1. re: mariacarmen

                        Hey, mc. I salted the cabbage and onions with maybe 2 teaspoons of salt and let it sit for about 25 minutes to extract water and gave them a good squeeze before seasoning. Then I added about 2 Tablespoons of my nuoc cham dressing (because that's all I had left from last week) plus maybe 2 teaspoons more sugar, another Tablespoon of lime juice, and a Tablespoon of distilled white vinegar, and about a Tablespoon of oil. (So essentially 3 or 4 Tablespoons of the nuoc cham dressing made on the sweet side with an added splash of oil and white vinegar to give it extra tang.) Then fresh mint and cilantro, and 1 finely chopped habanero.

                        The nuoc cham dressing recipe:

                        - ¼ cup fish sauce
                        - ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons water
                        - 3 Tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
                        - 3 to 3.5 Tablespoons sugar (depending on how sweet you like your food)
                        - 1 clove garlic, crushed
                        - 1 Tablespoon minced shallot or red onion
                        - 1 Tablespoon neutral oil


                          1. re: inaplasticcup

                            *ACK! Make that kosher salt. 2 tsp of table salt would probably make it a little too salty.

                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                              That sounds like my kind of slaw. Going to have to make this for dinner this week. Thanks Ina!

                              1. re: inaplasticcup

                                thanks Ina - my nuoc cham had no real measurements. good to have some. why the water? just for volume? i think i just usually use more lime/lemon.

                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                  I add water because it's been my experience that fish sauce, no matter the brand, in those quantities, is so salty as to be bitter, and I need water to bring it to a baseline of saltiness that I can work with in a raw preparation. For me, the addition of that much lime/lemon juice would ratchet up the acid element to a point of imbalance, but that's a matter of preference too, because my balanced might taste flat to someone else.

                                  But in all the years I have made nuoc cham, and regardless of the brand of fish sauce, I have always found the need to add water to bring balance to the sauce from the perspective of my palate. :)

                                  1. re: inaplasticcup

                                    i think you hit it, I have had to do this very thing when I make pancit. I also have tried different brands etc., and we both know how cooking fish sauce mellows it out. A teensy bit of sugar brown or white works well in the mix for me (for pansit) which is one of very favorite Filipino dishes.

                          2. We're having bacon-wrapped, blue cheese-stuffed figs for dinner tonight, accompanied by mashed red potatoes (with the skins on) and a salad with tons of avocado, tomatoes, grated carrot and mustard vinaigrette.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                              Bacon wrapped figs - how'd you cook them, BBL?

                              1. re: inaplasticcup

                                I cut a slit in the side, stuffed in some cheese, wrapped a half slice of bacon around and then baked them at 400F until the bacon was crispy. I think next time I might use a whole piece of bacon for each, because my figs were really big. Even with less bacon, though, they were really good.

                                1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                  That does sound so, sooo good. I've done the bacon, but not the bacon and cheese together. Will have to try that next time.

                            2. Seared chilean sea bass, served atop a really flavorful "stew" of diced chorizo, onion and garlic and fresh thyme, deglazed with white wine and chicken stock, with kale braised in the liquid. Just as the fish was done, I tossed in some cockles and let them open up in the broth. I based the dish loosely on a similar recipe for black bass in Saveur. I think I'll keep it in the rotation of dishes suitable for guests. The "stew" could be made mostly in advance with the cockles to be thrown in to cook quickly right before serving. And the fish could be seared ahead of time and then finished off in the oven for a few minutes while the cockles are doing their thing.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: MAH

                                That does sound like a meal fit for guests. And with cockles too. Makes my mouth water...