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Sep 23, 2011 10:47 AM

What's for dinner? #108 [old]

Moving on. What's on your plate tonight?

I'm going out to try a new northeastern Thai place in town, hopefully, it'll live up to the hype.

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  1. We had lunch out today so a relatively light dinner.

    A couple of hot smoked peppered mackeral fillets are sitting in a marinade of a big splash of bottled teriyaki sauce and a sprinkling of spring onions. So, that's them ready for the table in about 30 minutes.

    A salad of spinach, cucumber and bean sprouts waits for a quick toss in a dressing of rice wine vinegar and sugar.

    With rice.

    1. I've been off my cooking game for a couple nights. Schedules running into the evening hours have resulted in takeout deli and restaurant dinners.
      Today I've got a pork tenderloin marinating in balsamic vinegar, rosemary, shallots, and black peppercorns. I'll be sifting through the CSA box for side dishes.

      4 Replies
      1. re: L.Nightshade

        That reminds me to make pork tenderloin again soon. Perhaps as soon as tomorrow. Thx for the inspiration!

        1. re: linguafood

          This pork tenderloin with apple salsa is in my queue for this weekend but up first tonight is CI's chicken and dumplings. Sadly, it is already stew weather here.

          1. re: jules127

            That sounds amazing, jules! (except for that dreaded cilantro, for which I'd sub flat-leaf parsley).

            We're having a mini humid-wave here in the Boston area over the next few days - the A/C is actually back on to "take the edge" off!

            1. re: jules127

              Definitely on the list Jules 127.

        2. I made one of my favorite meatless dinners, tortang talong, which is essentially a Spanish tortilla made with roasted eggplant. I switched it up by bypassing the oriental eggplant I typically buy for a smallish variety of eggplant I would usually stuff and a very small striped variety. The small striped eggplant was a lot firmer than I expected and extremely seedy, but the seeds took on a nutty flavor with the roasting. Very tasty even if the texture wasn't right for torta. The other eggplant was absolutely perfect: after roasting it was almost custardy in the torta, which is what you want. Now if only I could get that nutty taste with that creamy texture...

          7 Replies
          1. re: JungMann

            A delicious experiment, JM. Striped eggplant . . . curious, what color were the stripes?

            1. re: onceadaylily

              they're light green with white stripes, right? love those.

              1. re: mariacarmen

                No I've had the light green with white stripes -- Thai eggplants, right? These were purple and white like this

                1. re: JungMann

                  oh yes, you're right, i've had those.

                  1. re: mariacarmen

                    How do you cook them? I'm not used to eggplants with so many seeds.

                    1. re: JungMann

                      i just sliced them and caramelized them in oil with a bit of brown sugar and sriracha, from what i remember, and then threw in some basil. i didn't mind the seeds.

            2. re: JungMann

              I need to remember all of these ideas for different eggplants. 99 Ranch has a great variety and I want to experiment with them.

            3. I had canned some Marinara sauce a few weeks ago, too many tomatoes. So tonight I cooked up some ground pork, added in the sauce and we had pasta for dinner. I had some left over marinated cucumbers, I added in some Red Siberian tomato slices and some cucumbers for a side. So tasty!!!

              2 Replies
              1. re: JEN10

                Do you add anything to your marinara to make it safer for canning? I have been wanting to can tomatoes, but I worry about acidity levels not to mention the complexity of canning oil and garlic.

                1. re: JungMann

                  I add lemon juice, Ball 's Blue Book has a Basil -Garlic Tomato Sauce recipe and a Seasoned Tomato sauce. I just added their recommended amount of commercial lemon juice. It was 2T. to each quart, then fill with your sauce, process for 40 minutes or so.

              2. Been craving spicy stuff all week, so I took some baby octopi, carrot, white onion, and celery and made nahkji bohkkeum, which is spicy Korean stir-fried octopus.

                Some steamed rice and kimchi on the side as well as a very simple, lightly seasoned ginger/garlic chicken broth as a palate cleanser between bites.

                12 Replies
                1. re: inaplasticcup

                  This looks amazing, Ina! Did you make kimchi? I so want to learn how to make it but chicken to try...

                  1. re: herby

                    Thanks, herby! I did make the kimchi, and I have a super simple recipe for a half gallon batch using easily accessed ingredients that I think is really easy to follow.

                    This is a cut and paste jobby from the thing I'm not supposed to mention, so if anything sounds a little out of context, that's why:

                    - 3 to 3.5 pounds Napa cabbage, cut into roughly 1"x 2" pieces (should be about 30 cups of chopped raw cabbage)

                    - 1/4 cup kosher salt (about a quarter less if you're using regular table salt)

                    *Choose heads that are dense and heavy for their size, which means the leaves are fresher. The best way to know if a head is heavy for its size is to pick up a few that are about the same size and feel their weight in your hands. If you, like my kids, hate the leafy green parts, look for the heads that have more stem than leaf, and a lighter yellowish green color to the leafy part rather than a darker green color.

                    PASTE INGREDIENTS

                    - 4 Tablespoons minced garlic (about 5 or 6 large cloves)
                    - 4 Tablespoons minced fresh ginger root (about a 2" segment)
                    - 1/3 cup crushed red chili flakes (like the kind you get with your pizza - you can find 13 to 16 oz. pouches of this in the Mexican spice section at most any grocery store) 1/4 cup for mild, 1/2 cup for extra spicy - I used 1/2 cup.
                    - 1/4 cup steamed white rice, lightly packed, depending on how much cabbage you use. Less cabbage, less rice... (short or long grain is fine - I used jasmine because it was handy)
                    - 1/4 cup fish sauce (like Tiparos or Three Crabs)
                    - 1/4 cup sugar
                    - 1/4 cup water for blending

                    - 1/3 cup of water for getting the remaining seasoning off the bowl and making additional brine

                    1) In a large stainless steel or mixing bowl, toss the raw cabbage and the salt together to pre-brine the cabbage. Make sure to thoroughly incorporate the salt throughout the cabbage. In 10 to 15 minutes, you should start to see the cabbage leach liquid and wilt.

                    Let the cabbage sit for about 2 hours, tossing and redistributing every 30 minutes to ensure even brining. While you're waiting for the pre-brine to finish, it's a good idea to make the paste. (Step 3.)

                    2) After 2 hours of pre-brining, rinse the cabbage with enough water to cover the cabbage by 4 or 5 inches by swishing the cabbage in the water 7 or 8 times. Throw out the water from the first rinse and repeat the process.

                    Then collect the cabbage in fistfuls and gently squeeze out the excess liquid. You should have something that looks like this.

                    3) Make the paste by putting all the paste ingredients into a blender and blend until you can't see the individual grains of rice. Pour the paste over the cabbage.

                    4) Get into the bowl with your hands and mix that paste into the cabbage until all the pieces are evenly and thoroughly coated.

                    5) Pack your kimchi into a bottle or other tight-lidded container (This time I repurposed a half gallon kimchi jar) and use the last 1/4 cup of water to swish around the mixing bowl, pick up all the remaining paste, and pour that liquid on top of your kimchi.

                    Your batch of kimchi is now ready for fermentation in a dark but not cold place like the inside of your cupboard.

                    Here's a link to an album with sequential pics:


                    Hope that's helpful. :)

                    1. re: inaplasticcup

                      i swear i'm going to do this one of these days....

                      1. re: inaplasticcup

                        How often does it take you to eat that much kimchi? I always say I'm going to make napa kimchi, particularly with Asian pears also coming into season, but the quantities in the recipes always seem daunting.

                        1. re: JungMann

                          A half gallon lasts us 4 to 6 weeks, and that's if we do cooked preparations like fried rice, stir fry, and jjigae too, but we don't eat a lot of kimchi. Maybe once or twice a week.

                          This is a small batch - fills half of one of those large kimchi bottles.

                          How do you use the pears for kimchi? Do you make dohngchimi? (The white kind with radish and lots of liquid.)

                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                              You can use pear instead of sugar in the kimchi paste, but I think you need to use chilies if you're going to use the pear. Without the heat to balance, like in dongchimi, everything just tastes sweet to me.

                              1. re: JungMann

                                I don't make dongchimi, but my mom does, and I agree that a little heat is needed to offset the sweetness. For making regular Napa kimchi, I like the predictability of a certain measurement of sugar versus the variable sweetness of pears.

                      2. re: inaplasticcup

                        That looks so good. When you come visit you have to bring a jug of kimchi : )

                        1. re: inaplasticcup

                          Inaplast...pretty, always love your pictures

                          bl/sl chx grilled easy spice nothing major for once. the keikis will be very pleased.
                          corn on cob, oven roasted steak fries, salad with yellow pear tomatoes and mayo (DD will pitch a fit as will DS#1) oh well. banana cake just out of oven, mango margies for those who imbibe