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What's for dinner? #115 - Old

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Time for a new thread -- what's cooking in your respective kitchens these days?

I'm still recovering from 4 days of pork fat overload in Cleveland, so tonight (and the rest of the week) will have to be much, much lighter fare..... pork belly soufflé, perhaps?

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  1. Tonight we're having crispy oven-baked eggplant "fries"---lifted from someone's WFD last thread, with spicy marinara sauce and steamed broccoli seasoned with...? Maybe some leftover brown rice or a box of mac along with.

    6 Replies
    1. re: ChristinaMason

      How are those eggplant "fries" made?

      1. re: roxlet

        Someone on the last WFD explained (I am too lazy to go check. It might have been megjp; what's sad is that I remember they also made turkey sandwiches). Here's what I copied down:

        "Coated some strips of Japanese eggplant in egg and a cracker crumb-parmesan mix and baked them until crispy for a zucchini stick-type side. Buttermilk ranch for dipping.

        I was worried that the eggplant wouldn't cook in time, but it turned out almost squishy-tender. Almost like crumb shells filled with pureed eggplant. I salted the raw strips and let them sit in a colander to leech off extra water for about 1/2 hour, so that probably had a bit of a brining effect. I baked them at 400F, but I'm not sure how long it was. Not too long. A little longer than it took me to assemble 2 sandwiches."

        1. re: ChristinaMason

          The eggplant "fries" sound wonderful and healthy! Especially with spicy marinara sauce for dipping! I am planning a post Thanksgiving ( please no more turkey or turkey leftovers) dinner with a friend for the weekend after Thanksgiving ( during which we will also start making our freezable Christmas cookies and we are also going to try our hands at Emeril's fruitcakes) which will include sliders (she already has home made slider rolls in her freezer, and awesome homemade pickles, so the eggplant "fries" would be a great addition to that meal. Thanks for the idea!

          1. re: ChristinaMason

            That was me! And I did indeed eat them with turkey sandwiches. :)

            1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

              Cool, you were my other guess :)

              My fries worked out OK---need to perfect my method. I used a regular Italian eggplant, which I cut into 3/4-in. rounds and then into either fourths or sixths (triangles), depending, and salted for 30 min. They were then egg-washed, breaded in seasoned panko and parm, laid on an oiled cookie sheet, spritzed with cooking spray, and baked until golden.

              They didn't get quite done enough inside, but that might be because my oven, which I thought I set to 400F, was only at 350F for most of the cooking time. I raised the heat after about 15 minutes to finish them off and even turned on the broiler to get them golden.

              Next time, I might briefly microwave and cool the eggplant before breading, so they're sure to be nice and creamy inside. They were still good, and worth perfecting. :) Thanks BBL!

            2. re: ChristinaMason

              ChristinaM, those eggplant healthy fries sound enticing. I've been going through some of my recipes this morning, ones I want to make this fall. I found one that is very similar, only using zucchini, and actually eggplant sounds even better. There's only something like 60 calories for 3/4 of a cup (zucchini). Bet this could turn into a healthy eggplant parmigiana!

        2. Yesterday was just the right temperature for a crisp, fall supper. I had company over and thought it might be nice to mingle and enjoy each other's conversation over a variety of small dishes, and with Middle Eastern spices lending them so beautifully to fall flavors, at least according to the American palate, I had a bit of mezze spread going on.

          To start we snacked on hazelnut dukkah and olive oil with some hummus, spicy pickled okra and cheeses on the side. Someone brought pita chips dusted with zaatar. Mains were a spanakopita, pasta salad and musakhan rolls (which one excited guest thought was a really tasty "burrito"). Dessert was a pumpkin flan which Saveur lured me into making when it included star anise in the ingredients. The spices were a bit muted, but it was a nice seasonal dessert.

          2 Replies
          1. re: JungMann

            i made a dukkah once and put it on a salmon i roasted. very unusual flavors, have not tried it in the traditional snacking method.

            1. re: mariacarmen

              I love a good dukkah! Coated chicken with it once, which was good, but I really just prefer the dip-bread-in-olive oil, dip-in-dukkah method. Hmm, just remembered I have a jar of it left from my last batch hiding in the cupboard, thanks for the reminder!

          2. the boy bought an abundance of ground pork by accident (lucky accident, i say), and so tonight he is making italian "turkey" burgers out of some of it with fennel seed. i am sure the porkiness can only enhance. i've asked him to make more of his pork/cabbage wontons for tomorrow, too. i'm thinking of a pork bolognese with the rest.....

            2 Replies
            1. re: mariacarmen

              Oh, a pork bolognese sounds wonderful! I'm in the mood for meatloaf, and I have a coupon from my local butcher for "buy 3 lbs. of ground beef, get 2 free." I think I'll add in some ground pork and ground veal as well for the typical meatloaf mix. :-)

              1. re: LindaWhit

                + 1 on the pork bolognese. Sounds great! I actually made a cheddar stout meatloaf tonight for dinner, which was great (Fine Cooking recipe) and is really supposed to be made with the typical ground beef/pork/veal meatloaf mix, but is forgiving enough to still be good made with the ground sirloin I used.

            2. btw, Lingua: pork belly souffle with bacon crumbles atop. sounds perfect.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mariacarmen

                i know, right?

                alas, i had an ad hoc band practice, so cooking was postponed til tomorrow (thai takeout tonight).

              2. I had planned to do a ravioli repeat last night, but steve h's earlier post inspired me to switch gears to lasagne. I had leftover butternut squash and sausage filling which supplied an extra layer to the squash and hazelnut lasagne from the COTM. Mr. NS made pasta sheets, which we layered with the squash/sausage fillings, plus extra squash, onions, hazelnuts, bechamel, mozzarella, and parmesan. A couple herbs from the garden, which is still going strong even after a few frosty nights.

                 
                9 Replies
                1. re: L.Nightshade

                  That looks great. I have a pumpkin sitting on my counter and am planning to make a load of puree and a pumpkin lasagne sometime this week. I was going to use my usual recipe, but I know my dear husband would love it a whole lot more with sausage.

                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                    Thanks, ncw! We really liked the addition of an Italian chicken sausage, both in the ravioli and the lasagne. I thought the toasted hazelnuts went very well with the squash also.

                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                      Pumpkin and sausage in a lasagna sounds perfect!

                    2. re: L.Nightshade

                      Sounds great, looks great. I can almost taste it.

                      1. re: steve h.

                        Well, we have a *ton* left over. You could actually taste it if you could get over here!

                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                          Tempting. I need to learn a whole lot more about the Pacific Northwest.

                          1. re: steve h.

                            It's beautiful here, makes up for what we can't find in the specialty foods department. Funny, I've always been curious about your area of the country!

                      2. re: L.Nightshade

                        Oh, my goodness, that lasagna looks and sounds wonderful! I have been wanting to make a butternut squash lasagna, and haven't gotten to it yet, but I definitely will this fall! And will be using your suasage/hazelnuts onions flavor profile. Thanks for sharing!

                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                          That looks great. Have made something similar before but clearly it was missing sausage! I've got a squash sitting around, but what a shame my sage plant has died :(

                        2. Heirloom bean and escarole soup tonight. Deb made the soup Sunday afternoon while we were watching football. We cribbed the recipe from Thomas Keller's "ad hoc at home" cookbook. The house smelled great (I'm crediting the smoked ham hock as much as the aromatics). She made the dish in advance because soup always tastes better the day after it's cooked. Beer and house wine to wash things down, Bears and Eagles will be on the panel.

                          Here's a link to the recipe: http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2...

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: steve h.

                            Thomas Keller's soup, Nancy Silverton's bread.
                            Tasty.

                             
                            1. re: steve h.

                              Beautiful! That soup is going on my list. It looks yummy.

                              1. re: weezieduzzit

                                Keller knows soup.
                                How's the kitty?

                                1. re: steve h.

                                  She's perfect, Steve. 3 1/2 pounds now so she's where she's supposed to be for her age and she runs around and plays with and wrestles with and sleeps with the big kitty like nothing was ever wrong. :) I'll have to take a new pic for my avatar soon. She's outgrown my current one!

                          2. Last night's dinner was pan seared wahoo on couscous scented with preserved lemons.

                            A vegetable salad accompanied the dish. This was a simple salad of thin sliced fennel, golden beets, preserved lemon and orange zest with an orange vinaigrette. Because the only acid in the dressing was fresh squeezed orange juice I reduced it and added a thickening agent to slightly thicken it to use as a pan sauce for the fish.

                            To get more flavor in the couscous I used some instant dashi in the liquid the couscous was cooked in which was lobster stock

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: scubadoo97

                              Like the sound of that salad! I'll bet the colors were nice.

                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                Thanks CM. It is a visually appealing salad. I sometimes use feta but depends on the main course. I use red beets too but they stain everything the same color. Lot of different vegetable you can incorporate in this salad. I'm partial to the citrus flavors in the dressing if available.

                                1. re: scubadoo97

                                  Fennel and orange is a classic combo. :)

                            2. Just thought I would drop by this lovely thread, that I used to post on all the time to say hi.

                              I haven't been cooking much since late June, when I had a gallbladder attack and was told to go on a low fat diet. I decided to use the time wisely, until I wanted surgery (after the summer), and
                              am heading into surgery on Thursday.

                              I was lucky enough to have my fill of all of the fresh produce that our Summer provides here in Boston, but didn't feel like posting that I was slicing fresh tomatoes, steaming corn and having grilled chicken each night (boring).

                              On the upside, I have lost 30lbs, and that is a good thing. :)

                              I hope to be back cooking in a couple of weeks. And I will be back to post on here regularly, once again.

                              See ya soon.

                              28 Replies
                              1. re: mcel215

                                wow mcel, that is a LOT going on for you! congrats on the 30 lbs., and good luck on the surgery!

                                1. re: mcel215

                                  Congrats on the weight loss and MUCH good luck on your surgery on Thursday!

                                  1. re: mcel215

                                    Wow, congrats on your weight loss, and good luck with your surgery!

                                    1. re: roxlet

                                      Thanks Maria, Linda and Roxlet. I have learned a lot about fat free food and I was lucky that it happened when we had a bounty of fresh fruits and veggies to choose from.

                                      And as we know, life has many twists and turns. People face much worse things, at least this is temporary and should go smoothly. Thanks again.

                                      1. re: roxlet

                                        Great job, a 30 lb loss is very impressive, and hope your surgery goes well!

                                        1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                          Thank you sunflwsdh.

                                      2. re: mcel215

                                        Good luck and speedy recovery! Don't be shy about posting your healthy meals. We can all use a reminder to eat better, and it helps to see how a hound does it!

                                        1. re: mcel215

                                          Nice to see you back, congratulations on the weight loss and good luck on the surgery! And agree with CM, don't be shy about posting healthy meals, there is a lot to be learned from a healthy-eating 'Hound!

                                          1. re: GretchenS

                                            I echo these sentiments. I'm always interested in healthier options, and would love to hear about your meals. Congrats on the weight loss, and wishing the best for you with that surgery, mcel215.

                                          2. re: mcel215

                                            That's a heck of a way to lose 30lbs, good for you for taking control. All the best to you mcel215, I look forward to your posts after you recover!

                                            1. re: mcel215

                                              Good luck Thursday, mcel215, and best wishes for a very speedy recovery.
                                              30 lbs! Good for you.
                                              We can't wait for you to be up and kickin' in the kitchen again.

                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                Thanks everyone for the good wishes.

                                                I was thinking of starting a low fat thread, but thought it might be too boring, or no one would be interested. But, if I have lost 30lbs anyone can, trust me.

                                                I initially lost weight, just by cutting down on all fat. I used a tiny amount of olive oil to cook with, no butter whatsoever and the freshest produce and vegetables. It's easy to do stir frys,fresh pasta dishes, brown rice and grilled b/s chicken breast (99 per cent fat free} in the summertime. I marinated the chicken overnight, pounded them down and gilled for 3 minutes each side I did post a few low fat recipes on my blog to.

                                                http://saffron215.blogspot.com/search...

                                                Mostly, I cut out all cheese, except maybe a sprinkle of parmesan on a pasta dish, but only a light sprinkle. And trust me, I LOVE cheese. But, I haven't found any good tasting low fat cheese, so I did without. My carbs were cut in half. My protein was cut into thirds. In the case of a chicken breast, I used to have a half of a half per meal. Now I eat about 1/3 of a half of breast at a meal. (just to give you an amount estimate). If I ate Shrimp (jumbo), I had two for a meal. No beef, pork or lamb. White fish only. And I tried a few new snacks, but would have very little. Zero percent Greek Yogurt, Skinny Cow Ice Cream Bar, Cheddar Cheese Rice Cakes and a couple of No Fat Fig Newton's, became all the dessert I consumed since last June. The only thing I didn't give up, was a glass of wine here and there, or even a martini. :) I drew the line on that, lol! And Irecently joined a gym, where I just walk a mile and a half at a good speed three times a week.

                                                And hopefully by Saturday night, I'll be having a slice of pizza.

                                                Thanks again everyone ~

                                                1. re: mcel215

                                                  many delicious-sounding recipes there, thanks!

                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                    ty, Christina

                                                  2. re: mcel215

                                                    Start a fat thread, I'm listening!!!

                                                    1. re: chef chicklet

                                                      I'll start something as soon as I am able to be on the board after Thurs' surgery. Hopefully Friday, chef... ;)

                                                      1. re: mcel215

                                                        No-No pressure - you hear me? Heal and have a good recovery. I was just letting you know that I am interested to know how reached your goal when you're feeling better, it's motivating to hear this kind of news.
                                                        Please take care!

                                                        1. re: chef chicklet

                                                          Thanks chef,

                                                          I know there wasn't any pressure meant from you.... it's just my way of pushing through this. I am a care-taker, never have had surgery before, not a very good patient at all, lol!

                                                          See you back here soon. :)

                                                          1. re: mcel215

                                                            good luck with your surgery!!!

                                                            1. re: Barbara76137

                                                              Thanks so much Barbara.

                                                            2. re: mcel215

                                                              Years ago my very healthy never had surgery Finnish MIL had her gall bladder out and the first words out of her mouth in recovery were "I feel better than I have in ages" so hang tough mce1215!

                                                              1. re: Berheenia

                                                                Thank you Beheenia. I am home, but still weak and a little nauseas. So heading to bed now. Be back soon. :)

                                                                1. re: mcel215

                                                                  A restful sleep and a quick recovery, mcel!

                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                    Thank you Linda. :-)

                                                                  2. re: mcel215

                                                                    Wishing you a speedy recovery, mcel!
                                                                    Looking forward to your posts on healthy, delicious food and sending good wishes your way!

                                                                    1. re: rabaja

                                                                      Thank you rabaja.

                                                                      1. re: mcel215

                                                                        Hope you're feeling better today!

                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                          Thanks Roxlet,

                                                                          Yes I am much better tonight. I will start posting on my favorite thread by Sunday, lol! :)

                                                  3. I *think* I have everything for aloo gobi, chana masala and biriyani. We haven't done Indian in a while, we're overdue!

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                      Darn it- I just saw the spicy mango chicken sausage that I thawed out (and forgot about.)

                                                      *sigh* maybe Indian tomorrow night.

                                                      1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                        giggle. are we related?

                                                    2. As tonight is a Monday weeknight dinner will be simple but hopefully tasty. We are having Sole Florentine, which is lightly poached filets of sole over a bed of sauteed spinach with the whole lot accented by a relatively light bechamel with little dots of breadcrumbs and gruyere. Essentially a bit of fish gratin.

                                                      1. I am still feeling heavy from last night's dinner, so I put together some of the odds and ends to make something a bit lighter. Dill and bits of parsley went with ground pork, nutmeg and feta to make meatballs. While those cooked, I simmered green beans in tomato sauce seasoned with coriander and allspice. When all was said and done, I had a couple meatballs, a mound of green beans and a dill and cucumber salad for a rather lightish, but satisfying meal.

                                                        1. Tonight's dinner was another cheddar stout meatloaf, which I had made last week, but my son-inl-aw missed, so I made it again. along with mashed potatoes, and really nice fresh green beans with caramelized onions and garlic and olive oil, and home made chocolate pudding for dessert. Today was a great cooking day; I also repurposed last night's leftover roast chicken ( my husband made fresh stock from the carcass) into tomorrow night's chicken and dumplings, and made a batch of chili with black beans and together, my husband and I made a double batch of skinnytaste's spinach meatballs and a florentine spaghetti sauce. He also made two loaves of bread.

                                                          6 Replies
                                                          1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                            I had to investigate that cheddar stout meatloaf. This is the one I found, is it like yours?
                                                            http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/st...
                                                            I have no question something like this would be a hit for Mr. NS.

                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                              Intriguing. I know another Mr who'd love that!

                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                I think my husband would enjoy this. He's such a meat and two veg kinda guy.

                                                              2. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                                I would camp out on your front door if I knew where you lived! My goodness, we like the same food groups! Two quick questions: do you use beef and veal or beef and pork in the meatloaf and do you add cream to the florentine spaghetti sauce?

                                                                1. re: Berheenia

                                                                  I have used the typical "beef /pork/veal mixture in the past, but lately have been just using ground sirloin, with no noticeable ill effects, because it is less expensive and leaner. I didn't add cream to the florentine sauce, but I did add about 1/2 cup of shredded mixed Italian cheese.

                                                                  1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                                    Thanks! I'm going to make the cheddar stout meatloaf this weekend for a friend.

                                                              3. Chicken thighs baked with onions, apples, apple cider syrup, and thyme.
                                                                Roasted butternut squash and carrots with a drizzle of maple syrup
                                                                asparagus

                                                                9 Replies
                                                                1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                  Oh MY this sounds wonderful, Chocolatechipkt! Did you just drizzled the apple cider syrup over top? Any details on a recipe? I have all of this and would love to make it this week.

                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                    For the chicken? I made the recipe up as I went, so let's see:

                                                                    I pkg boneless skinless chicken thighs (could be bone-in parts just as easily, this was about 1.25 lbs, I think)
                                                                    1/2 large onion, diced
                                                                    1 apple, peeled and sliced (could use 2 ... they cook down a lot)
                                                                    1/3-1/2 c cider syrup
                                                                    1/2 tsp dried thyme
                                                                    salt and pepper (be generous, as the apple will water things down)
                                                                    olive oil

                                                                    In a foil-lined baking dish (I like easy cleanup), mix together all of the ingredients, with a drizzle of olive oil over the top. Bake at 400 for 45 min. to an hour and enjoy. :)

                                                                    Note: This is also good with sausage (pork or chicken) added to the mix. I baked this at the same time as the squash/carrot mixture (cubes of both, with a little onion, ginger, olive oil and s&p, on a foil-lined cookie sheet or shallow baking dish ... drizzle with maybe 1 Tbs maple syrup just before serving.)

                                                                    1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                      That sounds great. Is the apple cider syrup bought or home-made?

                                                                      1. re: gembellina

                                                                        I don't know about chocolatechipkt's syrup, but it is pretty easy to make at home if you're inclined: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifesty...

                                                                        I halved the recipe found it didn't take nearly as long as the recipe calls for---just keep at a moderate boil for about 1 hr. (keeping an eye on it to prevent scorching toward the end), and it reduces nicely.

                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                          I bought mine from King Arthur Flour, but as ChristinaMason noted, it's not hard too hard to make either.

                                                                          1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                            Brilliant, thanks. I see some syrup in my future...

                                                                      2. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                        Btw, if you're feeling inspired, you can caramelize the onions a bit before baking -- I just wanted to get things going, and use only one pan, not two. It's not a big thing, as the onions cook down in the apple-y juices, but it might add a little more depth. (shrug) :)

                                                                        1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                          Thanks for sharing the recipe, it sounds amazing!

                                                                        2. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                          Sounds wonderful! And I have some apple cider syrup in my fridge (from a place like VT Country Store, I think), and some bone-in chicken thighs in the chest freezer in the garage. Thanks!

                                                                    2. Walked to the amazing Southeast Asian market not so far from my home today and came back with the ingredients for lemongrass beef and green papaya salad. Beef is marinating and I've already made the salad (my first try at green papaya!) and I imagine I'll steam some rice to go along with it.

                                                                      1. the boy's pork fennel burgers (no buns) were perfect - light and juicy and tender, with a mustard shallot dressing, served over really thin-cut frites, and a simple green salad. great light dinner.

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                          Those burgers sound amazing. Were they improvised? 'Splain :)

                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                            I just got over my hatred of fennel and finally purchased a bottle of fennel seed and am eager to try out some recipes. What else goes into your pork burgers?

                                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                                              to CM & JM:

                                                                              well, you're not gonna like this, but they were originally a WW recipe, with turkey, and we used to use this recipe: http://www.weightwatchers.pl/food/rcp...
                                                                              but last night there was pork instead of turkey, and no basil. the boy added a lot of minced green onion - i'm not exactly sure about that tho, because i bought the stuff at an asian market and it's long and reedier than scallions, almost like green garlic, but even longer, and it tastes more oniony than garlic to me. anyway, that, s&p, minced garlic.... really simple. the boy made them pretty plump, a good inch and a tad thick, and cooked them on the cast-iron grill pan until they were still a little pink on the sides, so after resting they came out perfect.

                                                                          2. Penang Curry Chicken w/ the last of my basil crop.

                                                                             
                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: letsindulge

                                                                              Oh yum. Do you have a recipe handy?

                                                                              1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                Chocolate, ingredient amounts are approximated. The resulting sauce should be a balance of spicy, salty, slightly sweet, and acidic.

                                                                                2 lg. boneless chicken breast - sliced
                                                                                1 lg. red pepper - sliced
                                                                                2 med. carrots - sliced
                                                                                1 14oz. can baby corn
                                                                                1 7oz. can sliced bamboo shoots
                                                                                1 19oz. can coconut milk
                                                                                2T. Penang curry paste
                                                                                1t. tamarind paste
                                                                                1T. fish sauce
                                                                                1T. palm or lt. brown sugar
                                                                                3 lg. kaffir lime leaves - chiffonade, or 2t. lime juice
                                                                                10 lg. basil leaves - chiffonade

                                                                                Skim coconut cream from top of can and add to pan. Bring to simmer until oil rises to surface and add curry, and tamarind pastes. Cook about 5 mins. while stirring to blend pastes with cream. Add sliced chicken and saute for approx. 5 mins. until no longer pink then add fish sauce, remaining coconut milk, palm sugar, red peppers, carrots, baby corn, and bamboo shoots. Simmer on high heat approx. 9 mins. or until sauce thickens. Add basil and kaffir leaves and cook 3 mins. longer until basil wilts.

                                                                                1. re: letsindulge

                                                                                  Yum, this is copy and pasted, thanks.

                                                                                  1. re: mcel215

                                                                                    Yes, thank you! Can't wait to try this.

                                                                            2. Well.... the band practice I almost cancelled b/c of oral surgery materialized anyway later in the day, so last night's dinner ingredients are still firmly planted in the fridge: kosher chicken breast, broccoli, baby romaine lettuce.

                                                                              I was going to make piccata AGAIN and roast the broc, but I may have to do something different with the breasts. I'll look around for that chicken breast thread somewhere on HC, unless any of you lovely posters care to inspire me.

                                                                              Not looking for anything involved -- pan-frying or baking are options, and I want FLAVA. Broc's likely to receive treatment in the oven.

                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                oral surgery! can you chew ok? poor baby...

                                                                                how about some asian flavah? roll that breast around in soy, chili flakes, sesame oil, minced ginger, maybe peanut butter . . .

                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                  Well, I'm currently chewing one-sided, but it works, and -- most importantly, doesn't affect my singing... I have two gigs this week.

                                                                                  Asian is kinda out, as we had Thai yesterday and will have Sichuan food tomorrow -- I like mixing it up a bit.

                                                                                  It certainly is nice and sunny in Happy Valley today (despite the shit storm), so it's conceivable to throw those titties on the grill. But a good marinade/dry rub would be nice....

                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                    "throw those titties on the grill" - LOVE it.

                                                                                    how about a little cumin/chili pepper/granulated garlic rub?

                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                      Grilled, brushed with spicy bbq sauce, and topped with cole slaw, plopped on a nice roll?

                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                        I ended up going in a completely different direction:

                                                                                        cubed the chicken breast, dusted w/seasoned flour (s&p and hot paprika), pan-fried in an oil & butter mix and put to the side. Added more oil & butter, threw in half a diced onion till translucent.

                                                                                        Added a bunch of sliced oyster mushrooms I picked up @Wegmans this afternoon.

                                                                                        Deglazed with a good sploosh of Cab, added a bit of chicken broth & cornstarch. Finished the sauce with some light cream & fresh chopped parsley & tossed some pasta shells in that.

                                                                                        Roasted broc on the side with a good squeeze of lemon, and a baby romaine with balsamic dressing (which I still found too sweet, even after adding a goodly amount of salt & mustard) & crumbled buttermilk bleu cheese.

                                                                                        Pretty damn stuffed now. So much for this Lighter Eating Week. 'tis but a joke '-D

                                                                                         
                                                                                         
                                                                                  2. re: linguafood

                                                                                    I know Indian is Asian, but it's so different from Thai or Chinese that you may find it acceptable. At any rate, I made this recipe last night (using thighs, but breasts would work well), and it packs a lot of flavor, with very little time or effort.

                                                                                    http://www.aminglingoftastes.com/2010...

                                                                                  3. The boyfriend promised to take me out to celebrate when I got the job . . . but, unfortunately, we really overdid it on my birthday *and* taking our house guest out for dinner and drinks. Damn those delicious ten dollar martinis. So, not only will the the celebration have to wait until this weekend, and I offered to make pantry meals for the remainder of the week in order to conserve our cash.

                                                                                    It's gray and drizzly here, which means soup. I've settled on black bean pumpkin lentil soup, and will use this SK recipe as a jumping off point: http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/11/bla... I'll add petite crimson lentils, soyrizo instead of the ham, and I need a substitute for the sherry, if anyone can help me with that. I do not have vermouth, white wine, or port (all recommended subs). I have red wine (shiraz), and a variety of vinegars. I'd rather not go the 'more broth' route.

                                                                                    Bread and simple spinach salad to go with.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                      If you have sherry vinegar, add that with a little sugar, maybe. A little red wine probably wouldn't be a horrible substitute. You might also consider orange juice, which works very well w/black beans and pumpkin, imo.

                                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                        That sounds like a great fall flavor that I will have to try!

                                                                                      2. Craving those wonderful little Carne Asada tacos you know the ones(wrapped in two small corn tortillas), it was all I could do to stop myself from eating a few before everyone else. So I grilled the beef last, just to make sure that my dh got that wonderful smell and heard the sizzle as he walked in last night. And it worked! His first words were, " What are making? It smells great and am I hungry!: I'm sure you all know those little tacos, especially if you live just about anywhere in CA. They're the standard $1 tacos at most taco trucks and little taquerias, they are delicious. Ya gotta marinate the beef though, otherwise it just ain't the same. chopped cilantro, white onion, jalapeno and fresh lime juice in one bowl. Chopped roma tomatoes with salt in another. Cook the small corn tortillas, double them up and there ya go, salsa on the side. I made a tasty Mexican rice, and used TJ's black beans in a can, I think one of TJ's better convenience products. You know it's good if there's not any leftovers. : )

                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                          you are soooo speaking my language. we had those night before last.

                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                            I wish I a had a couple right about now. But he wiped them out. I am just slapping myself on the forehead, why haven't I made these before? I make carne asada for guests and I grill the beef at a bbq, but this is a first time that I've made these type for dinner. So delish. What's your marinade? I use red wine vinegar, fresh garlic, salt and pepper, Mexican oregano rubbed between palms, and olive oil.

                                                                                            1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                              i used bottled sour orange, orange juice, lime & lemon juice, fresh & granulated garlic, s&p, olive oil, chopped scallions, and cilantro. i used red wine vinegar on the bed of salad greens i laid the meat on top of, before we made our own tacos, so that our salad had meat juices too. mmmm....

                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                just the best...

                                                                                        2. pork bolognese got started last night, using the Marcela Hazan recipe, but I'm a little worried that the ground pork just doesn't have enough fat - i compensated by adding more butter (!)..... we'll see. it simmered for a good two hours after all the milk and wine dissipated, and we'll finish up the last hour of cooking tonight. the combination of nutmeg and milk was intoxicating, tho . . . the boy has strict orders to bring home tagliatelle or pappardelle. no skinny noodles will do. can't wait!

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                            yowzah.

                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                              How could that be anything but wonderful?

                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                i'm thinking you're right, NCW!

                                                                                            2. Well, last night our plate was somewhat eclectic, as I was determined to clear out some veggies.

                                                                                              Along with some tandoori-spiced chicken thighs (bs, marinated and then broiled), which were pretty delicious, we had a salad inspired by the herring salad (minus the herring) linguafood posted about recently--diced golden beets, diced apple, slivered red onion in a creamy (sour cream-EVOO-white wine vinegar) dressing & topped w/toasted pistachios (also really delicious and not such a bad match for the tandoori-style chicken), We also had a salad of arugula, bibb lettuce, radishes, blue cheese, croutons (cooked in bacon fat--so bad but so good), and vinaigrette.

                                                                                              And, finally, roasted broccoli--and that was my third and final attempt at roasted broccoli. I've read/ heard so many times about how roasting brings out broccoli's sweetness, etc., but every time I've done it--at various temperatures--it gets charred, tough, and chewy and anything but sweet. We ate a few bites, but most of it got tossed.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                pics, fwtw--

                                                                                                 
                                                                                                 
                                                                                              2. Speaking of healthy meals, I made chicken rollatini with spinach and ricotta topped with marinara and part skim mozzarella. I've made this before, and it is an excellent recipe:
                                                                                                http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/04/ch...

                                                                                                I also made a big sheet pan of my baked ratatouille. I really prefer it baked since the vegetables stay more intact. This time, I added in a super spicy jalapeño from the garden, as well as some mushrooms that were asking to be used. Clearly, it's not a traditional rat, but it sure tastes good!

                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                  Both of those sound yummy and healthy!

                                                                                                  1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                                                                    The chicken is fabulous -- as per my teenaged son!!

                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                      That chicken lookds so good, I'm putting it on my "short" list. Thanks, roxlet. :)

                                                                                                      And I love that blog too.

                                                                                                  2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                    Copied down, thanks! Sounds good.

                                                                                                  3. Ragu of Pork Ribs w/ Cherry & Pepperoncini Peppers braising away in the oven. Pics to follow.

                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: letsindulge

                                                                                                      Pics and hopefully a recipe as well. Mmm... amateur food porn.

                                                                                                      1. re: belgand

                                                                                                        Savory, and delectable atop al dente spaghetti.

                                                                                                         
                                                                                                         
                                                                                                         
                                                                                                        1. re: letsindulge

                                                                                                          damn damn damn that looks soooo good.

                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                            Sure does!

                                                                                                          2. re: letsindulge

                                                                                                            That looks disgustingly good. I think there's a good chance I'll dream about it (not the first time, I once actually dreamt about a torta, sadly that place is now closed) . We simply must have the recipe, or at least where we can find it.

                                                                                                      2. 1Chicken and dumplings, and it was wonderful!

                                                                                                        1. Tonight my "comfort food" was a tomato pasta sauce loaded with a variety of mushrooms and red wine that was in my freezer. Had that over penne and a glass of wine.

                                                                                                          Not too exciting, but I'm "licking my wounds" after I found out the bf of 8 months has been cheating on me. At 49 years old you'd think I wouldn't be so stupid. He's history, and I'm back to cooking for just me and the cat.

                                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                            Oh Barb...I'm sorry. don't kick yourself. you opened your heart & trusted. and cooking for "just" you and the cat is MUCH healthier than cooking for a non-appreciating cheater schmuck. just be grateful you got rid of the bum only 8 months in.

                                                                                                            take care of yourself, hon....

                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                              thanks, MC, but this was the same guy that we'd share menus together when he was out of town and that was fun.

                                                                                                              I look at my entire fridge & pantry right now and I have an unopened bottle of Glenlivet Scotch, an XXL bag of peanut M&M's, ten cans of Coke, but other than that, nothing else.

                                                                                                              At 49, I'm just pissed off that he wasted this much time of my life.

                                                                                                              1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                i totally get it. i did it for almost two years once. guy wasn't cheating, but he was still dishonest in his intentions. i ate taco bell for 3 months straight! get out with friends if you can.

                                                                                                            2. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                              So sorry Barb, what a jerk he was. My mother used to say "good riddance to bad rubbish"....

                                                                                                              I cook for just me also, and it's still fun. :)

                                                                                                              1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                So sorry to hear it, Barbara, and enjoy cooking for yourself, it's fun!

                                                                                                                1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                  Comfort food is the best revenge--and it's good salve for a wounded heart, too. Lose yourself in good meals, whether for yourself or your true friends, Barb. And, remember, the Rascal has lost more than you have.

                                                                                                                  Now to a question: do you freeze wine ("red wine that was in my freezer") for cooking? Sometimes I have part of a bottle of red left and hate to let it sit or throw it away.

                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                    'Now to a question: do you freeze wine ("red wine that was in my freezer") for cooking? Sometimes I have part of a bottle of red left and hate to let it sit or throw it away'

                                                                                                                    Sorry, I probably should have rephrased that......the red wine was in the pasta sauce. As for saving wine, seems like I never have any left over :)

                                                                                                                  2. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                    So sorry Barb, but better to realize he isn't worth it now and move on. Another door will open!
                                                                                                                    I'd have a glass of scotch each night with the cat, dreaming up exactly what you need in a man, then go find him!!!

                                                                                                                    1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                      What an ass. I've so been there. And you weren't stupid. He was stupid, you were trusting. Enjoy your comfort foods, keep trusting yourself, and your kitchen will feel like yours again before you know it, Barbara. Until then, there's no shame in taking a break from it, if all it does is make that ass materialize in your head. Take care of yourself, and let your friends be there for you.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                        Awww, Barbara, I'm sorry. I hope the pasta, sauce and wine helped assuage your emotional wounds.

                                                                                                                      2. Cheese souffle (cheddar and parm.)
                                                                                                                        walking salad of carrot sticks, apple slices, and avocado
                                                                                                                        and fresh biscotti for dessert (with and w/o choc. chips)

                                                                                                                        1. Leftover lasagna. It just keeps getting better.
                                                                                                                          Painters are sanding/prepping the exterior of the house, AV guys set up the the new plasma and sound system. Garage still isn't finished. Two forward, one back. That's a net of plus one so this must have been a good day. There are beers in my future.

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                            Enjoy that new entertainment setup! I abandoned the soup last night, threw together a marinara, and used the leftover spinach, ricotta, bechamel to make a pizza. That's right, lasagna pizza. Once I start with the lasagna, it's kind of hard to stop.

                                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                              very cool. lasagna is the gift that keeps on giving.

                                                                                                                          2. that Marcela Hazan bolognese was divine. can't wait to try it with beef next time, but it was scrumptious with the pork. even tho the boy bought the 'wrong" pasta - if there is such a thing - he bought fresh tagliarini instead of the requested tagliatelle (remember i said no skinny pasta??) - it was still really good. and at least it was fresh, i was just going to get dry! and i didn't even add the tbls of butter to the pasta the recipe asked for - it didn't need it (plus, i'd added extra butter to the sauce to compensate for the leanness of the pork). instead i added some of the super starchy pasta water to the sauce, grated parm regg over, simple green salad on the side... perfect.

                                                                                                                            16 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                              Works great with beef. We ground our own over the weekend and it found its little Hazan Bolognese way into the lasagna.
                                                                                                                              Leftovers are good. Contractors? Not so good.

                                                                                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                So, steve h., a question, or two: when you grind your own beef, you use a combination of different cuts, yes? what would you recommend for the Hazan Bolognese? I don't have my own grinder, but i have a nearby butcher. Also, at said butcher yesterday, I asked if they had any ground pork, and he said he could grind it, and then picked up some pork shoulder. Is that what is typically used for ground pork? the result was a nice red and marbled, not the pale pink i usually get when i buy the commercial stuff. i used it to make little meatballs for soup for my dad, so i didn't even really get to taste the results, but it looked a lot less lean than the ground stupidmarket pork i used for my bolognese the other night. is pork shoulder what is usually used for ground? or loin? i would think it would be a cheaper cut, but it just never seems very fatty. Thanks for your expertise!

                                                                                                                                for tonight, i have about half a pound of that freshly ground pork mixed with minced garlic and green onions, dark soy, and sesame oil (wish i had some fresh ginger!) marinating in the fridge. not sure what i'm doing with that yet (any suggestions, anyone? we had dumplings last night already), but i'm thinking of doing a cold asian noodle salad with the rest of the uncooked fresh tagliarini the boy picked up a couple days ago.

                                                                                                                                edit: ooh, just found this. i think it'll be WFD.
                                                                                                                                http://www.smokywok.com/2009/05/noodl...

                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                  Not steve, mc, but I do grind my own pork for bolognese, and I always use pork shoulder.
                                                                                                                                  As to tonight's dilemma, I'd have to look for the recipe here for Buttertart's Lion Head Meatballs, but your pork mixture sounds like it could work for that--and those things are good.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                    ooh yeah, i'll have to look for that, unless BT sees this and chimes in?

                                                                                                                                    thanks for answering re the ground pork, but is shoulder what is normally sold?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                      Haven't made them myself, but here's a link to BT's Lion's Head Meatballs recipe:
                                                                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7617...

                                                                                                                                      1. re: mebby

                                                                                                                                        thanks mebby!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                          Late to the party, but that certainly would work.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                        If you mean is it usually what is sold as ground, I don't know for sure. I always thought so, but maybe it's usually a mix. Someone else will surely know.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                          thx!

                                                                                                                                    2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                      Hi mc,
                                                                                                                                      We ground up chuck per Hazan's "Meat Sauce, Bolognese Style" recipe: no pork, no veal. Having said that, grinding up some pork shoulder and a little veal, adding it to the mix, can result in some mighty-fine meatballs. Fresh-ground pork in dumplings/pot stickers is just killer. I always use the cheap cuts.
                                                                                                                                      The deal with freshly ground meat is that it just tastes better, a lot better. I can't buy that store-ground stuff anymore. House burgers take on an amazing new dimension.
                                                                                                                                      We have a Waring Pro. Don't let the name fool you, it's a consumer machine not a professional cow chipper. We like it.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                        Thanks SH! i'm going to try the Bolognese soon with fresh ground chuck.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                          Don't forget the milk. Hazan is pretty clear on that point.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                    I too ended up doing a Marcela Hazan recipe. After spending the afternoon doing my final election research and getting out to vote I still wanted to run a quick errand to price out some ramekins. My girlfriend complied by calling to say she was working late and all my earlier plans didn't have enough time to come together.

                                                                                                                                    So tomato sauce with pancetta and rosemary served with penne backed up with a simple green salad. For dessert I broke a tiny stray edge off of the bar of 60.5% cacao TCHO bar we're not allowed to eat because I need it for a dinner party in three weeks.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: belgand

                                                                                                                                      tiny stray edge, huh? we all know how that goes, it probably left a crooked bit that's going to need tidying up sooner or later... :)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                        It's amazing how much "waste" there was while practicing making chocolate curls later in the evening. Even better was finding that they do factory tours.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: belgand

                                                                                                                                        three weeks? you ain't gonna make it!

                                                                                                                                    2. Mr. NS started dinner tonight, making the (pictured) first course from odd pieces of pasta left over from the lasagne assembly. I've been calling it ragamuffin pasta. He made the sauce by sauteing garlic and a scant bit of chile pepper, adding yellow cherry tomatoes, a touch of cream, and some of our Italian salt-packed anchovies. Finished it off with grated parmesan and chopped parsley. Very nice.
                                                                                                                                      I did the main course from the COTM. Fish en papillote, with Kalamata olives, tomatoes, garlic and orange zest. Side vegetable of peas, spinach and shallots.
                                                                                                                                      For tomorrow morning, I've got experimental bread going in the bread machine, which I haven't used for 10 or 15 years. We'll see how that goes.

                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                        That pasta is making my tummy rumble. Looks great. The whole meal sounds very good.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                          Thanks Christina, it was indeed a good meal.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                          I love just a simple pasta with oo, red pepper, garlic, anchovies & cherry tomatoes. Super-easy, yet so satisfying. I'll have to add some cream next time!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                            To tell the truth, I think I wrinkled my nose at the idea of anchovies and cream. But he definitely made it work.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                              Well, given that they practically disappear and melt into umaminess, I can see how it would work with cream, too.

                                                                                                                                        3. The man is *finally* home from work and the pot pies are in the oven. It was hard not to keep eating the filling as I waited to hear him pull up- it's 9:30!

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                            What a cutie your kitty is. So happy to hear she's okeydokey.

                                                                                                                                          2. Day five of eating out, looking forward to getting home tonight and spending some time in the kitchen tomorrow. Chicken stock is first on the list, and defrosted lamb ragu may be dinner tonight if our flight isn't delayed.
                                                                                                                                            So far we've had really delicious meals while in Boulder. Duck breast with leg confit, pan-seared trout with barley risotto, brique chicken with frites, coque au vin, tomato bisque and thankfully, crisp green salads. I can never get enough veg when traveling, but the salads helped.
                                                                                                                                            I'm also thankful for the days to myself and the hotel gym at my disposal. Made the martinis go down easier!

                                                                                                                                            1. A DIY, sort of, at the nomadchowhouse last night. DH phoned and announced he was sick and felt like eating only roast chicken and ice cream bars (!), and roasting chicken was not in my playbook as I'd made a chicken dish the night before. Sister phoned to say she and the wee one were *very* sick: did I have any "good soup" in the fridge or freezer? So I detoured to Whole Foods, paid full price for a roast chicken (wouldn't you know they're on special on Wednesdays--grrr), picked up the (also pricey) special key lime ice cream bars DH loves and some so-so soup, dropped off the soup at Sister's, and came home and plopped bag on counter for DH.

                                                                                                                                              Decided the night presented an opportunity for me to have things the man does not love: green beansw/onions, garlic, and new potatoes, cooked almost to death, the way my grandmother used to (except her seasoning meat would not have been speck) and two soft shell crabs languishing in the freezer since last week, floured and sauteed 'til crisp. While DH tugged at the chicken and had ice ceam bars for sides, I slurped beans and dipped various crab parts into seasoned mayonnaise. In front of the TV. Not pretty. But good.

                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                i'm calling you next time i get sick - but i'd want those crabs!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                  That might be my favorite way to prepare green beans! I swap tomato for the pork.

                                                                                                                                                2. Last night was kind of a calorie blowout. We had friends over to help kick a keg of homebrew (fresh-hopped IPA) and the last of the homemade brats and sauerkraut. DH also made German pretzels (using the baked baking soda technique from NYT), which we served with assorted mustards, salsa con queso, and spicy marinara. Potato salad (bought), peanuts (home-roasted), and bbq chips and cupcakes rounded out the meal. I was still full this morning!

                                                                                                                                                  Dinner tonight will be out, but I'm planning on slow-cooker posole for Thursday.

                                                                                                                                                  13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                    A very cool calorie blowout. Sounds like one hell of a good time.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                      Is the pretzel recipe online?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                        This is the baked baking soda instructions: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/15/din...

                                                                                                                                                        For the pretzels, we added 4 Tbsp. of baked baking soda to a medium saucepan full of simmering water We don't rinse the pretzels after boiling, as the NYT article suggests (neither do our friends, who are big pretzel makers).

                                                                                                                                                        The dough/shaping recipe is here: http://swaneeswan.blogspot.com/2010/0...

                                                                                                                                                        Based on conversations with my friend (that's his blog), we made a "pooling" first, which is basically equal parts flour and water stirred together with a pinch of yeast and allowed to rest in the fridge overnight. It's supposed to enhance the flavor/texture...or something.

                                                                                                                                                        We found the key to really good, pretzely pretzels (as opposed to pretzel-shaped breadsticks) is boiling them for close to a minute. The 20 seconds we'd been doing before just didn't produce nearly as good results.

                                                                                                                                                        Good luck! I'll ask DH to write up the full recipe with detailed instructions next time we attempt a batch.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                          Oh this is great, thank you Christina, I have a few gatherings that these will work perfectly for, and I'm making my own spicy mustard too. I know the technique you mention, a poolish, sounds daunting and scary but is just a simple mix of flour, water and yeast you let rest in the fridge overnight that gives great flavor. I learned about it and other starters while practicing recipes in my Baking Apprentice book, it does add a wonderful flavor, you're right.

                                                                                                                                                          I've wanted to make pretzels the right way for so long, I couldn't bring myself to use lye, I'm so glad to know that baking soda another alkaline works well. It's also used for many Chinese noodles and buns for that springy texture we all love. I'm so excited, I've gotten so many really good tips and recipes these past few weeks, or is it I'm back in the game? Hope so. Thank you for taking the time to post your findings, I appreciate it!!!

                                                                                                                                                          My next project, Dutch Crunch Rolls. yeah should be fun!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                            Sweet, thanks so much for the kind words. Here's wishing you wonderful pretzels et al!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                              Oh man cc, please let me know about how you do your Dutch Crunch, that's a holy grail bread for me.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                Of course! There's a recipe in either Martha Stewart's Bakes or The Bread Apprentice. We are addicted to the darn sandwich sized ones they bake at our Raley's bakery. The ones that they bake have a sturdy crackly top that doesn't break up and you really know it's a Dutch Crunch with that top. I'd like to mimic those only make them bigger. I understand that to achieve that top, you use cornstarch.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                  What exactly is dutch crunch?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                    It's a sort of baked-on streusel that makes an irregular textured top on breads. I think it's in Nick M's Bake! as tiger bread? Very nice - and very common both in Ontario when I was a kid and in the Bay Area. Dunno why not here.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                      and I was incorrect, the top is achieved by using rice flour. I saw also that it's know as Tiger Bread too.
                                                                                                                                                                      scroll down to the two pictures with sandwiches, that's what I get and hope to make.
                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.seriouseats.com/2009/06/ca...

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                        Exactly. There used to be loaf bread available with that crust when I was growing up in Canada (doubtlessly still is, I haven't been back for a long while).

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                Oooh, this time of year just begs for pretzels, doesn't it? I might have to make those soon. (Would be today but no coarse salt in the house and I'm 30minutes from a store that carries it. Damned rural life.)

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                              Sounds like great fun and great food.
                                                                                                                                                              Posole, too--yum.

                                                                                                                                                            3. Dinner was out last night with the beau. Had picked him up early afternoon to head to my BIL's house to *finally* get my Grandma's dry sink! The two of them got it installed where I wanted it in the living room (it needs a VERY good cleaning before I start to unpack!) and then the beau and I headed back down to his house for dinner at a local-to-him restaurant of a well-known Boston chef. My app of duck confit was a bit disappointing - a bit dry (although the green lentils were tender and nicely counterpointed with a pear puree). Caesar salad with chicken for dinner for me - which was very good. Beau's half-roasted chicken with roasted potatoes and brussels sprouts were also very good - just my duck confit wasn't. Bummah. I do loves me some duck confit.

                                                                                                                                                              So because my dinner last night was a bit rich for my tummy with the confit, *tonight's* dinner will be super-easy and not so rich - scrambled eggs and toasted English muffin - maybe I'll toss a few cubes of cream cheese into the scrambled egg mixture. Gives me an easy-to-make dinner and time to clean the dry sink before Top Chef Texas starts at 10pm! :-)

                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                Yay, Linda!

                                                                                                                                                              2. An easy dinner of pierogies and either a salad or just some lightly cooked veggies. I'm about to make another pot of coffee and go on a big cleaning jag so dinner will be simple!

                                                                                                                                                                (new pic of Veda in the avatar!)

                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                  she looks beautiful, and healthy! you are doing a great job!

                                                                                                                                                                  are your pierogies homemade? i think not, because you said a simple dinner, and i would think pierogies are NOT simple to make!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                    Unfortunately not homemade this time but when I do make them I make a ton and freeze them for future quick dinners.We've eaten our way through most of what was put up for later use! I need to work on re-filling the freezer with things like that. I made a ton of chicken and turkey stock this week so there are many containers of that in the freezer for soups, sauce, gravy for late night open face turkey or chicken sandwiches.......

                                                                                                                                                                    I'll have to do some searching on this board and look through people's tried and true pierogie filling recipes for some new ideas. I should have Dumpling Day and make all sorts of different kinds of dumplings to freeze.

                                                                                                                                                                    Veda is a real cutie (just like the box she's chosen as hers says!) and a very sweet kitten. She still sleeps on my chest most of the time, which is where I had her when she was so little and sick- I kept her there so I could hear her breathe. Now it's her "safe spot." She's named after Veda Orr.

                                                                                                                                                                2. I had a semi-rough day. Mr. NS came home with a bag of groceries. I glimpsed pork chops, scallops, artichokes, red cabbage, bottle of wine. Then I got shooed out of the kitchen. Can't even guess what is going on in there.

                                                                                                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                    He could at least let you have the bottle of wine now! :)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                      Hey, you're right! I'm going back downstairs, will report later!

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                      How sweet of Mr. NS! I'm sure whatever he's concocting will be delicious and make your day better!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                                                                        You are totally correct. Sweet of him, and delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                        I am posting a meal that I had no part of cooking…
                                                                                                                                                                        Mr. NS toiled independently in the kitchen and came up with:
                                                                                                                                                                        Artichokes stuffed with scallops, celery, carrots, garlic, onion, anchovies in a white wine sauce.
                                                                                                                                                                        And the main course of pork loin chops with a sauce of demi glace and cream.
                                                                                                                                                                        The side dish was apples sauteed with red cabbage, red onion, brown sugar and sriracha!
                                                                                                                                                                        Now here is the interesting psychological aspect of this dinner. I'm an insomniac, Mr. NS is a big sleeper. Late last night I was watching a DVD of the Two Fat Ladies. In the episode I watched while Mr. NS dozed, they made stuffed artichokes. While shopping this evening, he found himself inexplicably drawn to the artichokes, and compelled by the idea of stuffing them. I'm going to be putting more cooking DVDs in my queue, and watching them in the middle of the night!

                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                          Those apples look amazing. Any chance we could get a recipe?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: belgand

                                                                                                                                                                            Straight out of the head of Mr. NS:

                                                                                                                                                                            1/3 red onion finely chopped
                                                                                                                                                                            1 large clove garlic minced
                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 small red cabbage, cored and roughly chopped
                                                                                                                                                                            1 apple cored and roughly chopped
                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 t brown sugar
                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 t sriracha
                                                                                                                                                                            salt to taste and a grind of black pepper
                                                                                                                                                                            2T dry white wine
                                                                                                                                                                            2T chicken demi glace

                                                                                                                                                                            saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft
                                                                                                                                                                            add cabbage and apple and saute about 30 secs
                                                                                                                                                                            add other ingredients and slow simmer covered until cabbage is done, about 15 min
                                                                                                                                                                            The dish should be slightly hot and slightly sweet so the amount of sugar and sriracha might need to be adjusted for personal taste.

                                                                                                                                                                            From me: it was very tasty with the pork! He doesn't really measure anything, so the numbers are total estimates.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks, that sounds even better than I had previously thought. I'm always on the hunt for new sides, mains are easy, but sides somehow seem to elude me.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                            LOL on the power of suggestion via DVD, L.Night!

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Man, have I been slacking.. but I haven't felt well, my belly has been giving me trouble. I get to do a quote-unquote cleanse over the next week, oh joy oh bliss, but in the meantime..

                                                                                                                                                                          I made Brunswick stew tonight (I have a crush on lima beans, don't tell teenaged me or I'll be heckled), a favourite of mine and the man's too. Made all with chicken thigh chunks, and it was delicious as usual. I guess I kind of based it on an Epi recipe, plus cumin, more cayenne, more bell peppers, and more tomatoes. Funny, how simple it can be.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. for the oldster, albondigas soup with ground pork meatballs, sweet potato, potato, hominy, peas - dad likes chunky soups. really it's not albondigas soup except there are meatballs. that's for the week. also, milanesa for his dinner tomorrow night, and a pot of rice.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Dinner party prep week continues as I hammer out the new items I plan to cook and brush up on classics while thinking through the best way to get everything out on time.

                                                                                                                                                                              After weeks of blissfully pleasant psuedo-summer (i.e., actual warm weather, not the frigid temperatures we actually get in the summer months) San Francisco has turned cold again just in time for Daylight Savings Time to end. Even though it always feels like horrible, freezingly cold fall here it's really been hammered home recently. Which made it the perfect time to work on my cream soup technique. Trying something different I decided to go with a velouté base which came together nicely while the carrots roasted in the oven. Just as my girlfriend got home the soup had come together and the quiche was almost ready to go in the oven... but not before she was able to steal a few bits of bacon from the bottom of the shell.

                                                                                                                                                                              Extra slice of quiche? Well... my diet was going too well (~3 lbs./week), I really needed the extra calories. For my health.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. Wow!! 115 threads!! I HAVE been away too long!! (lol) Hope everyone has had a great summer and start of fall. My mouth is watering (as usual) glancing through everyone's previous meals. This afternoon I'm roasting off corn and onions for corn chowder that'll be spiced with ancho and topped with oven dried country ham chips. Joining it will be grilled pimento cheese sandwiches and a tossed salad. Dessert is white layer cake with double chocolate buttercream and vanilla ice cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi Cheryl--wondered where you've been, but it sounds like things are much the same in your kitchen and you're cooking up wonderful stuff, as always.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                                    Welcome back, lady! I've been craving corn soup lately, and I've never thought of pairing it with pimento cheese. That is an interesting idea.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi ladies! Just needed a break of sorts and with the summer heat, got slack with the cooking but so missed this thread. ODL, you must grill the pimento, it's so delish this way and if you have crispy bacon laying around (and why not?) adding it is a must as well. Oh, and grilled cheese goes with most any soup. That's my excuse

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                                        Welcome back! We missed you and your cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                                      great to have you back Cheryl! that chowder does sound delicious. what are dried country ham chips?

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                                        Very happy to see you, Cheryl, missed you a bunch!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks all! I make the country ham chips by very thinly slicing country ham off the bone, placing on a lined baking sheet & into the oven until they are dried & crisp like potato chips. I use them like croutons on soups & in salads. They are also good (if you slice them large enough) topped with other fixings like you would a nacho, for example.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh...my...GOODNESS!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. It's difficult, frankly, to be planning lavish or not so lavish dinners while submersed in a shit storm of epic proportions. I don't have much of an appetite today, so will likely wing it with a couple of chicken tenderloins leftover from the breasts I made on Monday plus a small cluster of oyster mushrooms.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Feh. Whatever.

                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                          Rats, hope things improve quickly Lingua!
                                                                                                                                                                                          I would find comfort in your chicken and mushrooms, especially with a glass of something on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                            Not so sure about that, but thanks for your kinds words. One glass won't wash this away. 10 maybe.

                                                                                                                                                                                            http://cbschicago.files.wordpress.com...

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                              Good lord lingua! I hope you don't have personal/family involvement in this storm. Take care, at any rate.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't, thankfully. But it's hard not to feel affected (setting aside the media attention State College has been getting) after having lived here for almost a decade -- while this was ALL STILL GOING ON and being covered up.... Most of our friends (including my husband) work for Penn State. It's just so incredibly awful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                ETA: Sorry, it was not my intention to hijack this thread or spoil everyone else's appetite. I'll shut up now.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. My mom won a box of frozen lobster tails in a store promotion, and she has generously passed on much of the largesse to, as she put it, the daughter that cooks. (There are some perks!) So, last night I made a couple of recipes from the COTM: grilled lobster w/orange-chipotle vinaigrette and peas sauteed w/shallots and spinach and a simple salad of bibb lettuce, radishes, and bacon fat croutons. I probably let the lobster tails go a tad long on the grill, but w/the orange-chipotle flavors, they were still very tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Tonight I'm making pumpkin lasagne--spinach pasta (made previously) layered w/goat cheese bechamel, pumpkin puree, chanterelles, and grated pecorino romano. We'll also have a green salad--arugula and bibb lettuce, radishes, maybe some avocado if it's ripe. DH is asking for an Italian sausage on the side. That will happen only if I manage to get to a particular grocery store this evening.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                            VERY nice being the "daughter that cooks" and getting a box of lobster tails! Your dinner(s) sound wonderful!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                              Those lobsters sound fabulous! I'm so jealous.
                                                                                                                                                                                              It's a big month for pumpkiny/squashy lasagne. I'm still lunching off the one I made several days ago. I like your goat cheese addition, will have to try that next time around.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Just came back with seven pounds of beef bones for tomorrows beef-mushroom-barley soup. I can't remember the last time I made beef stock...the bones are so much bigger than chicken!
                                                                                                                                                                                              It's supposed to rain tomorrow (rainy friday night with a fire, I am hoping), so a batch of soup seemed appropiate. I have the chain off of a tenderloin defrosting, which I intend to cube up and brown before adding the usual mire poix, lots of crimini's, some dried porcini and maybe a cubed potato or two. I may sneak in some chopped up chard as well, so we can blow off the salad and just enjoy some re-purposed epi baguette made into garlic bread.
                                                                                                                                                                                              Tonight I'm heading to San Jose for my first ever hockey game. Dinner will likely be beer and whatever fried items/junky food they provide in those fancy boxes. I wish I could get everyone to hold out for some good Vietnamese, but I'm not sure it's that kind of crowd...

                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                Damn, beef-barley soup sounds WONDERFUL! ::::making a mental note to pick up beef bones for beef stock!:::::

                                                                                                                                                                                                As for me, I'll be making a cheesesteak tonight (never did do so *last* week). Shaved steak, quickly cooked, and layered with caramelized onions and Monterey Jack cheese to get all melty like when I pop the sucker into the oven. Sweet potato chips alongside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sounds good. Cheesesteak plus chips get high marks. What bread did you choose?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's the end of the very long Parisian loaf I got last weekend for garlic bread for me and the beau (to go along with our spaghetti & meat sauce). I've kept it in a ziplock and it's still pretty fresh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I bought a femur for my Great Dane a while ago. Had him cut it half, roasted it, darn it smelled great. Price $14. Lucky puppy. My point, I almost fell over at the price!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, I paid $12 and I expect to get 4, maybe 5 qts. Of stock. Chicken stock is thriftier, huh?
                                                                                                                                                                                                      The house smells great though, and the cats were totally into the little bit of marrow I scooped out for them after roasting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                        better stock that trying beef rib bones with a little meat. The femur had very little meat, not and not a bit of fat that I could see. Only got a little marrow? Gosh the size of the dinosaur bone I got, I'd think there would be more. Maybe the shanks for that stuff work best.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Not sure where I saw it but somewhere here on CH and recently. I made spaghetti and meatballs last night. For years I make mine the same way. Make the meat a mix, sometimes pork, veal beef, sometimes turkey and beef, sometimes turkey or beef alone. Garlic powder, salt and pepper (good hefty amount) romano, grated onion, finely minced garlic, dry basil, plain bread crumbs, chicken stock. Roll them sometimes small, sometimes large. onto a baking pan into a 350F oven, carefully turn so that they're brown but not cooked through. I finish cooking them in the sauce. I've think they're pretty darn good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I saw something about c1 and their ""best" version on here. I mixed everything pretty much the same, the only thing I did different was I caramelized them on both sides first in a saute pan, then added broth to braise them. No disrespect intended, but I didn't like the way they turned out too much. They broth sort of overpowered the meatballs. I used homemade chicken stock. The claim was that this is how one can achieve tender meatballs. I guess I think my meatballs are just the right texture, these were on the verge of tearing. I don't get it the only thing different is that when I drop them into the marinara, I usually turn the heat off, and let them sit and cook in the residual heat. Perhaps someone can comment. I made them exactly the same way, they just seemed to take on too much broth. Oh they were all beef last night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The dinner wasn't awful, the sauce and pasta good, everyone ate happily, and I was the only one to the wiser. Just wanted to test this out for testing sake. Wondering if I should of let them rest in the fridge for 30 mins or so?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Leftovers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lasagna again (mercy, don't throw me into the briar patch).
                                                                                                                                                                                                    A good lasagna just gets better over time.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've been dialing in the new AV stuff (picture and sound) and listening to contractor excuses all day. Just another perfect day in the Research City.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Leftover lasagne here tonight too, brer rabbit.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Can't complain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I made my own pomegranate molasses yesterday because I had a bowl full of pomegranates that needed to be used. Tonight I'm going to try some of it in this recipe for kofte with muhamarra (http://www.forkfulofnews.com/?p=3923 ). Lamb will be replaced with some ground beef I have in the freezer. Flatbread will be replaced by cumin roasted potatoes. Green beans tossed with lemon, olive oil and feta cheese on the side. Lavender-lemon tea cakes for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Made your own pomegranate molasses? I'm impressed! Your dinner sounds just wonderful, replacements included.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                          All I did was juice 'em, mix in some sugar and lemon juice and reduce it to a molasses-like consistency. I doubt it would pass inspection by the authenticity police, but it tastes great and was super easy. And it worked perfectly in this recipe, which was the real test.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          The kofte recipe is definitely a keeper -- I'd love to try it with lamb next. Even my boyfriend loved it and he can be so squeamish about Middle Eastern and Mediterranean spicing (the guy doesn't even like hummus).

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Chicken chili (Ina's recipe) with fresh, warm cornbread and asparagus

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Tonight I made black bass. I made a sauce from the reduced stock spiced with green peppercorns and apple cider vinegar, some roasted cipollini onions, and a lima bean puree. I was happy with how it came out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Last night I had lobster.

                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mm84321

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Looks wonderful

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. the spicy pork with noodles turned out really well, though it could have used a little more heat (which we compensated for with sambal) - but even using fresh tagliarini - or maybe even because - the dish was good. and the boy took his second attempt at a korean pancake - much better than the first, because it was thinner. yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Your dinner looks wonderful, Maria.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yep; that looks really good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  thanks, ladies!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Last night I had redfish dusted with ground cornnuts with a relish of mini sweet peppers, pineapple and baby bananas and a citrus based sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi scubadoo,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Did you use a recipe? Could you share it, or paraphase it, I love this yummy looking dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    thanks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      rarely ever use recipes. It was real simple. A friend graced us with a couple of redfish he just caught. I had some corn nuts in the pantry and thought they would be good for dusting the fish. Ground them up in the grinder to a powder then salt and peppered the fish then dusted with the corn nuts. Panned the fish with a little butter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The relish was little more than what I listed above, diced very fine and spritzed with a little lime juice and a few drops of fruity evoo. Seasoned with a little salt of course.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The sauce was made from "gasp" frozen orange juice and apple juice concentrate and another spritz of fresh lime, melted in a pan and seasoned with salt and then heated to reduce a little. I finished the sauce with a knob of butter at the end

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The relish was to use up stuff in the fridge. A bag of mini sweet peppers, colorful and delicious. Left over pineapple from last weeks farmers market run and I had cut a stalk of mini bananas off one of our trees and they were all ripening and needed to be used. I just used one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Last of the redfish tonight. Kept it southern and served it with a succotash of baby limas, corn, shallot, garlic and green pepper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Last night was craving keema but not the same old one I usually make, so snatched up Madhur Jaffrey Cooks at Home and made the one with Hyderabadi seasonings (LOVE curry leaves) that was written for ground turkey, with ground lamb. Also made the basmati rice with black mustard and sesame seeds from the same book. The peas in the keema were veg enough. Wow, surprised myself, old Miss In a Rut With the Same Old Recipes made 2 completely new recipes on a work night! Who knew such a thing was possible. Now am resolved to do this more often (lash out on something new). there are lots of enticing recipes in that book, by the way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Tonight was out with the beau - a Thai restaurant near my house recommended by a coworker. VERY good stuff! We shared Crispy Wontons with a Sweet Chili dipping sauce, and he had Chicken Macadamia while I had Shrimp Himapurn. Both were good - I'll be going back there again!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tomorrow will most likely be meatloaf and mashed potatoes after doing some painting in the dining room. We'll see how that goes...the painting, not the decision about making meatloaf! That'll be decided if I can get out to the butcher to pick up ground beef, pork and veal for the meatloaf. Otherwise, I'll pull something else from the freezer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. We had leftovers of Mr. NS's apple and red cabbage dish, so tonight paired it with bratwurst sausages. Side of spinach, peas, and shallots.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Kind of a dreamy evening. Our first light dusting of snow coming down...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Did manage a little cooking today. I made a turkey stock for my Thanksgiving Day gravy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I took 1 head of garlic, cut in half, so the garlic inside is exposed. One onion, cut in half , skin left on (the skin helps give a deeper color). Three carrots and 4 celery stalks preferably with leaves, three turkey drumsticks, with bone and skin. Four neck bones. A couple of bay leaves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Place all veggies in a large dutch oven, fill the pot with water, three quarters of the way. Bring everything to a rapid boil. Turn down heat to low and add drumsticks and necks. Let simmer for 2 hours, then turn off heat and and taste stock, add salt if needed. Let sit to cool for another hour with cover on. Take out meat (it should be falling off ehe bone), set aside. Drain through strainer into a large bowl. Place in fridge overnight. Skim fat off and put strained stock into a container or zip lock bags and place in freezer. This recipe is a huge time saver on Turkey day. And it gives you almost 2 quarts of stock. Nice and rich to add to your Turkey drippings. I use the drumstick meat and pick it off. I throw the necks away (It would be chancey, giving it to a canine buddy, too many bones. But having this stock on hand for the big dinner, makes it so easy to making gravy for your bird. And it's delicious and inexpensive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sounds like you are feeling a little better, mcel215, if you are already prepping for Thanksgiving. Good for you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks nomad,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am feeling much better. My gallbladder was done laparscopically, so it's healing nicely and I am not in much pain at all. Just a lot of soreness around my abdomin. YAY!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  VERY good news, mcel!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That sounds as I f you'll be able to recuperate quickly! The wonders of modern medicine!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks Linda and roxlet. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I made megjp's slow-cooker posole, to which I added diced steamed sweet potato chunks to make it a bit more substantial. We served it over steamed rice with diced radish, avocado, sour cream, tortilla crisps, scallions, cheddar cheese, assorted hot sauces, and limes to squeeze over. A definite repeat in my book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm glad :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've not served it over rice, always eaten it soupier with avocado and tortilla strips and that. Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love posole, but I have never made it; I'm going to have to do a little research and make some soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. friday night, both too tired to cook. take-out pizza (sausage & pepperoni), and a salad. oh and the boy sauteed a bunch of mushrooms and mixed them and their juice with green olives and a little of their juice. some good umami going on there....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. After seeing confit duck legs in a butcher case last weekend, DH decreed that we must have same soon. So this evening, not feeling like going out to eat as we'd planned, I picked up a couple and came home and crisped them in the oven. They were delicious--and a bargain as compared to ordering them in a restaurant.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We had them with (Madhur Jaffrey's) lentils cooked w/garlic and onion (and enriched w/a little rendered duck fat--couldn't resist), sauteed asparagus, and a really nice salad of arugula, golden beets, pear, red onion, blue cheese, and walnuts.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So glad we decided to stay in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        <So glad we decided to stay in.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Who needs to go out when the eats are that good at home? Your salad sounds especially good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Seriously. I've had beets on my brains ever since they were mentioned elsewhere in HC...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lovely dinner, ncw.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          SERIOUSLY good eats at your house last night!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Yesterday I found some nice-looking stew beef at market, so I made beef (veg) stew. Natch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I actually only used about half a pound of well-browned beef for the pot, cut into small pieces to match the vegetables I cut into 1/2" pieces: yellow potato, sweet potato, carrot, parsnip, green beans.. all the usual seasonings were there with rosemary, thyme, bay, S&P, and onion and garlic, but I kicked that up a bit with cayenne, molasses, smoked paprika, chipotle powder, and cider vinegar. Great success with the last of the frozen rosemary dinner rolls!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. The boyfriend put in a request for dinner, one that doesn't appeal to me. At all. So, I *might* give him his baked tofu with dipping sauce, peanut noodles, and roasted broccoli. But I might not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Because I have an open bottle of red wine, and lately keep hearing people talk about finishing pasta in a skillet. I have to say, there is a strong chance that I will wind up wandering into the kitchen and playing loose with a recipe from The Minimalist: sauteing shallots and garlic (in butter), and then finish cooking the spaghetti in a skillet with splashes of red wine, and then tossing it with roasted broccoli, roasted olives (spicy and herb-y), and parmesan cheese. If I make this, if I am completely selfish, there will be garlic bread and spinach salad to go with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm also making an no-oat apple crumble today (I'm out of oats and have never made crumble without them, so we'll see how this goes), and have vanilla ice cream in the freezer. So, there will be dessert for the disappointed one. Unless neither of us likes the no-oat crumble. Then dessert will just be an extra helping of disappointment, won't it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              or another bottle of vino....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Last night was a comfort food craving for my mom's Swiss Steak, which turned out WAY too spicy because I got cute and added two chopped jalapenos. That shouldn't have been a problem, the flavor was good, but I only tested one of the (homegrown) jalapenos and found it to be a bit bland so I didn't seed them. #2 must've been holy hell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tonight is more comfort food; fried chicken, mashed potatoes & cream gravy, plus either peas or carrots or some other vaguely good for you thing. (Having two kids in college is going to be the death of my waistline.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: shanagain

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                welcome to WFD! too bad about those jalapenos...they can be sneaky!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. The Ivy-Be-Gone has accomplished its task - the stenciled ivy is *almost* gone from my dining room thanks to the beau and I powering through two coats of paint in there this afternoon! Just a leeeetle bit left in the hallway, which I can take care of in an evening. So now that the damned ivy is gone, I'll be hosting Thanksgiving for Mom, Sis and BIL. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tonight *will* be meatloaf as I had hoped - fresh ground beef and ground pork from my local butcher, mushed together with an egg, minced onion, Worcestershire sauce, freshly minced thyme and rosemary, s/p, and panko crumbs all whumped together and put into a loaf pan to bake. Mashed potatoes with roasted garlic and heavy cream, and peas, carrots and corn alongside. Oh, and a bit of beef gravy from the freezer for the beau to use on top of his meatloaf. Two choices of Gifford's ice cream for dessert, should either of us desire.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And probably a very good night's sleep from moving boxes and furniture to be able to paint in the dining room today. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. My weird version of pot roast/daube that was inspired by a Patricia Wells recipe - beef chuck braised with lots of sliced onions and garlic, stock and wine, herbs and dijon mustard, capers, a little chopped tomato and a dash of sherry vinegar. Some carrots will join that party, and I have the last of the season Italian green beans to cook separately.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Terrie H.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sounds very good! I don't know there's any pot roast out there that I wouldn't like. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The thing is that the man thinks he doesn't like pot roast, so I call it "daube" and he loves it. Not sure what happened in his life to get him off pot roast, but it is a go-to in my cool weather rotation. This version is my favorite so it was the first one of the season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks Linda!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Making Thanksgiving tomorrow for some friends and neighbors. Roast turkey rubbed with herb butter, gravy, mashed potatoes, sour cream dinner rolls, green bean casserole made with fresh beans and mushrooms (no mushroom soup), brussels sprouts with bacon, roasted sweet potatoes and butternut squash, dressing with sausage, Granny Smith apples and dried cranberries, cranberry orange relish and pumpkin cake with bourbon nutmeg frosting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Last of the leftover lasagna tonight. I hate to see it go.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Deb has aromatics, water and smoked ham hocks on the stove. She calls it ham stock. The house has smelled pretty good the last four hours or so. I suspect there is split pea soup in my future.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      House red to wash things down, NCIS on the new panel.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Weekends are a welcome relief from contractor activity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Since the husband and son are out at a tournament, I've been making do with what's in the fridge. I had some leftover black beans from Thursday night's tacos, and I added those to some pork with green chilies that the dh made in his birthday pressure cooker. Really delicious stuff. I also had some leftover baked ratatouille uille, so that was my vegetable course. Quite good too, although it is not the first thing you think of as going with pork and green chillies with black beans!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Family in town this weekend, so I had the group over for dinner tonight. We had apricot chicken with caramelized onions, a tofu version of the same, tofu with ginger and soy (b/c some of the vegs. didn't want as much flavor), roasted butternut squash and carrots with a drizzle of maple syrup, Israeli couscous salad with apples, dried cranberries, and almonds, and then a big green salad. Dessert was Dorie's all-in-one T-giving cake with pumpkin, apples, cranberries, and pecans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Our supper club met tonight, for Indian food. Spectacular dinner! I made aloo samosas, and the table groaned with spicy and delightful dishes: lamb curry, raita, aloo gobi, spicy shrimp, puri, etc. etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Wow nightshade,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Your dinner looks amazing. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sounds absolutely up my alley!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Dinner tonight is something I haven't had in five months, but it's one of my most favorite. It's spaghetti, with Sunday Gravy. I don't put meatballs in my sauce, just lots of meat bones, beef, pork and a couple of pigs feet (throw away meat, but great flavor). And a big green salad. The house smells amazing. It's good to be back posting here. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I think tonight I'm going to make that lentil and black bean soup that I flaked out on a week or two ago, with tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro, epazote, Aleppo, and balsamic vinegar, garnished with limes and sour cream. The petite lentils and black beans both seem to have a 'beefy' taste to me, and I think they are going to play very well together. Spinach salad and toasted cheese bread on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The cheese will be a mix since I am trying to make use of the cheese ends we scored from the deli (1.5 lb for two dollars and change). I've poked through it a bit and know I have Swiss, Havarti, Amish yogurt cheese, muenster, and two kinds I've yet to sample. And I've discovered we already have pepper jack, cheddar, and mozzarella in the fridge. And brick cheese, and Parmesan. I wasn't aware I was buying cheese so compulsively, but there it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Maybe time to start thinking about a new thread?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm gonna make these suckers tonight: http://www.vietworldkitchen.com/blog/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    -- recipe courtesy of the lovely mc. Will probably add some leftover chicken tenderloin and shrooms currently sitting in the fridge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. The miracle and grace of Ivy-Be-Gone has bestowed upon me an ivyless house at last! Yes, my friends - there is NO. MORE. STENCILED. IVY! to be found in my townhouse. w00t!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Quick work painting the dining room by the beau and me Saturday afternoon took care of it all. The last bit of dining room wall paint was used to throw a first coat over the final remaining stenciled ivy in the hallway, even though I won't be painting in there until much later. At this point, I'm fine with what's been painted - it's virtually invisible to me now. We did the dining room trim today, and I consider my house finally painted. Yeah, there will be more down the road, but the rooms I wanted done are FINALLY done!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The beau got his meatloaf dinner last night; tonight's dinner will be Chicken Diable, an old recipe from a Panhellenic cookbook my mother had from 1968. Simple, easy, and very good. Sides will be basmati rice (I'll make plenty of Diable sauce to spoon over the rice) and steamed green beans with toasted almonds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Back to work tomorrow, but it was a very productive weekend!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chicken Diable

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Servings: 4
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 lb broiler chicken -- cut up or assorted chicken pieces (I'm using 2 Frankenchicken breasts)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Tbsp butter or margarine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/2 cup honey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/2 tsp salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 tsp curry powder

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Preheat oven to 375°F. Wash chicken pieces; pat dry. Remove skin, if desired. Melt butter in shallow baking dish; stir in remaining ingredients until well blended.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Roll chicken pieces in butter/mustard mixture to coat both sides; arrange, meaty side up, in a single layer in the same pan. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, basting every 15 minutes, until chicken is tender and richly glazed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My goodness, I think I know what to do with some frozen thighs.. thanks for posting this!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm adding the chicken to this week's menu plan!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The beau gave it a thumbs up, even saying I could add more curry the next time!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you're going to use chicken thighs (with skin) I would suggest browning the chicken skin side down before rolling in the curry/honey/mustard mix and cooking. And perhaps cooking for a bit less time as I think the thighs might cook more quickly than Frankenchicken breasts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I made this tonight and it was a hit! I did add a tablespoon of curry because my family like it. Thanks for posting the recipe Linda.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. MY house smells so good right now. What is it about caramelized onions? lol!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My dh and 5yr old are out in the driveway and can smell the wafting aroma. He's complimented me three times already. LOL! I am hoping I can find a quick french baguette recipe to make otherwise dinner will be ready when the bread is. I need it for the crouton I place in the bottom of my bowls, and need another shard to place through the cheese.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A little salad of mixed Spring greens, blue cheese dressing or a Dijon, I'm undecided.... Dessert... too.... maybe that pear cake. Now who posted that?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                forgot to post what I made, French Onion soup and homemade French Baguettes. So rich, and I'm full.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Chicken and a mushroom ragout.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Deb has been cooking all day: split-pea soup with smoked ham hocks; short ribs braised in red wine; chicken and mushroom ragout. The house has smelled great all day. Eagles and Redskins had the good sense to lose today. Giants and 'Niners are locked in a grim mazurka of death - old-fashioned, smash-mouth football at its best.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A California pinot noir to wash Sunday's supper down. Football (Jets/Patriots) will be on the panel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It was a fine meal. Rice with spinach was the side. Giants lost and the better team (San Francisco) won.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Doubling down on the Jets/Patriots.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Very nice looking chicken. How's it prepared?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The dish is based on Tim Laird's recipe in "That's Entertaining."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • 8 chicken thighs (skin on)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Kosher salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • fresh black pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • 6 large shallots
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • 3 Tblsp. unsalted butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • 3 Tblsp olive oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • half-pound mixed mushrooms
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • bottle of dry white wine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • quarter-cup sour cream
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • 3 Tblsp. chopped parsley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Pat chicken dry, season with salt and pepper. Peel the shallots, halve and slice 'em to yield about two-and-a-half cups.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Melt 2 tblsp each of the butter and oil in a large, heavy oven-proof pot with a lid, over medium high heat. When hot, add chicken thighs and brown 'em on all sides. Remove chicken and set aside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Add the shallots to the pot, stir until transparent. Remove and set the shallots aside. Add remaining butter and oil to the pan and when hot add the sliced mushrooms. Cook until browned. Return chicken and shallots to the pot. Pour in the wine and bring the mixture to to a simmer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cover the pot and place it in the pre-heated oven. Cook for about 90 minutes (The chicken can be prepared a day in advance. Cool, uncovered, to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat on top of the stove, stirring). When ready to serve, stir sour cream into the ragout until it's well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish the chicken with some chopped parsley.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Note: Deb likes to place the chicken under the broiler for a minute or two to crisp the skin a bit before serving.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thank you so much for posting it--I am filing this one, and making it soon. That sounds really wonderful. Everything about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Happy to have been of service. Maybe stack the chicken thighs on the mushrooms inside your dutch oven so they are not fully submerged in the liquid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          At the end of the day, the recipe is a keeper. Leftovers tonight!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I've just pureed a sweet potato-chipotle soup, chucked a couple of apples in, and will garnish with roasted pepitas. I'm heating oil to sautee spinach and shallots to bake in ramekins under eggs and jack cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: megjp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm not much of a sweet potato fan, but the chipotle makes it sound very appealing! That ramekin spinach bake sounds like a great idea, too. I love spinach but generally prepare it the same way, so this will be a nice change.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Also, I've taken the liberty to start a new thread here:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/817560

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've made essentially the same soup with butternut squash, if that appeals more.. regarding the spinach, there are just some nights I want the oven to be on!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: megjp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I hear ya about the oven. It was pretty fall-ish and mild today here, so I'm not quite there yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Butternut squash sounds good - a little less sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: megjp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In the middle of a cooking project, just stopped in for a quick check of the board. I *love* the sound of your dinner! All of it, but especially the soup. I've been lazy in starting my cold weather soup cooking, but your soup has inspired me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Glad to help!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Grilled chicken breasts which had been marinated in a balsamic mixture my husband made. Wonderful green salad with some of our still living (yay) window box lettuce mix. steamed broccoli and the last of the macaroni and cheese. Excellent dinner;)