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

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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: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8043...

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

          Yeah.
          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

                Seriously good looking stuff.

                1. re: inaplasticcup

                  beautiful pictures!

                  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

                          wow, that sounds good!

                          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: rabaja

                                Sure thang, rabaja! :)

                              2. 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...

                              2. Tonight a group effort pig roast.

                                 
                                 
                                 
                                 
                                 
                                 
                                 
                                 
                                 
                                 
                                 
                                 
                                 
                                16 Replies
                                1. re: chowdom

                                  That is 100 kinds of awesome. Thanks for sharing your pics, chowdom!

                                  1. re: inaplasticcup

                                    Thank you and no I didn't make the cake.

                                  2. re: chowdom

                                    Seriously good looking piiiiiiiggggggg!

                                    1. re: chowdom

                                      That is so cool.

                                      1. re: steve h.

                                        Thx to all who responded it really was cool and so incredibly delicious, cakewreck included... The lechon was good in a way that is almost beyond description however the Pasteles were downright mnd boggling...

                                         
                                         
                                        1. re: chowdom

                                          Were they pasteles de guayaba? Mmmmmm.....

                                          1. re: inaplasticcup

                                            No, they were savory the masa / dough was made from green plantain, yautia and calabaza the filling was seasoned pork very labor intensive.

                                            1. re: chowdom

                                              that is some serious cooking Chow; i had to google yautia - is that like malanga? it looks just like it- i love that and like to have it mashed (just like mashed potatoes); those pasteles seem like something you'd prepare during the holidays. Were you just going all out or were you celebrating something? :)

                                              1. re: crowmuncher

                                                Crowmuncher this was a "Labor day" pig roast in conjunction with a birthday celebration and thus a special occasion. Pasteles are a special occasion food. Yautia, malanga and tannier are all the same... I need to be clear that I was not the one to make the pasteles. We have a group of friends that hale from Puerto Rico and who were the inspiration for the menu. Several of the women belonging to this group of friends prepared the pasteles.

                                                We prepared the piggy Puerto Rican style as well. We washed the pig with a combination of sour orange, lemon and lime and then seasoned with garlic, oregano, adobo, salt, pepper. The wash removed any trace of gamieness from the little fellow. The pig turned out to be sweet and mild despite the seasoning and and spit roasting.

                                                1. re: chowdom

                                                  Well you both had me beat because I had to google all of the above! That seriously looks like such a good time...

                                                  1. re: chowdom

                                                    Regarding my above post it should read hail not hale, ugh... Inaplasticcup this was a special occasion meal many of your weekly dinners could give our pig roast a run for the money ; ) I'm thinking about the beach scene dinner photo you posted a while back.

                                                    1. re: chowdom

                                                      Dinners at the beach are pretty occasional for us too.

                                                      Now to do your pig roast at the beach - how awesome would that be? :)

                                                      1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                        Pretty darn awesome but I have a feeling It would require a trip to Puerto Rico.

                                                    2. re: chowdom

                                                      sorry for late reply; had to mapquest a place yesterday morning and that ate up all my Chowhound time ;)

                                                      "Yautia, malanga and tannier are all the same"- had no idea about either of those terms as synonyms for malanga and i pride myself on how much i know Carib food; Puerto Rican food is so good- you are lucky to have friends that hail from there and will cook pasteles; i have this fantasy that i cook tamales like it's a joke, but that never happens for me because it takes me the entire day and then they never cook through; those foods are labor intensive as you wrote and they are best cooked with an experienced team; those people that can make them blind-folded; as a matter of fact i was reading this interesting Tamale book i got from the lib that took its recipes from an older woman who was blind and was still making her tamales; i think it's so awesome when these food are made in the summer- like a Christmas in July party :)

                                                      1. re: crowmuncher

                                                        Crowmuncher your post is so on the money. I actually felt extremely guilty eating the pasteles. It took a tremendous amount of will power to limit myself to one ( and I shared it). I felt they should be consumed by the other guests and the individuals who put the hours in making them. They really were an incredible treat you could absolutely taste the love.

                                                      2. re: chowdom

                                                        What an amazing dinner. I had to look at all your photos individually, so fascinating. I had to look up a bunch of the words too! I'm not familiar with Puerto Rican food, but this all looks wonderful. Thanks for posting about it.

                                          2. i didn't roast any pigs...
                                            realized i have some lobster claw to use up, along with some other stuff... so, i'm doing lobster claws and poached eggs over some almond cauliflower gnocchi. with a variation on a tarragon hollandaise. and some leftover grilled asparagus. hope it's not too much on the plate... time will tell... about half an hour :)

                                            hope everyone has had a rejuvenating weekend! and not too much labouring done if you're in the US!

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: Emme

                                              oh man does that sound good! Emme, you're making me verrrrry hungry, and jealous.

                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                turned out quite well actually... gluten free lo-carb "gnocchi" (figure it borders on sinful to call what i made actual gnocchi, and an insult to the Italian tradition) were quite lovely. i love lobster claws (actually don't much care for the tail), and it paired well with the egg, but i don't usually eat so much richness all together... good on a rare occasion though.

                                                1. re: Emme

                                                  Very interesting. Had to have been a rich meal. At first blush, I wouldn't have paired your ingredients. Upon further review, I think it's really cool.

                                                  Well done.

                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                    haha well, emptying the fridge is the mother of invention.

                                                    1. re: Emme

                                                      that is so true :)

                                            2. Today was more of a late lunch/early dinner. I've been searching for small (71/90) fresh shrimp to make camarones de aguachile. I bought a pound at 99 Ranch Market and so today I made this dish for the very first time. It turned out just like I remembered it the first time I tasted it in Puerta Vallarta.

                                              The heat wave here in Texas has finally broken, and so tonight I have all my windows open and I'm enjoying the evening. Just was sitting out on my balcony and thinking about how I can replace my herb garden either on the balcony or in the kitchen since everything was incinerated this summer.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: Barbara76137

                                                What does into your camarones de aguachile recipe, Barbara?

                                                1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                  super simple!! 2 larger serranos, handful of cilantro and lime juice from 4 limes goes in the blender with some salt. Toss that over a pound of the tiny cleaned and deveined shrimp for about 20 minutes in the refrigerator.

                                                  In the meantime I diced some avocado, cucumber and red onion. I put the shrimp on some store bought crisp tostadas (I like Guerrero) and garnished with the avocado, cucumber, onion and some Tapatio.

                                                  1. re: Barbara76137

                                                    Sounds delicious. Like a ceviche!

                                                    Thanks for sharing your recipe. :)

                                                    1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                      That's exactly what it is, but I've had ceviche that isn't hot from peppers. I actually could have used another serrano, but I was worried it would be too hot. In hindsight, I should have garnished it with some thinly sliced serranos but I liked the tomato/garlic taste of the Tapatio.

                                                      1. re: Barbara76137

                                                        I would totally go for the extra serrano. But I'm a chilihead. :)

                                              2. Hubby remade the first dinner he ever cooked for me. Chicken parmesan and a simple little ricotta lasagna side. I forgot I had tossed all of our breadcrumbs, so he whizzed up some old butter croutons. Fabulous choice! And we finished the meal with a cheap riesling and the evening breeze.
                                                No, it's not the most interesting (or healthiest) meal. But we've been a real non-cooking rut. So this was a nice introduction back into the kitchen.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: isntsheclever

                                                  Perhaps not interesting but it SOUNDS GOOD! And it was a "romantic remembrance meal." Definitely a good thing. :-)

                                                  1. re: isntsheclever

                                                    That's super sweet of your hubs.

                                                    We had a really tasty, cheap sauvignon blanc-verdejo over the weekend. We should start a cheap wine club. :)

                                                  2. It was clean out the fridge and use up what needed to be used up day! So....a quick sauce from our homegrown tomatoes and basil....just sauteed some onions and garlic, then simmered about 20 of our tomatoes that had ripened all at the same time,( I dipped them quickly in boiling water, then in an icewater bath, then peeled, cored and seeded) added some salt, pepper and some of our own basil and some fresh oregano from my favorite farm stand. Also had an eggplant that needed to be used....hence, a small batch of eggplant parmesan, with aforementioned sauce. Some taco seasoned ground sirloin, and a small container of rice as well as some mild enchilada sauce led to a Southwestern inspired rice bowl. Sauteed some onions, garlic and green peppers in about 2 tsp olive oil, when soft, added the taco seasoned meat, and mixed well. Then the rice and enchilada sauce, as well as a dash of chipotle chili powder, and about 1/2 tsp cumin, and some fresh parsley. It was good with some Mexican shredded cheese melted on top, garnished with a tsp of fat free sour cream and some salsa, and a few tortilla strips. Also, a pizza dough had been in the fridge for awhile, so I topped that with some of the homemade sauce, and some shredded reduced fat Italiam cheese, and baked it for 2o minutes. Then, my sister called and invited me to her house for dinner, so I actually had some great BBQ'd ribs, pulled pork, macaroni salad, and corn bread for dinner, washed down with a few nice margaritas:) but...dinner is ready for most of the week:)

                                                    1. After a day of trying to move furniture through doors of substandard widths, jockeying, repositioning, rearranging, denting walls, tearing hear out, cursing, etc.…Time to break for dinner. And a traditional homey dinner it was. We think it was the first time the NIghtshades have prepared steak and baked potatoes. The steak had marinated for two days, as we ended up stuck on a local island yesterday. The potato was tarted up, in steakhouse fashion, with sour cream, black pepper, and garden chives. Asparagus and lemon did repeat duty as the green vegetable. Sometimes you just have to go with the mainstream classics.
                                                      We'll reprise the peach cake if we have enough energy for dessert. Big day tomorrow.

                                                       
                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                        Beautiful steak and rest of plate. Good luck with the "Big Day" today!

                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                          Nice and pink! I think baked potatoes is something I think I eat way more often than I really do.

                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                            love a tarted up tater!

                                                          2. ach! after a true day of Labor - 9 hours of painting & scrubbing the oldster's "new" house - there was just no time left for the kimchi chicken. burgers and fries in between brush strokes instead. but i got home and went ahead and cooked the chicken that had marinated for like 36 hours. Ina, have to thank you - i think the addition of that bit of sugar is going to really make this dish, when we finally get to chow down on it. it smells FANTASTIC. we'll probably take it with us to my dad's tomorrow to devour like cavemen as we continue the marathon of getting the place ready for him to move in this weekend.

                                                            now to try to get all this paint out of my hair.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                              Gladly, mc! Hope you get this move past you soon. :)

                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                Hey mc, you are in the home stretch now, you should pardon the expression. And you will be so happy you painted ahead of the move, it makes such a difference! I have spent the last 3 weekends unpacking my oldster in his new digs and wondering why I can't find the butter dish or the good grill pan or enough forks (why? why? would all the flatware not be in the same box? why?). Last night I made a simple but yummy meal of broiled salmon, stir-fried baby bok choy (for me, he is not currently eating anything green except avocados) and basmati rice in his new one-man rice cooker I gave him for his birthday on Saturday (85). I think the rice cooker will be a hit once we determine the amount of water that suits his preferences (last night's rice was a bit too dry). Tonight in my own kitchen I am thinking to bake the lovely small fresh-dug potatoes I got at the organic farm this weekend and serve tarted up with butter, sour cream, scallions and Nueske's pepper bacon, alongside some sliced tomatoes. There is also an avocado lurking in the fridge...

                                                                1. re: GretchenS

                                                                  Thanks Gretchen. yep, it's a mess alright. all his stuff is crammed into a pod and will be uncrammed and disgorged into the new house this weekend. we're not sure at this point if his fridge will fit in the new space (as of course the fridge is in the pod and poor planning means we didn't measure the fridge!) so meals may be of the fast-food genre for a little bit.

                                                                  I love everyone tarting up their baked potatoes nowadays...

                                                              2. Last night an old friend was stopping by so we had a little fancier that usual basic dinner. To start was a wild-caught salmon cerviche over sliced avocados. The Egyptians don't get avocado it seems. Following that was high temperature roasted chicken "Scarborough Fair" (with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme), scallion mashed potatoes and garlic sautéed broccoli. For dessert I made a lime coconut semifreddo with mangos. I was a little disappointed with the dessert, the recipe for which I had gotten from Everyday Food, because I thought it too rich.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                  i love that - Scarborough Fair chicken!

                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                    that ceviche sounds amazing.

                                                                  2. At home, marinated London Broil. I put ours on to marinate at the same time as I set to with my work for today's big production: which is worth roughly 15 lbs. times' that amount of it, at work. My husband'll grill it, that and some of the last halved heirloom tomatoes we have in the house, w/ a couple of lengthwise-sliced baby zucchini. I'll chop the grilled tomatoes and combine them with a handful of brined olives, some chopped oregano, and some lemon juice - kind of a salsa for the meat. And aside, really simple orzo, mixed with some pinenuts, buttered heavily, salted and peppered. Sorbet and cookies for later, if anybody wants it.
                                                                    Have a great safe week, y'all.
                                                                    :)

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                      That meat salsa sounds wonderful. And I *love* orzo. That meal sounds like a wonderful introduction to fall.

                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                        oh yum, "heavily buttered sounds good" on anything!

                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                          I love that tapenade-ish idea for the grilled tomatoes. Sounds like perfect summertime grill meal, mama. :)

                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                            I'm a little concerned, mamachef.
                                                                            Your appearance has changed so radically in a short period of time!

                                                                          2. Last night I discovered that when I asked the boy to grab three bunches of cilantro, he grabbed two bunches of flat leaf parsley instead. This threw me off my plan for tonight's fish tacos (for him--egg tacos for me). But I squared my shoulders, and decided to make chimichurri for the tacos, instead of crema with cilantro. And then I saw that he'd gotten salmon instead of a whitefish.

                                                                            Baked salmon with chimichurri it is, then. Spicy fried corn on the side. And, as I'm still having eggs and tortillas, I will anticipate the "That looks really good, honey" and be prepared to fry up a few more eggs for the always hungry man.

                                                                            We've been a wee bit broke lately, and last night, he told me not to cook anything for dinner on Friday, because he was taking me out. "The vacuum broke today," I said. The look he gave me was priceless, and I started giggling. I think we laughed for a full ten minutes before either of us said an expletive.

                                                                            12 Replies
                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                              love that. laugh or cry, right?

                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                I just had to vacuum, didn't I. *shakes head*

                                                                                1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                  silly girl. dinner out ALWAYS trumps vacuuming. or any other drudgery.

                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                    I can't talk now, MC. I have to go dust everything that is precious to me while I burn some candles, and then go sharpen all my knives.

                                                                              2. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                In the scope of stupid little things that really shouldn't bother you in the grand scheme that is life but do, getting parsley instead of cilantro is pretty high up there for me. I'm sorry, lily. :(

                                                                                1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                  I was going to use cilantro in three meals out of four, so I heartily concur.

                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                    I went to four stores on Sunday before I could find flat leaf (Italian) parsley! Could find plenty of cilantro but no parsley. I don't think cilantro would have been good in my lasagna.

                                                                                    1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                      You two should trade.

                                                                                2. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                  If you can laugh about that stuff together you're lucky to have one another!!!

                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                    Sorry to hear about your vacuum. I'd send you mine (along with all my cilantro) but my vacuum died today at 4AM and I had to crawl around on my hands & knees using the dustbuster to vacuum all the cat fur and kitty litter. No new vacuum in the future for me since I can't even afford to pay myself this payday. I'm the accountant at my job and the owner has overdrawn the bank account.

                                                                                    1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                      Oh, that really sucks! (no pun intended.) Can't he/she supplement from his own funds? You shouldn't have to suffer!

                                                                                      1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                        How awful, Barbara. I had a paycheck that *bounced* once, It's disheartening to work hard, and not be paid in return--and also to work in a place that seems all too unstable. I hope your boss comes through for you.

                                                                                    2. It's raining like the dickens here, and we're having pasta tonight. It's a basic tomato marinara, and I am trying to decide what to add to it -- whether the left over chicken from last night, or something else. Probably the chicken, and we'll just have a big salad with that. Nothing special, but a meal that keeps well for the rolling dinner times for everyone here tonight...

                                                                                      1. Tonight - chicken lettuce wraps and sesame noodles. The wraps will be filled with stir-fried chopped chicken, mushrooms, carrots, green onions, garlic, ginger and hoisin sauce. Simple sesame soba noodles go on the side.

                                                                                        1. After 3 nights of socializing, we' re taking it easy at casa lingua -- two wild Pacific coho salmon filets will head under the broiler briefly with not much else besides s&p, side is cucumber & sweet onion salad with yogurt-dill-dressing. Squeeze of lemon for the fish.

                                                                                          It's pouring outside, so the Weber purchase has been postponed for now...

                                                                                          1. Cool(er) temps today and rainy:
                                                                                            Roast chicken
                                                                                            Homemade challah twists
                                                                                            Ginger-glazed carrots

                                                                                            1. Southwest rice/taco seasoned meat and bean bowl, topped with Mexican shredded cheese, pico de gallo, fat free sour cream and tortilla strips. And a Corona light. with lime.

                                                                                              1. As usual, everyone's food looks and sounds so yummy. Kind of wish my iPhone took better pix. Some of those food shots are just gorgeous.

                                                                                                Made a not your average taco filling yesterday. It freezes well. Used it yesterday and today.

                                                                                                1 pound of browned ground beef
                                                                                                1 can of rinsed and drained black beans
                                                                                                5 tbs bulgur wheat rehydrated in a cup of hot chicken stock
                                                                                                3 plum tomatoes puréed
                                                                                                1 green bell pepper diced
                                                                                                1 orange bell pepper diced
                                                                                                1 onion mined
                                                                                                1/2 tsp cumin
                                                                                                1 tsp chili powder
                                                                                                1 tsp onion powder
                                                                                                1 tsp garlic powder
                                                                                                1 tsp oregano

                                                                                                Throw into crock pot. Simmer  3 hrs on low. 

                                                                                                Served with avocado and warmed taco shells. 

                                                                                                Today, I made enchiladas.   Took the filling from yesterday, some queso blanco, and stuffed that into some corn tortillas softened in oil.  Made a green sauce from roasted poblanos and a roasted green bell pepper and a touch of chicken stock.   I'm very happy with the way they turned out.   

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                                                                                                1. Red beans and rice, biscuits, and salad. Just got back from New Orleans and still have the tastes on my mind. :)

                                                                                                  1. We had dinner in two parts tonight, and we're in sort of a produce cleanout mode (I think I got a little too excited with the produce last week), so about two hours ago, I made a small margherita pizza out of the last piece of naan, 2 half-used romas which I sauteed with a little garlic, a chunk of Monterey Jack that was starting to mold, and some fresh basil. I oiled the foil liberally and baked at 425 for 8 minutes, and I was surprised at how good a thin crust pizza that made. Definitely beats TJs pizza dough, and I can't recommend it enough if you want thin crust pizza in a pinch. If you look real close, you can see how beautifully the edges browned and crisped.

                                                                                                    Then just now I made our staple goi cuon (with shrimp this time) to polish off the rest of the red lettuce, Persian cukes, green onions, mint and most of the rest of the cilantro. Dipped that in the Hoisin sauce I made for last week's ribeye lunch doctored with lots of sriracha and lime.

                                                                                                     
                                                                                                     
                                                                                                     
                                                                                                     
                                                                                                     
                                                                                                     
                                                                                                    1. Ina PC's beautiful photos above reminded me that I had planned to make vegetable and shrimp rolls tonight (love all that greenery, ina).
                                                                                                      But the best laid plans…
                                                                                                      Mr NS was out of town (which is going to be a frequent, but temporary, occurrence), so I forgot about the rolls and went into fridge cleanout mode. Just tossed together diced chicken breast, chopped green and yellow beans, asparagus, tomato, onion, garlic, basil, preserved lemon, and za'atar. Not a very pretty sight, but I felt virtuous.

                                                                                                      1. short and sweet - even (or maybe especially) eaten on painting tarps on the floor, the kimchi chicken ROCKED. will definitely make it again. thanks ina, for your tips!

                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                          YW, mc. IDK if you like pig, but that's the meat we usually use in our kimchi stir fry, and the combo is super tasty. :)

                                                                                                          1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                            wait, did you really just say "i don't know if you like pig,"??? me, of the long, slow pig roasts? Pig is KING in our house, the godhead, nirvana, the ULTIMATE MEAT! we love pig! and that combo sounds wonderful.

                                                                                                            i ended up not doing a stirfry, exactly. i used whole bone-in thighs and put them in a super hot pan first, let them caramelize, and then added in all the kimchi/sauce stuff until the chicken was cooked through. soooo good. hey, does kimchi have a lot of oil in it? i didn't notice that in any recipes i've read for it, but this dish was a tad oily - just a tad, but the only oil i added to the sauce was a little sesame....

                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                              Ohmygawd. Forgive me, mc of the PERNIL! I think I posted that before I got through my first cup.

                                                                                                              And no oil in kimchi. :)

                                                                                                              Bone in thighs have a lot of fat - perhaps that plus cooking oil made it a little too greasy for you?

                                                                                                        2. Slow roasted salmon with a shaved summer squash salad with lots of basil and mint and lemon, and cherry tomatoes tossed with minced Vidalia's, more basil and good olive oil and vinegar.

                                                                                                          All of this was left over from yesterdays abruptly aborted picnic and needed to be eaten. It was pretty delicious, even though I enjoyed it solo...anything but Italian. I don't think I'll be able to face Italian for days...:(

                                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                            Oh, no, rabaja. Did it not work out? Are you okay? Do you want me to kick his butt? Or, at least, flip him the bird from a moving car?

                                                                                                            Your meal sounds beautiful. I don't use mint enough. Let me know about the bird.

                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                              lily's a buttkicker from way back. I can tell.

                                                                                                              Hope all is better today, rabaja.

                                                                                                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                The bird would be perfect, Lily. Thank you!
                                                                                                                A day of occasional tears and I predict I will be over it. Here's hoping...
                                                                                                                Larb is that you, calling to comfort me??? The NY steak in my freezer wants to help, too.

                                                                                                              2. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                Oh bummer, rabaja. I hope it was just a temporary glitch.

                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                  Me too! I want to call "communication break-down", but my gut is saying Keep Walking.

                                                                                                                  1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                    Hey, you're a CHOWHOUND. Your gut always knows. <3

                                                                                                                    1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                      Yup, I'm a gut truster too.

                                                                                                                2. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                  ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..... sorry to hear this Rabaja.... i'll hold him down while oadl beats the crap out of him..... or better yet, we'll just shun him.

                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                    So sorry, rabaja, I will hold the other side while oadl works him over.....

                                                                                                                    Larb sounds wonderful...

                                                                                                                3. A Thai yellow curry, with carrots, sweet potatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, sambal oelek, lime juice, and coconut milk, hold the cilantro. My only fresh herb option is basil, so I'll probably toss a little handful in. I do have the makings for saffron rice, though, so that should improve the meal somewhat, even though I vastly prefer curry dishes with noodles. And yes, I could make egg noddles, but I'm not going to, because I am a little cranky today, and I do not find kneading to be therapeutic. Spicy peas will be served as a side (sukhi matar) in keeping with the rest of the meal. Meh. I can't wait until I can finally get to the market on Friday. And Saturday we might take a run to TJ's. A freezer full of garlic naan always makes me smile.

                                                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                    You know what I think would make a great addition to that curry, lily? A whole bunch of chopped parsley!!!!

                                                                                                                    BAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!! :P

                                                                                                                    P.S. What all goes into sukhi matar?

                                                                                                                    1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                      Onion, finely minced (or grated) seasoned with cumin, coriander, garam masala, turmeric, a chile (or cayenne), salt, pepper, and peas. Julie Sahini has a similar recipe (masala dal) that I really like: it calls for yellow split peas (don't have), omits the garam masala (I have a boatload of the stuff to use up), and coriander leaves instead of ground. So I thought I'd try this recipe with the green peas. *If* the boy agrees. He's a fan of simple buttered peas, with a touch of parmesan.

                                                                                                                      And you're hiiillllaaaariiiiious.

                                                                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                        That sounds good. I don't do enough Indian flavors... I get naan and what do I do with it? Make pizza.

                                                                                                                        Do you do the onion grating thing?

                                                                                                                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                          Rawr! Grrr. Argh. Okay, I'm done being cranky.

                                                                                                                          I don't grate for this dish (I usually only give in to grating for the boy's beloved seven-way chili). I hate grating onions, and usually just mince them as much as I can. But I do think it would be a better dish, if I weren't stubborn about it. And naan pizza is delicious . . . but not as delicious as what I'm actually about to have tonight.

                                                                                                                          Curry tomorrow, sisters. The boy came home early as a surprise, and once he gets done with his nap (Surprise! Where's my blanket?), he wants to get Lou Malnati's. Yay!

                                                                                                                          He is sedating me with cheese and carbs. Smart man.

                                                                                                                          1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                            Lou Malnati's - When the Man and I were in Chicago, we asked a college kid where to get dip dish, and he said either Giordano's or *Illuminati's*, which is what it sounded like to us. How's that Illuminati pizza? (We ended up at JEE-or-DON-o's.)

                                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                              see? dinner out, screw the vacuum cleaner!

                                                                                                                          2. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                            hah! she told you she was crabby!

                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                              LOL. I know. Sometimes I like to live dangerously. It makes me think I actually have enough of a life that I don't live for stupid food experiments like making my own sundried raisins.

                                                                                                                        2. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                          there is nothing meh-sounding about that curry.

                                                                                                                        3. My Community Supported Fishery share starts up again today (my share partner and I took the summer off) so of course our delivery today is one of the only two fish I don't care for: redfish aka ocean perch. So I thought I'd make it Veracruz-style to kind of drown it out. (Limes, onion, garlic, tomatoes, geen olives, capers, pickled jalapenos, various hebs all simmered together and then the fish cooked in it.) Polly with steamed white rice, maybe some green beans. Pooh, wish it had been cod or flounder....

                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                            A surprise fish basket?!?!? Jealous.

                                                                                                                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                              It has its pros and cons. I like supporting the local fleet and buying direct from them (they even tell you the name of the boat that caught it) and whatever fish it is, it has been swimming that morning. But there is not a lot of variety, which kinda makes sense when you are limited to fishing locally and sustainably. And when two of our local sustainable fish are redfish and hake (which latter fish another poster here once described as cod without the taste) it gets even less good. Hence the summer off. But weeks when I get a pristine pollack or several flounder still in rigor mortis, or better yet, gorgeous local mackeral (only happened once, highly seasonal fish) all is wonderful. Every now and then it's even monkfish tail.... But mostly it's cod, haddock, hake, cod, pollack, hake, repeat.

                                                                                                                              1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                Interesting. I don't think I've ever had hake, but I do know this: *meh* fish = fish taco time. :D

                                                                                                                                1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                  Excellent point. Growing up and living most of my life in the East, not only do I not default to Mexican, it somewhat intimidates me. When I get hake, I make good old-fashioned New England fish cakes which I am happy to have in the freezer and serve with homemade tartar or remoulade sauce. But I need to put fish tacos on the list for the next time it's hake.... Thanks!

                                                                                                                            2. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                              Rudely replying to myself to link the recipe, which came out GREAT. First time I ever ate my redfish, the 4 times we got it before twice I made it, took a bite and threw the rest out and ate crackers and cheese, then the next two times gave the whole thing to my share partner. Never again with this recipe in my back pocket and always having all the ingredients around. http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

                                                                                                                              1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                Thanks for posting that link. I do a red snapper Veracruz, but I like the looks of this recipe better than my current one!

                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                  It was so good that I am happily anticipating Round II tonight, with the other half of the formerly-hated redfish!! It was a bit too much work for when I get home on fish pickup days so I think I will make a big batch and freeze (without the olives but everything else should freeze OK) to use next time we get redfish (and there will be a next time).

                                                                                                                            3. Pan-seared rib eye. An upscale market in nearby Port Chester, New York had a Labor Day Weekend sale going on. USDA Prime, dry aged. Too good to be true? We'll see.

                                                                                                                              I'll probably release a 2006 Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon from the wine jail. There will be corn on the cob and house tomatoes on the side (a familiar refrain).

                                                                                                                              Fenway is an iconic stadium, Wrigley, too. Yankee Stadium, the new Yankee Stadium, has Memorial Park. 27 World Series Championships. Very cool.

                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                follow up: steak was interesting. mineral-like is a word associated with dry-aged beef. indeed.
                                                                                                                                Better boy tomatoes with sea salt, olive oil provided a bit of acid to offset the meat. The wine was a perfect call for the dish, the corn was unnecessary.

                                                                                                                                bottom line? We'll do it again when/if the sale is ever this good.

                                                                                                                                1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                  I agree that dry aged beef has a specially iron-y flavor to it. What characteristics do the Better Boy tomatoes have?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                    Reasonably thin skins, gelatinous interior, tasty ribs. Better Boy is a reliable plant in our patch here in Sou'west Connecticut. There's something special about a tomato, fresh picked and warm from the sun. Quality olive oil and salt help. Basil, too.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                      That does sound lovely, fresh and super summery.

                                                                                                                              2. So much good cooking happened here while I was away! After an icky bout of food poisoning (not from my magic kitchen, of course), I'm back in the cooking saddle. Tonight I'm making a Thai veggie curry to use up a bunch of zucchini I bought last week. I'll also be making some glazed sugar-snap peas that need to be eaten...now.

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                  Glad you're feeling better, Christina. :)

                                                                                                                                2. Color me delighted! I was given 6 squash blossoms today so tonight will be chicken breasts sliced very thin, dipped in a bit of seasoned flour, sauteed in a butter/olive oil combo, set aside whilst some vermouth or white gets splashed in the pan to get up the nice bits. Chicken thrown back in with some lemon and parsley. Penne with a fresh tomato sauce and some lightly battered blossoms fried in a bit of oil. It's been two years since I've had them. What a treat!

                                                                                                                                  Then off to a short neighborhood birthday celebration for a friend...a bottle of Reposado in tow for the birthday boy.

                                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                    SCORE!!! :)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                      MMMmmmmmmmm...................... squash blossoms. All summer I've forbidden myself to pick any as to not lessen the production of zucchini themselves but with summer drawing to a close I think I'll indulge that craving this weekend. I have 14 zucchini plants for crissakes. I think i can spare a few blossoms in September!

                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the reminder, twodales!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                        Mmmmmm.......Reposado.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                          Our friend has been out of work for a few years (in construction). He's managed to pick up some short term work 4 months here and 3 months there so I figured he could use a treat. He was most appreciative. He is going to save the Reposado for when he heads back East to see his childhood buddies. Nice gesture I think.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                            Very nice! He has more willpower than I do.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                              How are you doing by the way?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                I'm pretty good, thanks for asking. Trying to get through a busy work week and still cook for myself, but nothing much has been interesting enough to share with you all, yet.
                                                                                                                                                Tonight I am staring at a chicken breast and some cabbage and wishing it would cook itself.
                                                                                                                                                Oh, and well, it looks like Italian may be back on the menu soon...what can I say, I'm a reactionary kind of girl.

                                                                                                                                      2. Tonight, in honor of the first day of preschool for my monkeys, we are having 4 cheese ravioli, marinara sauce, and turkey meatballs. The kids favorite. Oh, and mommy is indulging in a well deserved glass of wine.

                                                                                                                                        1. Inspired by mariacarmen's pot roast post of a few days ago, I braised some chuck roast with onions, carrots, celery, garlic, some $1.99 shiraz-cab and what little was left of the roasted veg soup I made the day after roast chicken.

                                                                                                                                          A celery and orange salad on the side dressed with orange juice, zest, garlic, S&P, red wine vinegar, a pinch of sugar, and a splash of olive oil.

                                                                                                                                          The Man's homebrewed Belgian Tripel to wash it down, and if I can brag on him for a moment, this stuff is the shizzzz...

                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                          18 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                            nice. the beer sounds really good.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                              never had homemade brew; never met anyone who makes their own- that's pretty special :)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                Thanks! It's kind of a complicated process, and I still can't remember the steps, but the product is really good. He'd like to start up a nanobrewery sometime in the next couple of years, so wish us luck, please! :)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                  My dad used to make his own beer way back in the day when I was kid. I can still remember that smell - hops, yeast and sugar fermenting in a large crock in the pantry covered with cheese cloth and little light bulb to keep it at jussst the right temperature......

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                    I love the end product, but the smell of hops boiling is gagsville to me... :(

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                      and to add to what you said, it looked disgusting!

                                                                                                                                                2. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                  what did you think of the pot roast, didn't you say you'd never done one before? and what's in that polenta?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                    Loved it! A nice change of pace. The Man loved it of course, because it's very man-ly food, and because it went really well with his beer.

                                                                                                                                                    The polenta - just chicken stock, a pinch of salt, and a little butter.

                                                                                                                                                    Thanks again for the inspiration! :)

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                      of course - it was about time, you've been so much so to me already.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                        Dammit, woman. Why do you have to be so lovely and supportive-like all the time?!?!?!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                          wait til you meet me in person.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                            Is that an affirmative or a warning? :P

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                              both!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                Mariacarmen: I thought you said "wait until you meet me in prison"...I was like Huh??? Ha Ha Ha I need to get some reading glasses.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                  chuckles...

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                    or that....

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                      Am I gonna see you on an epi of Locked Up - Alcatraz????

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                        nothing that glam. check me out at San Quentin.

                                                                                                                                                  2. School has started and along with school all the activities. Tonight's dinner was a quick and simple one: spaghetti with meat sauce (ground buffalo and jarred sauce), bake at home baguette from the grocery store, salad with cucumber and red peppers - your choice of salad dressing from the fridge.

                                                                                                                                                    1. Individual shepherd's pies in little ramekins and cucumber-tomato-dill salad with mustard vinaigrette.

                                                                                                                                                      Made Alton Brown's recipe for the pies, but used beef 'cause that's what I had in the freezer, and skipped the peas and corn 'cause I did not have those in the freezer (which is a shame, but what can you do?)

                                                                                                                                                      I only used 2/3 of the beef and carrot filling. I'll have to think of something fun to do with the rest for tomorrow night.

                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                        how about pasties?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                          This would have been a great idea if I hadn't just cooked it all up with scrambled eggs and had it for breakfast. Much less fun than pasties (but delicious).

                                                                                                                                                      2. Sandwiches with roast chicken, bacon and avocado on challah.

                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                          This sounds really good tonight!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                            This sounds so tasty! I just resolved tonight to make more sandwiches, tacos, and salads using chicken. We tend to roast a whole chicken then forget about the leftover pieces. There is a sandwich like yours in our future.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                              Adding bacon and avocado is never a bad thing. :b
                                                                                                                                                              I love roast chicken, but the next day(s), it really does need some extra flavor. There's still enough left for one more (smallish) meal before it lands in soup.

                                                                                                                                                          2. Yesterday I made meatloaf for freezing 8 meals and enough left for dinner this evening. I didn't make meatloaf for many decades, but recently made Alton Brown's recipe a couple of times since buying grass-fed beef. I think a good suggestion he has for mixing is "don't squeeze when mixing." Served with mashed potatoes.

                                                                                                                                                            Also made borscht successfully from scratch, doing it my way by not straining or juicing the vegetables. I prefer rustic food. Most of the vegetables were organic, and the stock was made with home-made beef, also grass-fed.

                                                                                                                                                            An extra with the bowl of borscht was QUARK.

                                                                                                                                                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quark_(c...

                                                                                                                                                            I understand Germans eat a lot of it.
                                                                                                                                                            It was $4.99 for a small amount; I'm glad I didn't take a shine to it.

                                                                                                                                                            1. I'm reading so many lovely and creative menus here, I feel a bit stuck in a rut. My time has been so tight lately, I feel I'm just opening the refrigerator and throwing something together every night.

                                                                                                                                                              But considering we walked in the door at about 7:05, rummaged around in the produce drawer, and sat down to dinner at 7:30, I guess we didn't do too badly:
                                                                                                                                                              A salad of butter lettuce, thinly slice red onion, stilton, and toasted walnuts.
                                                                                                                                                              Grilled rock fish with fin and feather rub.
                                                                                                                                                              Artichokes with pesto butter.
                                                                                                                                                              And, if we can stay awake long enough, peach frozen yogurt with fresh blackberries.

                                                                                                                                                              On the other hand, my pillows are calling me….

                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                That looks delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                  not shabby for a thrown-together meal. :)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                    Thank you both! I have to say, since participating in WFD, I'm more likely to try to put together a dinner, even when I'm pressed for time. Not too long ago, I would have thought "I'm tired, it's getting late, let's pick up Mexican." All the great cooks on WFD keep me inspired!

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                    how the heck did you do chokes in 25 mins? were they already cooked? i'd like to rummage around in your fridge, sounds wonderful. what is a fin and feather rub?

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                      The chokes were not too large and probably picked within the prior 24 hours (don't know if that makes a difference). They were perfectly tender at 20 minutes.
                                                                                                                                                                      Fin and Feather is one of the rubs I get from World Spice Merchants. Their rubs are quite good for quick meals when I don't feel I have time to select and grind my own spice combinations. This one contains paprika, black pepper, garlic, onion, lemon peel, sage, marjoram, New Mexican chiles, cumin, celery seed, and salt. It's good on fish and poultry (hence the name, fin and feather!).

                                                                                                                                                                  3. Thursday nights, my boyfriend has a late class, which means we don't eat until after 10pm. I've been taking advantage of what would otherwise be an irritating schedule defect by using the time to make time-consuming, elaborate or uncharted-territory dinners.

                                                                                                                                                                    I've already started working on tomorrow night's dinner, which will include a roast chicken, probably some corn bread (which I had a random craving for) and an undecided vegetable. Not exactly ambitious, but I'm going to brine the chicken before roasting, and I've never brined a whole chicken before, so it fits into the uncharted-territory category. Using the brine recipe from Charcuterie, but with seasoning adjusted to the contents of my cupboard. I'm going to roast it with onion, figs and rosemary. We'll see how it goes.

                                                                                                                                                                    11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                      Nice to go all out once in a while, isn't it? :)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                        I've been having fun with it!

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                        I got into the same groove when the boy was working a stretch of closing shifts, and I started to love it. He's been working opening for the past week or so, and I *still* feel a little strange going into the kitchen to make dinner while the sun is shining.

                                                                                                                                                                        Onion, figs, and rosemary, oh, that sounds wonderful. I love roast chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                          Because it's only once a week, it still feels a bit weird eating a large dinner at 10pm, but we both get up at a normal time and eat other meals at their normal times, so we're starving by the time he gets home.

                                                                                                                                                                          And I think it will be good. I have a large bowl of figs that are slowly going bad in my fridge and I'm desperately trying not to let any of them go to waste

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                          Why have I never brined a whole chicken before?? That was, hands down, the best chicken I've ever made, roasted or otherwise. We ate the breasts last night and I suspect that if I try to describe just how juicy and tender they were, my post will start to sound like a bad romance novel. I put chopped onion, halved figs, whole garlic cloves and rosemary sprigs all around in the roasting pan and they caramelized and melted into this amazingly sweet rosemary sauce. My only regret is that I didn't use a bigger roasting pan so I could have made more sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                          Also, I overcooked the cornbread slightly and it came out a bit dry. But the green beans with browned butter and roasted garlic were good and between the butter and the sauce, there was plenty to dip the cornbread in. It all went perfectly with a few Anchor Steams and we're already discussing what we can use to brine the Thanksgiving turkey.

                                                                                                                                                                          Tonight's dinner will doubtless involve the leftover chicken dark meat. Not sure how yet.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                            Your dinner sounds wonderful! I love your combination of figs, garlic and rosemary.
                                                                                                                                                                            I have only brined breasts (with great outcomes), never an entire bird. So you've inspired me to take that on with our next chicken!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                              Do it! It's easy and the results are amazing!

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                              Sounds heavenly and an inspired pan sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                                i know i can probably find this online, but how long did you brine it for, and the ratio, please, of salt/water? did you have other things (aromatics?) in the water? and yes, that fig/garlic/rosemary combo sounds amazing. stealing this for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                  I used an adapted version of the roast chicken brine from Michael Rulman's Charcuterie cookbook.

                                                                                                                                                                                  (paraphrased:)

                                                                                                                                                                                  16 cups water
                                                                                                                                                                                  1 cup kosher salt
                                                                                                                                                                                  1/2 cup sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                  1 head garlic, sliced horizontally
                                                                                                                                                                                  1 onion, sliced
                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Tbls black peppercorns
                                                                                                                                                                                  3 sprigs fresh rosemary
                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Tbls dried thyme

                                                                                                                                                                                  (Rulman uses a bunch of parsley and a bunch of fresh tarragon instead of rosemary and thyme)

                                                                                                                                                                                  Bring all ingredients to a simmer in a large stock pot, stirring occasionally to make sure the salt and sugar dissolve. Cool to room temp on the stove, then chill in the fridge. Submerge your chicken in the brine, weighting it down with a plate (or whatever -- I used a colander that fit nicely into my stock pot) to keep it fully covered. I kept my chicken in the brine for 8 hours (for a 5 lb chicken, he recommended 8-12 hours). After it is done soaking, rinse it well and put in on a rack over a roasting pan, uncovered, in the fridge, and let it dry out for 3-24 hours (I did 3). Bake at 450F until it's done. The skin cooks really fast and Rulman recommends loosely covering with a piece of aluminum foil if it starts to burn. I covered mine for most of the cook time because it started burning after only 15 mins in the oven. Took it off about 15 mins before the chicken was done, and it turned out perfectly paper thin and crispy. He also recommends letting it rest for 15 mins after it comes out of the oven, but I forgot to do this because I was so frickin' hungry.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                                    thanks for typing all that out! i'm going to copy it and give it a go soon.

                                                                                                                                                                            3. Tuesday night was garlic shrimp, rice, and veggies (with avocado salad) and last night it was pizza since my basil looked surprisingly good and we harvested it; it was just a fresh bread loaf with sauce, crushed garlic oregano, parm, basil and mozz- pretty tasty with some avocado on the side

                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                There's not a lot that avocado doesn't taste good with. All that avo you're eating + sofla climate - you must have the softest skin...

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                  actually i'm told my skin is soft all the time, but everyone who tells me this also lives here, but maybe they don't have the avocado as much :) I have been eating like at least 1/2 of one a day and i don't get sick of them; the mango toward the end of the season sometimes will start coming out of your ears after the 50th mango shake, but the avocado? can't wait to have it again today:)
                                                                                                                                                                                  Next summer I will start having them together like u do (mango/avocado salad) if their harvests overlap...

                                                                                                                                                                              2. Tonight I am having Sautéed Swordfish with Avocado. Here is how I prepare it:
                                                                                                                                                                                (2) 8 oz. swordfish steaks, 1” thick, no skin
                                                                                                                                                                                1 avocado, peeled, ½” dice
                                                                                                                                                                                6 oz. fresh crab meat, no shells
                                                                                                                                                                                1 tablespoon red pepper, very fine dice
                                                                                                                                                                                1 tablespoon serrano pepper, very fine dice
                                                                                                                                                                                1 tablespoon red onion, very fine dice
                                                                                                                                                                                4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                                1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
                                                                                                                                                                                6 tablespoons olive oil
                                                                                                                                                                                1 tablespoon sambal chili sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                1 pinch kosher salt
                                                                                                                                                                                2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Season swordfish with salt and pepper.
                                                                                                                                                                                2. Sauté swordfish 4 minutes on each side in a hot iron skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
                                                                                                                                                                                3. Cook to desired doneness (medium rare is preferable).
                                                                                                                                                                                4. Combine avocado, onion, cilantro, peppers, vinegar, 4 tablespoons olive oil, sambal and cilantro, season with salt to taste.
                                                                                                                                                                                5. Place swordfish in center of hot plate.
                                                                                                                                                                                6. Place avocado mixture on top of swordfish.
                                                                                                                                                                                7. Place fresh crab on top of avocado mixture.
                                                                                                                                                                                8. Serve immediately.
                                                                                                                                                                                1. Season swordfish with salt and pepper.
                                                                                                                                                                                2. Sauté swordfish 4 minutes on each side in a hot iron skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
                                                                                                                                                                                3. Cook to desired doneness (medium rare is preferable).
                                                                                                                                                                                4. Combine avocado, onion, cilantro, peppers, vinegar, 4 tablespoons olive oil, sambal and cilantro, season with salt to taste.
                                                                                                                                                                                5. Place swordfish in center of hot plate.
                                                                                                                                                                                6. Place avocado mixture on top of swordfish.
                                                                                                                                                                                7. Place fresh crab on top of avocado mixture.
                                                                                                                                                                                8. Serve immediately.
                                                                                                                                                                                1. Season swordfish with salt and pepper.
                                                                                                                                                                                2. Sauté swordfish 4 minutes on each side in a hot iron skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
                                                                                                                                                                                3. Cook to desired doneness (medium rare is preferable).
                                                                                                                                                                                4. Combine avocado, onion, cilantro, peppers, vinegar, 4 tablespoons olive oil, sambal and cilantro, season with salt to taste.
                                                                                                                                                                                5. Place swordfish in center of hot plate.
                                                                                                                                                                                6. Place avocado mixture on top of swordfish.
                                                                                                                                                                                7. Place fresh crab on top of avocado mixture.
                                                                                                                                                                                8. Serve immediately.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Season swordfish with salt and pepper.
                                                                                                                                                                                2. Sauté swordfish 4 minutes on each side in a hot iron skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
                                                                                                                                                                                3. Cook to desired doneness (medium rare is preferable).
                                                                                                                                                                                4. Combine avocado, onion, cilantro, peppers, vinegar, 4 tablespoons olive oil, sambal and cilantro, season with salt to taste.
                                                                                                                                                                                5. Place swordfish in center of hot plate.
                                                                                                                                                                                6. Place avocado mixture on top of swordfish.
                                                                                                                                                                                7. Place fresh crab on top of avocado mixture.
                                                                                                                                                                                8. Serve immediately.

                                                                                                                                                                                Source http://www.foodfindsus.com/index.php/...

                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: drenzla

                                                                                                                                                                                  All that four times over for the same piece of fish, huh?

                                                                                                                                                                                  I kid.

                                                                                                                                                                                  That sounds delicious. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: drenzla

                                                                                                                                                                                    i bet that was soooooo good!

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I have been away from these boards and away from my stove for quite some time, but as soon as the rains began falling this week, the lust for something home-cooked and simmer-bubbled was too hard to resist. I thought I could make quick work of some kousa squash and lamb I had in the fridge. Why I thought hollowing out the squash and making a spiced lamb and rice filling would be quick I don't know, but it satisfied the urge to plop something into a loose lamb and tomato broth and let it bubble away, filling the apartment with the warm scent of baharat.

                                                                                                                                                                                    While the stuffed squash simmered -- waste not, want not -- I used the leftover squash and an eggplant to make a sort of ratatouille with a squishy heirloom tomato and the bit of tomato sauce I didn't need out of the 20 oz. can seasoned with harissa and herbs. Two hours later: kousa mahshi, ratatouille and leftovers for the next couple days.

                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                      welcome back, JM, and with a vengeance, as usual..... i did not know those "white zucchinis" (that's the way they're listed at one of my local produce stores) were called kousa squash. i just googled kousa mahshi and found this:
                                                                                                                                                                                      http://hummus-recipes.blogspot.com/20...
                                                                                                                                                                                      it looks amazing! what a lot of work that must have been, the kousas are not very big and i would think difficult to stuff. good to have you and your challenging meals back!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                        Aw shucks, y'all.

                                                                                                                                                                                        MC, I didn't know that kousa squash came in white, but I guess the white squash I see at the market is the same shape, so perhaps. I know they're also called lita squash amongst Italians. Either way, they're delicious and very easy to cook. I used a vegetable peeler and the handle of a spoon to quickly hollow my squash. Because the stuffing should be loose, it was easy to haphazardly teaspoon a few scoops of filling into the squash, give it a quick shake and put it to the side. Dinner took as long as it did because the boneless stew meat I thought I had turned out to be bone-in, so I had to pick off the meat and chop it by hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I thought about making kousa mahshi bil laban as in your link, but the yogurt sauce is a little heavier than I wanted. If you want to try stuffed squash in yogurt, the recipe you linked to is a good start. An authentic Lebanese recipe might use just allspice and pepper, but when you're working with ingredients as flavorful as basmati and lamb, I think you can stand a bit more complexity. I tried to play up the floral notes of the rice with cardamom, coriander, ginger and white pepper, while getting some warm love from cumin, cinnamon and allspice. But what do I know? I ate the leftovers cold, slathered in so much Sriracha that the spices were just a piccolo in a symphony of heat. You should give your palate a whirl and try out your own spice mix before the summer squash is all gone. I bet it might even work with the god of meats: pork.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                          thanks for the tips on how to prep the squash. i've only ever used those particular squashes (squashi? squashae?) peeled thin in strips and sauteed lightly in butter, then sprinkled with dill. i love the idea of your dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                        I wish you could bottle that scent and send some to all of us, I bet it was heavenly. Welcome back.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                          I was wondering why I haven't had to look up a new food in a while... ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                            Welcome back, JM. As if my pesto weren't dull enough. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I think tonight's dinner will be miso soup with silken tofu and zukes and soba noodle salad with peanut dressing, cukes, and the neglected sugar snap peas.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I'm not in the mood for the postponed curry, so just a simple pasta here. I'll throw together a pesto with what I have on hand (basil, garlic, asiago, and roasted pistachios), and toss it with whole wheat penne and chopped olives. On the side, I'm doing two pans of roasted vegetables seasoned with fennel, coriander, and ginger: sweet potatoes and onions in one pan, and carrots and green peppers in the other. The vegetables can then be added to the pasta, or eaten separately. There is still a possibility I might throw together a marinara for the pasta, but I am viewing that prospect with a jaundiced eye. I'll likely be making a martini in the next few minutes. We'll see if that fixes my sour little attitude.

                                                                                                                                                                                              And I have learned that vacuum repair is not going to be my next career path. Not that I know for sure, because I removed ten screws from the casing, only to discover that it had been *glued* on at the top. Why would they do that? Why?

                                                                                                                                                                                              15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                just to mess with you oadl, just to mess with you. your pesto with olives pasta sounds yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                  That pasta does sound delicious. And screw trying to repair vacuum cleaners.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pesto might be dull to you, but it's exotic to me. Never thought of matching it with olives or ginger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                    You guys are being too nice about my budget-strangled dinners. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    JM, the pesto was perfect with the olives, but when I mixed some veg into my pasta, the ginger and coriander did not play well with the asiago (the one we have is very salty, tangy, and, well, like feet--as it should be). The man ate the vegetables separately and said both dishes were wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't think of them as budget strangled, lily. Rather budget *caressed*...

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Haha. I'm not so zen these days. I'm *trying* to be zen about the state of my pantry, and make friends with the cheap and healthy lentils . . . but I just don't like them. All of the other poor vegetarian type people I know are all, "Oooh, lentils! Eat some lentils! Use lentils instead of meat! Lentils are nature's meat!" Pfft.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        And this isn't a tangent, because I am actually contemplating making a lentil loaf tonight so I can have a faux meatloaf sandwich. Lentil loaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                          So if you weren't tied to a budget, as a vegetarian, what would be your splurge items?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pancetta, maybe a nice half-dozen beef shanks, or a filet, grilled by the man, with just a little salt. And I totally missed out on barbecue rib season. But those aren't the things that give me pangs. As odd as it sounds, what I really miss are the stupidly easy and cheap meat meals. Chicken salad (with tarragon and cranberries), meatloaf, hot dogs with Michigan chili sauce and a squiggle of yellow mustard, chicken parmesan, and how much better my refried black beans were when I was using bacon fat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's mostly fun trying to duplicate those meals in some form, but I have my angsty moments.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Pancetta. I love that stuff so much more than bacon, actually. What made you go veg?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The mods would understandably *not* be pleased if I told that story here. Trust me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am thinking about buying one of those local humanely pastured turkeys for Thanksgiving, though. The man is actually fighting me on this. He says he's proud of me, bla bla bla, and thinks I'll regret it. I dunno. I'm mulling it over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Now I'm so very intrigued, but I'll take your word that it ain't for sharin' here. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    take it to FB, ladies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I must say I love lentil tostadas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                                                              i love black bean tostadas

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                              "All of the other poor vegetarian type people"

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I pretty much fall into that category except that i eat seafood when i can afford to ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Chicken and biscuits

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Us too. Only ours will come from Church's, as it has almost every Friday night for the past 30 years or so. They fry chicken better than I do. Hey. I'm fixing the coleslaw and the corn on the cob given to us by a friend who raised it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. All of San Diego is without power tonight, so the Man and I thought we might be able to hit a restaurant running on generators. FAIL.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        After 20 minutes of driving around our city and the one south of us with no luck in finding anything open, and that includes chains, we returned home to boil the last hotdog on our portable gas burner and a tiny bit of kimchi jjigae left over from a lunch earlier in the week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Now munching on grapes and hoping they restore power before the laptop poops out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I was thinking about you when I read about the power outage in SD. I hope you find a little of the fun that can be found in a brief outage, and then get your power back on. Drag about the computer though!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for thinking of me, Nightshade. We are now with power. YAYYY!!! That is the first time in all my life that I've ever been in a county-wide power outage (that reached up into the county north of us, and apparently into Arizona and parts of Mexico as well).

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm sure a lot of interesting 9/11 theories are floating around out there...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                              i just heard about the outage 1/2 hour ago and immediately thought of you and thought, "Oh no, what will this do to her dinner!" Glad you're up and running again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks, mc. That was my first thought too. :P

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  that must have really sucked...when it happens in sofla we expect it since it usually comes with strong winds; but those random county/state-wide outages (that's some scary sh*t);
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  that's why it's great to have gas (you can shower with hot water and cook during an outage), but you do need to keep the fridge cold and that's a big challenge w/out a generator (and everyone else's buying ice too)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Personally, I think the Giants have one of the best parks. Even though it is not yet fall, I'm pretending. Chicken Cacciatore, mashed potatoes, salad. Angel food cake with raspberry sauce and whipped cream for afters. Invited the whole patio at the golf course - small town, that equals 8

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I found a burst of energy from within and quickly sliced a Vidalia onion and some summer squash, added some peeled Sun Golds I had under olive oil in the fridge and a smattering of herbs and espelette. Over this I layed a b/s chicken breast which I rubbed with my Mom's pesto and some salt. Roasted the whole shebang at 400F for 30 min. It was pretty good, and most importantly, NOT a boca burger (my default meal lately is the chik'n boca burger - don't judge me). A glass of red and I'm good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm not judging. I'm curious about them. Chatter on other boards has them pegged as being about as good as it gets without actually being chicken. But your actual chicken sounds very good. I love that it's roasting season again!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              And what is going on with all these red dinner plates, people? What are you all up to?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ah, never mind. The red plate is the new default avatar. And here I thought there was a conspiracy afoot. I should drink less coffee.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I thought the same last night - that it was <name your cause> awareness week or something like that. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Since you asked...Ilovethem. Really, I do.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They are my guilty-pleasure, junk food meal that I always have on hand now.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sometimes I get crazy and get the Spicy Chik'n variety.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  On an Alvarado whole wheat bun, with yellow mustard, ketchup, a slice of mozz and some butter lettuce. That's how I do it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's 10 points on WW, and worth every point, imho.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Especially when you've been working all day and roll home around 8pm, or when I'm still working at 8pm and have hours to go.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Try them, and join my special club.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I just got back from the store, and there were no Boca Chik'ns. We're hitting a few more markets tomorrow, including Trader Joe's. I'm excited to try to join your club. I've been craving a parmesan chicken sandwich, and already bought the mozzarella and rolls. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10 pts with the bun? that's a meal and that's good. i'm going to have to stock up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes! The patty=4, the bun=4, the cheese=2, and I use Muir Glen ketchup which is pointless in small quantities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Last night we had grilled chicken thighs seasoned with Penzey's Northwoods seasoning and brushed with BBQ sauce, mexican cornbread (with cheese and green chilis in the batter), and steamed broccoli.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm still getting into the back to school cooking mode with all the new activity schedules. Last night was a football game. We won. 50 something to 0! And the other team looked like it was made up of 9th graders and not 7th graders. Even the refs thought we were going to going to get trounced. I guess being big doesn't equate to actually being able to play.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: suburban_mom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I like the sound of that cornbread! Dumb question, but are they fresh or pickled chilis?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Just canned green chiles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I musta caught a little bug at one of 3 Labor Day w/end festivities, which I first chalked up to ODing on Sichuan food at our favorite local haunt on Wed.... all crampy and icky, and I haven't eaten anything since Wed night, save for a few spoons of yogurt yesterday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think I feel better, but I am at a bit of a loss as to what to eat tonight. Any suggestions, ladies and gents?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sorry you've been feeling off. You might want something that is comforting, but replaces any losses. I go for udon in a slightly salty broth with a protein that sounds appealing. (Wait, am I suggesting chicken noodle soup? How trite!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hope you feel better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You know, I may just do that. We have a new ramen place in town I was hoping to check out. It just might hit the spot. (And I won't have to make it myself! Extra bonus!!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Last night I had planned to do a baked dish, but we finally got some summer weather, and I didn't want to overheat the house. I made a chicken, orange, and cress salad topped with a mustardy dressing, from the COTM. The recipe called for pumpkin seeds to be tossed in soy sauce before toasting. I did this with almond slivers instead, and it was a nice salad addition. There is a photo of the salad here if you are interested: http://www.chow.com/photos/668386

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We had the salad as a first course, pasta as a second course (I can't really call either of them a main course, as they could easily have been switched). Mr NS had made extra fettuccine the other day. We let it dry and bagged it up. Even dry, it takes only a minute or two to cook, and retains its eggy, fresh pasta flavor. We'll be doubling our pasta recipe from now on, just to have the extras. The pasta was tossed with garlic, peas, and yellow zucchini sauteed with pancetta. Before serving it was topped with pecorino and basil chiffonade. Not really a pasta primavera, maybe a pasta l'estate? Nice enough to repeat, at any rate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh man. I could *really* go for some pasta. That looks really, really yumboski.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'd send you a care package if you weren't so darn far away!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pasta, peas and pancetta. Yummydelicious together. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They really are a natural combination. And so easy (peasy).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Reminds me of a similar pasta I made last fall - mostly throwing together leftovers: orecchiette with peas, diced smoked ham, mint, a dash of white wine and a bit of cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Great minds...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I almost made my dish with orecchiette, until I remembered I had some leftover fresh noodles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Easy peasy. BadumBUMMMM!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That is one swell meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks Steve! I'm enjoying the leftover bits for lunch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Challah is in the oven right now, lavacakes are resting and will go into the cooling oven right before dinner so they are back to lava-ish for desert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm going to braise a brisket in beer and BBQ sauce, roast some little red new potatoes, and will probably roast or steam up broccoli or green beans (as the mood strikes me at 5 p.m.) for the vegetable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've got a lovely dry Riesling to go with it all. So, Shabbat Shalom everyone and enjoy your cooking!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: tzurriz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ohhhhh. Homemade challah. I can just smell it! (And leftovers make great bread pudding.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Enjoy, tzurriz! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  how about challah french toast? doesn't get any better than that :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Leftovers? Of challah? I bake 2 loaves every week and I'm lucky if the kids leave it alone long enough to get it onto the table! We have 8 people here every week for Shabbat dinner. I can't remember the last time we had leftover Challah! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Seriously though, when I do have leftovers, Challah bread pudding is absolutely mind blowing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tzurriz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What a great-sounding meal! Do you have a favorite lava-cake recipe?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        No, in fact if you know of a good one, please send it my way. I had a desert fail last night and wound up picking up a bakery cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The lava cakes were yummy, but didn't come out of their cups and so instead of being lava cakes were 1/2 baked brownies. LOL.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tzurriz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Isn't Vong's recipe kinda the go-to-one?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tzurriz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Aw, that's a shame! I have this recipe from a friend, which I've eaten (it's delicious), but never made myself:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Molten Chocolate Cakes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 c. butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            5 oz. dark chocolate (good quality)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pinch of salt (they recommend coarse; I used plain)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 egg yolks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/4 c. sugar (I used less)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Tbsp. flour

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Melt butter and chocolate together in double boiler or microwave (I find micro much easier & more foolproof!). Add salt. In separate bowl, beat eggs, egg yolks, and sugar until light and foamy. Add egg mix to warm chocolate, whisking the whole time. Add flour and stir just to combine.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pour either in buttered ramekins or 5-6 foil cupcake liners (several together like that will be rigid enough to be a freestanding mold), making 4-6 cakes depending on size (I made 4 ramekins and one cupcake size the other night). Bake in preheated 450 oven for 7 minutes, until edges just set.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: tzurriz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      love Challah; it's one of those things i've wanted to make at home, but quite frankly am afraid to; i'm such a bread person that i can't make it easy for myself to just make such a delicious loaf at a moment's notice; i have no self-control when it comes to those types of breads :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LOL, and yet it's just too good to not make. I have a recipe I love, and I can't not make it. Dinner tonight was almost just a thick slice of it, plain--yes, there's lots you can do with challah, but it's so good on its own, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          that's my favorite way to eat it; when i've been invited to a dinner where it's on the table i try to be discreet about how i would rather just eat the whole loaf by myself and skip dinner altogether, but i think it shows since my arms just keep reaching to it; i especially love the way it breaks apart and you get that doughy center with the egg taste and the toasted sesame flavor....i really need to stop thinking about it now since my mouth is watering

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Tonight it's braised short ribs, yukon gold mashed potatoes, cumin carrots and challah dinner rolls with melon for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh that sounds really good! I think I'll pick up some short ribs this week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh MY that sounds heavenly!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Exciting Friday night here. The man is working a closing shift at the tail end of an eleven day streeetch. Poor guy. I'm taking advantage of the evening alone to give the kitchen it's once-a-season full work-over. I have open shelving, and it's beautiful, but every item occasionally needs to be pulled out and washed, and the shelves wiped down, and then the rest of the kitchen gets tackled. Dinner needs to be easy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I decided to make pita 'pizzas', which is nice because I can do several kinds. I know one will be a hummus pita with roasted garlic and olives. Another will be wilted spinach, onions, and asiago. And the boy wants pepper jack cheese on one, so salsa as a sauce, with onions and peppers. Throw in two large spinach salads with broccoli and sunflower seeds, and I'm calling it dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Leftover meat loaf (Lidia Bastianich's recipe), a veg thing that has been resting gently in the coolerator (green squash, onion, tomato, olives, garlic, olive oil, salt) and some fresh corn on the cob. There will be house tomatoes on the side. I'll dig out a very modest house red from the wine jail.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              *Wine jail* - love the imagery that they're just dying to get out and be drunk!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Tonight the took the leftover braising liquid & veg from Wednesday's pot roast dinner, blended it, and used it to make a ragu for a half-spaghetti, half-angel hair mixture of pasta to be eaten after we pick up the kids.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sauteed mushrooms for the Man and me. (The kids don't care for them so much).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                the photos are mighty cool.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Gracias. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  love those meals where just the sauce (or the mushrooms) are the star

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. BBQ chicken pizza on the grill with red onions, fresh herbs from the garden and mozzarella. The sauce was sweet baby rays, not enough of anything in the frige to make any from scratch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The weather was so beautiful this evening we just had to cook outside. It would have been criminal not to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I haven't had BBQ chicken pizza in the longest, but it's sooooo goooooood. Maybe we'll do that this weekend with the kids. Thanks for the reminder, wd!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Never did post the lobster roll pic on the previous WTFD, so here it is (with corn salad and chile potato chips). This week I roasted a chicken with Herbes de Provence butter under the skin, and with leftovers made chicken croquettes (minced in food processor, combined with bechamel and seasoning, rolled in bread crumbs and parm and baked) with gravy, mashed potatoes and corn. My favorite Japanese restaurant sent us home last night with a container of their fresh pickled wasabi and a jar of yuzu kosho, so I'll be experimenting with that this weekend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LOL @ WTFD.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fresh pickled wasabi - can you share pics of that?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i had the same response... WTF for Dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the chicken croquettes look beautiful. any chance you'd share your method, Rubee?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          HA - ummm...I meant WFD ; )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          They keep the ingredients for the pickled wasabi a Hana family secret, though obviously it includes fresh grated wasabi root. It is addictive and CRAZY good - spicy, salty, tangy. They always send me home with a container now, even without asking. Love that place! Found an online picture.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.flickr.com/photos/foodiebe...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          BTW, for locals, it's Hana Japanese, family owned, and fantastic. This week's pictures: http://twitpic.com/photos/Rubee100 , and last article I wrote on it (with pics):
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://tinyurl.com/44dxc72

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Emme - The croquettes are easy because you mix everything ahead of time and form and bake when you're ready. I plan on freezing any left over, but we always end up polishing them off. For about 2 cups of finely chopped chicken combine with slightly cooled sauce (3 Tb butter + 3 TB flour for white roux, then whisk in 1/2 cup each milk and chicken stock), 1 cup of bread crumbs, and 2 eggs. For seasoning I'll use a little Bell's or Penzey's Fox Point, fresh thyme and/or parsley, Penzey's Shallot Salt and pepper. Mix and chill in a bowl for an hour or two. Shape into ovals, roll in bread crumbs and parmesan cheese, drizzle with butter, and bake about half an hour at 350.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. last night we had faux mexican rice; i've always wanted to make the rice substituting the water for tomato sauce but i never do; i was feeling creative and used a can of diced tomato to steam my white rice; i added olive oil, garlic (forgot the onion), pepper, chilies, salt, & mex oregano (forgot cumin); it was sooo good with fish stix and avocado slices on the side; i will make it again tonight but this time with onion, cumin and veggies; i'm so mad at myself for not making it like that before...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That Spanish/Mexi-rice dealie sounds delicious, cm. Do you saute the aromatics before cooking the rice or cook it all together at the same time?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I was rushing last nite so no...but 2nite i will saute onion garlic :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sounds really good cm! I have often subbed tomato and chicken broth out for the water. Nice thing is when you do, you can take the rice to Mexico, Italy, or Greece!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          One of the first risottos I made was a fresh tomato risotto. I need to dig out that recipe!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the inspiration!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            U r welcome and i will take that dish to new places since u've inspired me too :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Hello Friends, it's so nice to read about your delicious meals. My time has been so tight lately I haven't had any time to spend here on Chowhound and I so miss reading of your culinary adventures!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Last night we were totally in the mood for a home-cooked meal and I found a wonderful, quick recipe in my recently purchased copy of The 150 Best American Recipes cookbook by Fran McCullough & Molly Stevens. The Rigatoni all Toto was absolutely delicious. Italian sausage simmered in a fennel-infused white wine cream sauce, a lovely, wine friendly meal perfect after an exhausting week. I did post a full review on the COTM nominations thread since there was some buzz about this book there. Here's a link to that thread if anyone is interested in learning more about this dish:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8008...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bc, You've been missed! That pasta looks delicious. Is that basil atop?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks so much ina, it's been tough not to launch Chowhound as I love it so! Good eye btw, yes that is basil on top. The book suggested using a few leaves but we prefer smaller pieces so I went w a chiffonade.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. The ramen/pho/whatever place was a disappointment - bland broth, spaghetti (!) in the ramen soup.... meh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tonight is poker night @Casa Lingua, and my man will make his famous semi-homemade pizza: dough and sauce from Wegmans, toppings for the veggie pizza are red onion, green peppers, mushrooms, olives and fresh basil & for the meat pizza pepperoni, meatballs, a red pepper & scallions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I better win this time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Spaghetti ramen and/or pho is a new one on me. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Win big, lingua.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yeah, it was a bit of a disappointment, especially after having had some really good ramen in Berlin. Oh well. It was probably good to have something bland after the bug.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, I plan on taking everyone down. Usually, my man's money ends up in my hands -- just like in any good & successful marriage '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bland is one thing but those noodles sound awful! I picture spaghetti floating in dishwater.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I, too, wish you smashing good luck at the table tonight!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Tonight, planning on doing Toasted and Spiced Pepita Crumb Crusted Halibut. May test run an Israeli couscous or wild rice concoction for an upcoming dinner as well. Possibly going to bake Challah (also test run on a new recipe). Will likely roast some brussel sprouts with shallots as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Cheeseburgers! We ground the chuck. Potato salad on the side. "Mortgage Lifter" is our home-grown heirloom tomato of choice this evening (despite Irene's best efforts, this year's tomato bed continues to thrive). Beer for me, wine for Deb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tomorrow (Sunday) is the real start of NFL football. Here's hoping your team kicks major ass.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bears win.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Jets win.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I made a ratatouille earlier, so I think I will make us a pasta omelet and top with the vegs. I experimented with making melon and pine nut granita last night. It is ok, but would be better had I not combined the 2 flavors. We have friends coming for brunch tomorrow so I'll make a cucumber/mint/lime one that we serve with some hendriks gin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. This was a last minute "left over" dish. No measurements but it's easy and took all of 15 min to prepare
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We had some left over steak and I had plantains that were not at the maduro stage but were not hard and starchy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I made a mojo with 3 cloves of garlic sauteed in evoo, salt, pepper, fresh lime and orange juice and a little rub I had made a couple of days before which was spiced with cumin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I sliced the plantains and fried them in evoo until brown. Warmed the left over steak in the little bit of oil from the plantains and hit it with some just ground cumin. Topped the plantains with the steak and drizzled the mojo on top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Exceeded expectations

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sorry for the super sized photo. Bon Appétit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. The local Fresh & Easy suffered the same power outage, so I bought 4 ribeyes on sale the day after. 2 of them I used to make boolgohgi. Put them in the freezer for 20 minutes to make it easier to slice thinly and marinaded for about an hour before cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Took half a cup of the marinade, added some water, a little more vinegar and oil and made some dressing to toss into a spinach, red cabbage, and carrot salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Steamed rice and kimchi on the side and some more of the Man's Belgian Tripel to wash it down...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That looks delicious. Korean BBQ is a winner with me. Very nice looking food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          this may be a weird thing for a pescetarian to say, but that boolgohgi looks just as good raw as it does cooked :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You know, there is a Korean dish called yookhwae which is a beef tartare of sorts made with the same seasoning, less fatty beef, and with the addition of julienned Asian pear. It's really delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              that would be delicious; when i ate meat i always wondered why people even bothered to eat it well-done (like rubber); the texture is so much more appealing when at least almost raw and not to mention that the flavor's in the blood (i think); i know it's a safety issue sometimes, but if one buys the good stuff it should be safe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm with you on the doneness. When they're sliced this thin, medium rare to rare is a near impossibility, but as soon as they're cooked, they're out of the pan. But I've had lots of boolgohgi that's been overdone to my preferences.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. made my 'mexican' rice; this time with sauteed onion, garlic, and veggies; it was really good with salmon and and avocado slices; playing with leftover quinoa now for brunch ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: crowmuncher

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I got avocados this week too! And a green mango this time, so I'll probably make a pickled green mango and avo salad sometime this week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Even though it was hot as all heck, I made fried chicken, milk gravy & mashed potatoes, and peas!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I can only take so much grillin'. Had a craving that wouldn't go away, and at least now I've taken care of that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Had some leftover bacon I needed to use, I fried that up to make crumbles for the potatoes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Added some bacon fat to the milk gravy, I swear it was the best gravy I ever made. I used boneless skinless 1/2 breasts, cut them in half, made a wonderful breading. Watched it all like a hawk as to not dry out the chicken. Golden crust, the chicken came out very moist with a crunchy crust. I stirred bacon into the creamy potatoes. When plating the potatoes, I sauced them up nd also had a nice bowl of peas to drop into the potatoes as needed.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So good we forgot I'd made a cake!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. This has been a non-cooking weekend for me, as we are in the middle of some major projects. Friday Mr NS brought home takeout. Last night we went to a party at the home of fellow chowhounds. So we were treated to an array of great food. The grill was going with beef and shrimp, with a pot of tasty beans, a stack of fresh tortillas, and various salsas (including a killer strawberry salsa) waiting on the side. Also on offer: a delicious Spanish tortilla, cornbread with fresh berries, and rich chocolate brownies. Great food and conversation as the sun set over the garden, what could be better?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think I'm on my own tonight, so I'll probably scrounge the cupboards and the produce drawer and see what I can come up with. If it doesn't get too hot for the oven (it seems like we had the hottest day of the year yesterday), I'm looking at a hippy-vegetarian-casserole thingy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                wow.... tho it's the tail end of summer, can you describe that strawberry salsa a little bit?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The ingredients were quite finely chopped (and it was pretty dark out) so I wasn't able to do a thorough visual assessment. I know I tasted strawberries, little bits of apple, and some hot pepper. I think, but I cannot say for sure, that it had tomatoes, as the taste of tomatoes and strawberries can sometimes blend so seamlessly. Also I believe a little cilantro. I realize now that I should have asked more questions!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    wow. i'm going to try to do that before strawberries are gone. thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Last night I made CSA collards and black-eyed peas with bacon, onion, CSA garlic, tomato sauce, veggie broth, hot sauce, and local organic bacon. I feel a little guilty because I took a vegan recipe and added bacon. But not too guilty, because boy was it good! I also made mashed sweet potatoes and apples with ginger, orange juice, and a dash of cinnamon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I took the liberty to start a new thread, as this one is over 300 posts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's right here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/806595

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Leftover steak, still on the bone, reheated in a ceramic container. There's a leftover potato that will be cut correctly and made into pan-fried home fries. House tomatoes and leftover ratatouille-like stuff will round out the meal. Nothing fancy. House red will be on the kitchen counter, Jets will be on the on the panel. Yanks are still in first place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Ahh, this thread is now "old."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Here's a link to the new guy:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/806595