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What's for dinner, the Holiday Edition! #120 [old]

buttertart noted that the previous edition was VERY long, so here's the new thread.....is anyone cooking two days before the Christmas holiday? And I mean cooking a full dinner tonight - not stuff *for* Christmas! :-)

As for me - I'm going out - tapas and sangria are on the "menu" tonight. What's cooking at your places?

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  1. By my decree , we are going out for a traditional Wisconsin Fish Fry. Seems like I have been in the kitchen 24/7 getting ready for the Holidays.

    1. In order to make space in our refrigerator so that my wife can stuff it with holiday fare, I'm having leftover chicken paprikash tonight which I made on Wednesday. it will be combined with leftover rice which was the accompaniment to the paprikash. My wife will have something else, but I don't know what. She suggested that I finish up the paprikash.

      Lunch was also a conglomerate concoction of leftovers. It was soup made with turkey stock, half an onion that needed to be used, some pureed roasted red bell pepper, chile powder (not chili powder), soy sauce, a small can of drained mushrooms, some cubed leftover meatloaf and a package of ramen noodles without the flavor packet. My wife said that she would not eat it when I told that I was going to use up the leftovers to provide more refrigerator space for Christmas victuals. THE SOUP WAS SUPERBLY DELICIOUS!!!!

      2 Replies
      1. re: ChiliDude

        PAPRIKASH! Love saying that word. Especially as Meg Ryan says it in "When Harry Met Sally". :-)

        And don't you just love when a leftover throw-together works out like your soup! Her loss.

        1. re: LindaWhit

          Thanks for your input. I belong to the "What if...?" school of cooking specializing in "Cuisine Impromptu."

          I also enjoyed viewing "When Harry Met Sally" a few times. Rob Reiner's mother stole the restaurant scene with "I'll have what she's having."

      2. My husband is making crayfish étouffée tonight for dinner using some lovely, if frozen, crayfish he got at either Costco or the Restaurant Depot. Since we have a Muslim houseguest, he also managed to find some pretty decent chicken sausage to go in it. Can't wait for dinner!

        5 Replies
        1. re: roxlet

          I assume that your house guest strictly adheres to Halal? It's similar to keeping Kosher. Our youngest daughter had a school friend whose parents came from Egypt, and she ate our home a few times. I always warned her about what we were having for dinner.

          1. re: ChiliDude

            He's pretty religious, but since he attends an American boarding school, I'm not sure that he strictly adheres to Halal. In fact, I know he doesn't because he has stayed with us numerous times, and he knows that we do not serve Halal meat or anything else. We simply avoid pork that is in meals that are communal.

            1. re: roxlet

              You may actually be serving halal meat if you're shopping at Costco. I only buy pork and lamb there, so I can't speak for chicken and beef, but I do know my lamb is zabihah halal.

              1. re: JungMann

                the organic chickens at Costco are also halal, or at least were last time I checked.

                1. re: susancinsf

                  My husband buys meat at Costco, the Restaurant Depot and Arthur Avenue, an Italian area of the Bronx. If it's halal that's fine, but he's never asked, and there is only so far we'll go to accommodate him. I draw the line at shopping specifically for halal meat! Plus these kids are always in fast food joints and pizzerias anyway, no questions asked...

        2. I thought I'd have leftovers from yesterday's Christmas lunch here at work, but this morning everyone was already raiding the refrigerator when I walked in the door! So, won't be taking anything home with me for dinner tonight. All that's left is a small bag of carrots & broccoli from the veggie tray!

          So, tonight I'm not sure yet.

          1. Kosher chicken breasts piccata with roasted asparagus and a mixed salad on the side. Keeping it low-key before our seafood extravaganza tomorrow...

            3 Replies
            1. re: linguafood

              Oooh, seafood extravaganza! Are you doing a feast of seven fishes?

              1. re: L.Nightshade

                Nothing *that* extravagant. I was thinking of making two different shrimp salads -- one curried with peaches & peppadews, the other one perhaps Thai-style with fish sauce & lime and maybe some green asparagus tips; 4 large shrimps and 4 scallops will be seared and served with just some lemon juice; side salad.

                My man's ridiculous chocolate pie for dessert.

                1. re: linguafood

                  Those shrimp dishes sound delicious! I'm throwing some into udon tonight, not nearly so interesting.

            2. no cooking for me tonight - will be going to dad's this afternoon, probably go out for an early dinner, then to a late night Shab-e yalda (winter solstice) party that goes all night, and is replete with the most amazing spread of home-made persian food ever! revelry shall abound - can't wait!

              3 Replies
              1. re: mariacarmen

                I'm going out to some sort of Jewish dinner with my parents, so I'll post what I had for lunch. The other day, I had did a kitchen with potatoes and carrots in my dutch oven. It was not overly impressive, and seemed to be lacking in flavor--even though I rubbed it down with chili powder, brown sugar, soy sauce, and OJ before cooking. For lunch, I cut up some chicken breast, carrots, and potatoes, and put them under the broiler to reheat. I made a sauce out some of juices--adding some apple cider vinegar, some rassberry-ginger balamsic, some garlic, and some green tobasco. I left everything cool, then put it over a bed of red cabbage, and added some extra sauce! Delicous.

                I also had some collard greens left over, so I pureed them with some more garlic and lemon juice, and added some pepper jack chese to make a quesidilla...

                  1. Tonight, my sweetest ever (retired) husband figured out how to grill a whole chicken on a spit, after brining it in water, salt, cider vinegar, and poultry seasoning ( sort of a healthy nod to cornell barbecue sauce) as well as make a wonderful wheat garlic home made bread, which we had for dinner along with steamed broccoli with some cheddar melted on top, and mashed potatoes. It was delicious. Tomorrow morning, I will start a meat sauce for the lasagna we will have for Christmas eve dinner, along with a nice green salad and cupcakes (chocolate with cream cheese frosting with crushed candy canes and gingerbread with cream cheese frosting) for dessert. Christmas dinner will be shrimp cocktail, slow roasted sirloin, mashed potaotes, and carrots, with chocolate mousse for dessert. If I have time and inclination, there may also be French onion soup:) Happy Holidays to all:)

                    1. Tonight, veal chops, baked spuds, arugula salad. Tomorrow night something spicy, if I get my way. Sunday, chestnut soup, roast goose, Danish red cabbage, Hasselback potatoes, applesauce, and this here pah: http://www.saveur.com/article/Kitchen...

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: buttertart

                        yay! so excited you're making the pie. must report back :)

                            1. re: buttertart


                              I am curious about your Danish red cabbage. Our Christmas Eve is frikadeller, red cabbage, and mashed potatoes. The red cabbage is slowly braised in the oven in a mixture of water, butter, sugar, and vinegar.

                              1. re: rHairing

                                This is a recipe from Ronal Johnson's "Company Fare" (a great book by a great culinary author and poet, sadly departed this realm) - red cabbage minced in the food processor, redcurrant jelly, red wine, red wine vinegar, salt, butter or goose fat - stovetop braised. No water needed.

                                1. re: rHairing

                                  rHairing I have only had Frikadellen. Is there a difference between the German frikadeller and the Danish frikadellen? Could you post your recipe? All I remember is that my step-monster used to add club soda to hers she said it lightened them up, they were delicious. BTW I do remember that she used the same ingredients in her red cabbage, however she cooked it on the stove top.

                              2. I am visiting family for the holidays and was treated to one of those miraculously simple Asian dinners I grew up on whose immense flavors I still cannot recreate. For starters we had a soup of vegetables boiled with a chicken breast and peppercorns. For mains my aunt served an impressively tender and juicy chicken breast adobo. Even with marbled pork, I can barely manage a dish as tender and delicious as hers and I still cannot figure out how her soup was so infused with flavor with so few ingredients. Culinary magic from the old country, I guess.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: JungMann

                                  Wok Hei (鑊氣) ?

                                  (WH is not just for stir fries, it applies for "kwun tong" and "pou tong" as well...)

                                  1. re: JungMann

                                    I am reading through this thread to see what I'm missing -- and this sounds especially nice. A break from *rich* food.

                                  2. I'm cooking from my mom's pantry, which is always kind of a challenging (but there's a separate thread on "what's in your mother's pantry...?). Last night I made hamburger stroganoff with assorted canned evils. For breakfast today I made creamed eggs (which my family calls "eggs goldenrod") with biscuits, fresh fruit salad, and pan-fried turkey kielbasa.

                                    After the heavy meals, I felt like something a little lighter for dinner. Mom and I made baked chicken parmesan with whole wheat linguine, homemade marinara, and a green salad. Chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                      Cooking while visiting (CwV) is a challenge underestimated at one's peril. On my first day of my visit, my bachelor uncle asked me to make mapo tofu. I was happy to help as being an older bachelor, he subsists on a steady diet of takeaway and frozen food. However I didn't anticipate that, being an older bachelor, the only things in his kitchen were pork, 3 cloves of garlic, a can of chickpeas and a stash of seasoning packets that were probably the same age as me.

                                      1. re: JungMann

                                        and what did you come up with? sounds like the beginnings of posole....

                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                          I hope JungMann went on a quick shopping trip ...and prepared that Mapo Tofu as requested...maybe dragging his uncle along... One can hope, can't one?

                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                            He ended up having a Korean brand of mapo tofu sauce in his seasoning packet stash that wasn't half bad. The chickpeas actually worked surprisingly well with the sauce so I ended up learning something about make-do bachelor cooking.

                                            My other uncle apparently got jealous after hearing about this concoction because he has asked me to make a quick run to the Vietnamese neighborhood in the hopes of scoring some doubanjiang, tausi and chili oil to make my from scratch recipe for his dinner now. Sibling rivalry never dies, particularly around the holidays.

                                        2. re: ChristinaMason

                                          Funny: My brother's intended is visiting, and yesterday (as she munched on the bakery-purchased croissants I set out b/c this was too darned tired to cook breakfast), sheand I were chatting about family traditions and she told me that every Christmas morning her mother makes "Eggs Goldenrod." As I had never heard of this dish, I quizzed her. She described it as eggs with "some kind of creamy gravy" (not all that helpful, but I wonder if it's the same dish).

                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                            Sounds like it. You make a basic bechamel and hard boil eggs separately, then dice up the whites and add to the sauce. Serve over biscuits with the egg yolks crumbled on top. Here's a photo: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/goldenro...

                                            It's not fancy, but we all liked it. My mom asked me to make another batch before I left, but I didn't get around to it.

                                        3. Something simple, hot, and relatively healthy was the goal tonight. A package of udon noodles, some thawed turkey stock, a few wild prawns, tofu, snap peas, napa cabbage, cilantro, scallions, jalapenos, and toasted sesame oil. Optional sriracha and kimchi. Side salad of carrots, red pepper, cucumber, greens and a few chunks of chicken breast; dressing of rice vinegar, peanut oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, lime, and black sesame seeds.

                                          4 Replies
                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                              Beautiful - and impressed that you made it from scratch as opposed to the instant kind!

                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                Thanks maria and lingua. Just to clarify, I'm not purporting to have made the noodles! No scratch involved there. Only the broth was homemade.

                                              2. Welcome to Christmas Eve dinner at Harters Hall. Tonight, you'll be virtually enjoying:

                                                Potted shrimps - an iconic regional food, served with buttered brown bread

                                                Baked ham ( free-range piggy - lots of leftovers to have cold over the festives - unless you virtually eat it all now), baked potato, steamed cabbage, mustard sauce

                                                Tarte au citron - an iconic regional food - although not of this region :-0

                                                13 Replies
                                                1. re: Harters

                                                  What's the potted shrimps again, Harters? Your xmas dinner sounds lovely.

                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                    Commercially produced usually - but just shrimp, butter and a touch of seasoning (including mace). They're very much a product from north west England, with the tiny brown shrimps fished just off our coast.

                                                    Seeing your reference lower down to "Nordsee", I wonder if you're familiar with these shrimps - they're the same fished there and available along the northern France, Belguim and Netherlands coast which the French call grey shrimp

                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                      Yep. Called 'granat' in Northern Germany or Nordseekrabben in the rest of the country.

                                                      Have relatively fond memories of peeling those suckers at my grandma's house in Bremerhaven. Takes forevah. Awesome on black bread with butter, tho, or over sole (Holstein-style).

                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                        I just peeled a pound of the Swedish North Sea shrimp or perhaps they were from Greenland? It does take a long time but when I make "Skagen Toast" nothing else will do!

                                                          1. re: twodales

                                                            I wish above all else that you could actually get smorrebrod and other Danish food in NYC. A place is supposed to open but still shows little sign of doing so. Oh for the days of the Danish Food Centre in Toronto (and before that, the Andersen family and their bakery around the corner from us).

                                                    2. re: Harters

                                                      *virtually lifting glass* Here's to Harters and Herself for this holiday feast!

                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                        And to you, mariacarmen, and the rest of the WFD crew, of course. Have a great time, everyone, however you celebrate this time of year.

                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                          Cheers to everyone!! Enjoyig fine food and friendship!

                                                      2. re: Harters

                                                        My Yorkshire chippy boss's wife was a Morecambe lass who spent her after-school hours picking shrimp for the very thing. Yum.

                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                          Man, that's a marriage made in heaven. Yorkshire chippy and Lancastrian potted shrimp. Maybe not on the same plate but.......

                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                            Appetizer and large portion extra chips, please. The boss was a 2nd generation chip-shop proprietor and the fryer was straight from Bradford.

                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                              "large portion extra chips, please"

                                                              My kinda date, Ms B

                                                      3. No full meals. Last night, the 23rd, was our neighborhood Festivus party. I made about 75 latkes to add to the buffet. Tonight, my choir performs twice at church so dinner is a shared meal between services. I'm bringing caesar salad.

                                                        Tomorrow, I am actually cooking a reprise of our Thanksgiving meal--roast turkey, mashed spuds, curried onions, spinach and gorgonzola souffle. Pie for dessert.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: tcamp

                                                          "...spinach and gorgonzola souffle" Hallelujah for sure!

                                                          1. Grilled NY strips, twice baked potatoes, grilled romaine hearts, snickerdoodles, peanut butter fudge and pecan pie bars.

                                                            9 Replies
                                                            1. re: vafarmwife

                                                              I'm filing the adoption request papers next Tuesday...

                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                LOL! Hey cousin buttertart, don't forget me when you head down to vafarmwife's house, 'kay?

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                  LOL- we'll put you to work on the farm!

                                                                  1. re: vafarmwife

                                                                    I don't milk cows but I can (I think) muck out a stall (although obviously not my first choice!) Hey! I could feed the chickens And feed the cats. Yup - I've been told by Alfie and Buster that I'm very good at feeding them. :-)

                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                      I like to call myself a "recycled hay removal specialist" aka "shit shoveler". I've never milked a cow but have learned how to milk mares as an equine vet tech. Anything to tend to critters and make sure they exist. I had to milk mares when they rejected their foals or they lost their foals or mama died.

                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                      We're a beef cattle operation so we don't milk. We're just feeding hay right now and when it gets colder, we add in some corn silage for extra protein and energy.

                                                                      1. re: vafarmwife

                                                                        Thinks: steaks and beef roasts and burgers like my dad used to get from the farm...hmm...

                                                                      2. re: roxlet

                                                                        roxlet -- Pick me up on the way down.

                                                                2. Tonight is seafood night at casa lingua. My mom and I used to get all these different seafood salads and other delectables (= Schweinereien) at the German "Nordsee" chain, and I will try my best to sorta recreate that tradition. No Nordsee stores here, alas, so my lazy self will have to make do.

                                                                  2 massive scallops & 2 jumbo shrimp for each of us will be seared -- the shrimp will likely marinate a bit beforehand in oo, garlic, spices & herbs, the scallops just 'as is' with a squeeze of lemon to finish.

                                                                  Also, two different shrimp salads: a mayo/cream-based with curry, canned peaches & pickled peppadews.... I still haven't made up my mind about the other version.... lime juice, fish sauce, hot chiles?

                                                                  A side of steamed asparagus with some sort of dip (I really have this all figured out, huh? not.), salad with walnut vinaigrette.

                                                                  Dessert will be a teensy slice of Black Bottom Chocolate Pie (courtesy of epi), then a late night gig at a local bar with hopefully lots of merry folks dancing & singing off all that food.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                    I'd turn the second one into a shrimp and green papaya salad or add shredded water chestnuts and fresh herbs

                                                                    1. re: Feed Me

                                                                      Well, if I had a time machine, green papaya or water chestnuts, I might be doing that.

                                                                      At this point, unfortunately, it's rather late to make any changes to the shrimp salads I prepared for Saturday night '-)

                                                                  2. Tonite I will be making the Feast of the 3.5 fishes....LOL Since I'm the only one who likes seafood, I decided to make it with less fishes. So I'll be making: fried flounder, tuna tartare with avocado, stuffed calamari, mini crab cakes and maybe shrimp over pasta with a light butter/wine sauce.

                                                                    Will probably also add an antipasto-type salad.

                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                    1. re: jenscats5

                                                                      OK, I'm just giggling at the Feast of the 3.5 Fishes, jenscat! Enjoy!

                                                                      1. re: jenscats5

                                                                        "Feast of the 3.5 fishes" - made me chuckle. Your menu sounds delicious!

                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                          Thanks Linda & LN!! Just put together the tuna ceviche (instead of the tartare) - not bad on pumpernickel bread! Will go with shrimp scampi over pasta after all. Will try to take pics!!

                                                                          Should mention I suppose The Man will be having mushroom ravioli....hope he lets me top them with a sauteed mushroom/butter/white wine sauce....

                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                              Well ended up with the shrimp scampi over pasta, the stuffed calamari, the flounder & the tuna ceviche.....Didn't feel like prepping any more than that............but Thanks!!

                                                                          1. Tonight, cheese and chocolate fondue!

                                                                            Tomorrow, lasagna, salad and bread. Very simple.

                                                                            1. Our Christmas Eve tradition is Lobster Stew followed by a salad of endive, Roquefort, and walnuts with a mustard vinaigrette. One of my favorite meals, and only made once a year.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. My sons are here for the holidays, and they want to go bouldering in our local climbing heaven (Red Rock National Conservation area). So we thought we would have an upma breakfast, then head over to Red Rock to enjoy this beautiful day. And since someone gave me a gift card for the nearby Red Rock Casino, and since my kids want to do a buffet while they are in Vegas, I figured we would treat ourselves to a mid-afternoon dinner after we recreate. I'm not a big buffet person, but the one at Red Rock is better than many and priced so that my gift card should cover it...:-). The kids' alma mater Nevada is playing a bowl game tonight, so we can watch that on TV and enjoy the many munchies in the house later tonight...Tomorrow is a full Turkey dinner. My oldest son was in Japan for two years until recently, and turkey is a rarity there. Although he did enjoy Thanksgiving dinner at his aunt's, it apparently wasn't enough. So we'll have another one tomorrow, right down to the pumpkin pie:-)

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: janetofreno

                                                                                  many winters I would overnight my horses at Red Rocks State Park rodeo grounds....I would be hauling from CA to TX.

                                                                                2. Phooey and humbug. Two sets of friends rained on my festive parade and flaked on me, so i didn't get to go to the solstice party and didn't get to feast on Persian food last night. Good chinese food out instead, tho. Tonight I'm doing some tapas for my writing group gathering (we're switching to this evening as tomorrow's christmas - and apparently the lot of us are either jewish, alone, or just not doing the holiday thing, so christmas eve was open for all of us.) i'll make a tortilla de papa, avocado cream with toasted baguette slices, some type of chilled shrimp pesto thing.... and whatever else i can dream up. have some Cristalino chilling - looking forward to tonight!

                                                                                  as for christmas day itself, my oldster and sister are still not in the mood to really celebrate (they say the first year is the worst - whoever "they" are) but we don't want to just sit home either, so i found a bad buffet brunch with a lovely bay view - all the reviews say the food is pretty meh, so my dad is sure to love it.

                                                                                  Sincere wishes for Happy Holidays and the attendant feasting to all of you lovely people!

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                    Sorry your Persian dinner didn't pan out maria, how disappointing! Love the sound of your tapas! Great eve idea.

                                                                                    I hope you have a reasonably decent time at your brunch.

                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                      "the food is pretty meh, so my dad is sure to love it": you always crack me up, mc.

                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                        thanks NCW, but it was so true! he ate turkey, ham, roast beef, stuffing, mashed potatoes, canned corn and sweet potatoes - all of it perfectly mediocre - and went back TWICE. thank goodness my sister and i got to fill up on dungeness crab legs.

                                                                                    2. Getting stuff together for a pot of braised short ribs with garlic, fu yee and soy paste... and daikon, later on in the braising process... :-)

                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: huiray

                                                                                        ready set go!
                                                                                        - while we will have the traditional Chinese take-out with Daughter in-law and family tonight at Christmas eve.

                                                                                        1. re: RUK

                                                                                          I just dumped in some skinny bamboo shoots. Maybe I'll cut back on the daikon I put in.
                                                                                          Have a nice Xmas Eve dinner a la Chinois. :-) Pictures, please?

                                                                                        2. Tonight I'm making a chicken stir-fry with coconut and cilantro from the COTM. Tomorrow we're headed down to Seattle, and I'm only bringing dessert, a sticky toffee pudding.

                                                                                          Wishing you all a happy holiday, happy cooking, and happy feasting!

                                                                                          1. Last night was the first time in a while that I cooked a proper dinner. Spaghetti with homemade sauce: tomatoes, mushrooms, hot Italian sausage. Baguette on the side, and steamed artichokes with a butter-garlic-meyer lemon dipping sauce.

                                                                                            There was some talk of ordering a pizza tonight. I want to spend some time getting ready for tomorrow's dinner and will have my hands full enough. Make the mole for the tamales, put the beans in the crock pot to soak and cook over night (they will become maple-bacon baked beans tomorrow), make the Santa Lucia buns for breakfast. And I've already started on the persimmon pie. There's only 2 of us, so there shouldn't be too much food, but I've never made tamales before so I want to give myself a ton of time.

                                                                                            1. The tapas dinner last night was wonderful, all chosen by the birthday boy: Salchicha de Venado (Venison Sausage w/ith pomegranate sauce - it was SO good!), Patatas Bravas (roasted potatoes with aioli and a spicy tomato sauce), Croquetas de Pollo (chicken croquettes with a carrot-sherry sauce - not my favorite), and Solomillo en Tostada (Beef tenderloin with roasted red pepper strips on toast). Dessert for the birthday beau was a Tarte de Chocolat (Flourless chocolate cake with raspberry and pistachio sauce).

                                                                                              Sangria for me, margaritas for the beau. And a wonderful time with my dear friends at Dali. The two bartenders even came over with the small "kiss the frog" candle and quietly sang "happy birthday" so as not to attract attention. The beau had said he didn't want the "whole birthday thing" when he heard the staff singing happy birthday to someone at a table in the bar. I told him it was tradition that he go through that ONCE...he replied "Well you didn't in October!" My response was "Yeah, but I've been coming here for 16 years; I had 8-10 years worth of birthday sings until I finally asked them to stop!" LOL So he was totally fine with the "quiet birthday sing" from the two bartenders, Oscar and Julio. :-)

                                                                                              Tonight will be something easy, as I still have to wrap presents and do some prep - I'll make a pasta (probably farfalle or penne) with sauteed veggies - red bell pepper, onions, mushrooms, and sliced carrots with some sauteed chicken, toss it with some dried thyme and fresh parsley and probably make a white wine lemon sauce of sorts to go with.

                                                                                              Christmas dinner will be beef tenderloin with cognac sauce (Epicurious recipe here: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... ), roasted Yukon Gold potatoes tossed with oil, salt, pepper and paprika, green beans with toasted almonds, and roasted Brussels sprouts tossed with crispy pancetta and sauteed shallots. Oh - and French bread rolls (freezer store-bought kind). Dessert will be a chocolate trifle that the beau is making, and I picked up small squares of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, lemon squares, and red velvet cake squares. Also got some Giffords Chocolate Rainforest Crunch ice cream should *anyone* have an insane notion to have even more sweet stuff. :-


                                                                                              I wish all on this WFD board and on Chowhound a very Merry and Happy Christmas, a Happy Hannukah, a Happy Kwanzaa, and if you celebrate, I hope you had a wonderful Festivus for The Rest of Us last night! :-) Good tidings to all of you.

                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                Linda - everything sounds great!! Hope you have a very Merry Christmas yourself!!

                                                                                                (heading over to Ep for the beef tenderloin recipe)

                                                                                                1. re: jenscats5

                                                                                                  Sorry - should have linked it - see my OP for the link.

                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                    Not a problem! Found it easily, but thanks for the link.......I bought the world's smallest rib roast for myself tomorrow - this could be the added kick I'm looking for!

                                                                                                    1. re: jenscats5

                                                                                                      Enjoy! BTW, please read the comments section. The sauce takes WAY MORE TIME than 20 minutes to reduce. I noted this in my review on the first page under LWhitt58. (Also note the comment from a Cook from Detroit two above mine - TOO funny!)

                                                                                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                  Happy Belated B-day to the Beau, LW: both your celebration dinners sound fabulous. (I also made the beef tenderloin for Christmas, but I went lazy and just did a cold horseradish sauce.)

                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                    Oh my, now that is feasting appropriate for the season. Well done.

                                                                                                  2. This is what I get for grocery shopping on Christmas Eve, lol. I got inspired and my revised menu is. Short ribs, mashed potatoes and maple roasted butternut squash tonight. I'm making orange coconut rolls for breakfast tomorrow. For Christmas dinner we are having smoked prime rib, mushroom potato gratin, green beans, cranberry orange relish, biscuits and for dessert pumpkin bread with butter pecan ice cream and caramel sauce. Oh and I'm making a mixed berry pie for my husband. It's his favorite.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                      Short ribs tonight and prime rib tomorrow? Oh MY you're eatin' FINE at the rasputina household!

                                                                                                    2. White rice topped with curry -- chicken/onion/apple/celery etc. in a curry sauce-- and little bowls of peanuts, chutney, raisins, coconut etc. Pretty Americanized for sure but delicious and festive.
                                                                                                      Every bite tastes different.
                                                                                                      There's so much too much candy in the house, no need to make dessert.

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: blue room

                                                                                                        "Too much candy"...what means this? does not compute! :)

                                                                                                      2. Going to make the leek and feta quiche from the Food 52 book (another one that has a lot of quite irresistible-sounding recipes) tonight, with the addition of bacon as requested by Mr. If There Isn't Meat In It, Can It Be Called Dinner? Arugula salad with.
                                                                                                        Recipe: http://www.food52.com/recipes/2829_le...

                                                                                                        I was going to do all kinds of prep for tomorrow today but haven't gotten to it yet.

                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                          I think that there are not enough quiches in my life.

                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                            Just ordered that cookbook from the TGC sale; will make a mental note to bookmark the quiche once it arrives.

                                                                                                          2. Tonight it's homemade spaghetti and meatballs with roasted asparagus. Christmas sugar cookies for dessert.

                                                                                                            1. We were invited to my man's co-worker's house for Christmas Eve dinner: deep fried turkey, fried chicken, green beans cooked with whole potatoes, corn on the cob, potato salad, macaroni salad, baked beans and rolls. Desserts were chocolate layer cake, coconut cake, & apple pie; I did not partake of the desserts (WHAT?) Waiting for tomorrow to double up.

                                                                                                              Once home, the man told me we were invited to a neighbor of his parents for dinner on Christmas but I'm going ahead with my dinner which will be salt & pepper crusted prime rib with caramelized onion au jus, braised rabbit with tomatoes & fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, oregano, onion, garlic), potato galette, fresh collard greens from my garden simmered with smoked pork neck bones, corn pudding and homemade rolls. Desserts will be gingerbread, sweet potato pie and a pear & caramel tart.

                                                                                                              Merry Christmas and wishing all a safe & delicous day!

                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                Wow, your Christmas meal sounds wonderful.

                                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                  Thanks Christina, the rabbit was fabulous and everything else just so wonderful

                                                                                                                2. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                  Add another wow. That sounds incredible.

                                                                                                                  1. Epic failure with my tortilla de papa. i took too long shopping today (never done that before, on xmas eve? never again - it was a zoo out there - and i didn't even hit a stupid-mart, just the little groceries in my nabe - 40 minutes in line at the local Italian deli!) so i was in a rush, and when i flipped the tortilla half of it fell out on the plate, the other half stuck to the pan, and the middle was uncooked. D'OH! rookie move! I packed my knives and left.

                                                                                                                    the other two dishes came out great. chopped up shrimp mixed with pesto and kewpie mayo with a little lemon juice and dill, served with seeded crackers, but the best was an old party fave of mine - italian canned tuna in olive oil, mixed with chopped green olives and pimentos, minced fennel and fronds, lemon juice, a dash of cumin, cracked pepper. on baguette slices (or sometimes i do it on toasted won ton wrappers). on top of that goes a "jam" of slow cooked sliced sweet onions, s&p, brown sugar, fresh oj, orange zest, cumin, a touch of paprika, and cayenne. i was out of golden raisins and forgot pine nuts, but it was really good, nice and smokey on the tart tuna. a hit! i also brought a cheese plate of manchego, goat cheese salata, and fontina. also mixed greek olives. others brought a curried sweet potato custardy thing, argentinian enpanadas, hummus, restaurant-purchased avocado and sundried tomato spring rolls (surprisingly good!) salad, veggie enchiladas, alfajores, and rum cake, Bubbly for all.

                                                                                                                    A disco nap was in order; now, out for a nightcap with the boy. Merry Christmas to all!

                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                      Wow maria, your tapas sound great! (But too bad about the tortilla.) The tuna especially calls out to me; great sounding combination of flavors.

                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                        thanks Linda - yeah, the tortilla was a bummer, but i chopped it up as a short of hash for the boyfriend and he liked it - it wasn't pretty but the flavors were there. That and a smokey paprika roasted chicken was his dinner.

                                                                                                                        The tuna thing is, in my mind, sort of a Moroccanish flavor thing...

                                                                                                                      2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                        love the sound of the tuna tapa! tapas / small plates are the way we roll @casa lingua on xmas eves, too.

                                                                                                                      3. Christmas dinner: I cooked, but mom had already done all of the shopping before I arrived in town, so the menu/ingredient selections were basically her call. Fancy it was not, but we were all together, which is what counts.

                                                                                                                        We roasted a turkey breast that had herb (dried) butter under the skin. On the side were:

                                                                                                                        -redskin potatoes mashed with butter and a little bit of cream cheese
                                                                                                                        -homemade turkey gravy (fended off the envelope of gravy mix she suggested)
                                                                                                                        -turkey Stove Top dressing doctored with extra sauteed celery and onion
                                                                                                                        -spicy savory glazed baby carrots
                                                                                                                        -candied yams (cinnamon, butter, and brown sugar)
                                                                                                                        -green beans
                                                                                                                        -Sister Schubert's dinner rolls
                                                                                                                        -jellied cranberry sauce

                                                                                                                        It was like Christmas Dinner 1978 edition :)

                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                          Oh, nothing wrong with a little time machine action! Sounds tasty, whether old-fashioned or not.

                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                            There'll be pie from the freezer for dessert. Convenience food extravaganza!!

                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                              1978 was a very nice year to have been alive and cooking in.

                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                I must say, it was quite a bit less work than I put into Thanksgiving, which was several days of cooking from scratch. But I enjoyed the food more then. A definite trade-off.

                                                                                                                          2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                            CM, my sister has been making my dad Stove Top Stuffing a lot lately, and he loves it. I tasted some the other night, and yeah it was doctored up a bit by my sister, but it was delicious!

                                                                                                                            i think the only thing i would say no to from our Christmas Dinners Past would be the canned yam casserole with the browned mini marshmallows on top.

                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                              I am a major fan of Sister Schubert. We used to buy the orange rolls all the time and extra at holidays (my late dad loved them), but I have not seen them anywhere in a couple of years--don't know if they still make them. But I haven't really had a SS roll I didn't like.

                                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                Stovetop stuffing at my house too, doctored with onion, celery, chopped liver and broth from the giblets pack, and some chopped cranberries. It was very good. Stuffing is one of those dishes that not enough of my family appreciates to make a fancier preparation worth the trouble.

                                                                                                                              2. Dinner tonight: pan-roasted duck breast with either some Sichuan spice rub or a port reduction w/fig jam, 3-cheese potatoes au gratin (Swiss, Romano, Parmesan) about to go in the oven. Side is a salad -- feeling too lazy to deal with the green beans I got.

                                                                                                                                Will also forego the jumbo shrimp which were planned as an app, as it will simply be too. much. food. Yep, 'tis the season, but I'd rather not feel like a blimp later tonight :-D

                                                                                                                                15 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                  you're off and running with the duck!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                      Yeah, the duck was just kinda meh again.... plus I browned (ahem, blackened) the skin/fat a bit too much, so I'm not sure if I can use the fat rendered, either.

                                                                                                                                      I'll follow our friend's advice and get a whole duck at the Asian store, hoping their brand/breed might be more flavorful = ducky.

                                                                                                                                      The gratin was awesome, but it always comes out well. One of those no-fail recipes, thankfully :-)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                        would sieving make the fat salvageable? i do that sometimes when fry oil picks up too much sediment and begins to burn.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                          i could try. i have a sieve i used yesterday when i squeezed 4 lbs. of limes to keep the pits and pulp out. i just don't know that it's fine enough for burnt particles.... gah.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                            Heat it up and pour it through a paper towel-lined sieve. The paper towel will catch the sh--.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                          sorry about the duck.... try try again!
                                                                                                                                          and now can i have that perfect gratin recipe, s'il te plait?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                            absofreakinlutely, muh dear. tho i'm pretty sure i've posted it in HC before....

                                                                                                                                            grease a baking dish well with butter.
                                                                                                                                            slice potatoes thinly using a mandoline (unless you like spending hours on prep). layer in baking dish, slightly overlapping, until about full.
                                                                                                                                            pour a cup of light cream mixed with hot paprika, LOTS of fresh crushed garlic (i use my garlic press unapologetically) and WAY more salt you think is healthy. seriously. you should be tasting it and saying "uh-oh, that's too much salt" -- b/c the taters will soak it all up.
                                                                                                                                            you can also add herbs if you like, but i find them unnecessary.
                                                                                                                                            then comes the fun part -- cover the dish with your favorite shredded cheeses (swiss works very well, and i like to add some parm & romano for more depth)
                                                                                                                                            bake at 375˚F for 45 min. or until nicely golden brown on top.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                              i do remember this now.... and i bet i copied it down last time! but thanks, making special note of it this time. need to borrow my sister's mandoline.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                Funny, this doesn't look anything like my mom's potato gratin. I think it was boiled potatoes, a can of Aunt Penny's white sauce, and American cheese. I vote for your version!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                  Dare I ask what Aunt Penny's white sauce is? Or would I rather not know? '-)

                                                                                                                                                  This is actually *my* mom's recipe, but I think she got it from a colleague way back when....

                                                                                                                                                  I love how it makes the house smell when it's bubbling away in the oven.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                    Aunt Penny's is an old brand of canned white sauce made with water, hydrogenated oil, milk, flour, cornstarch, etc. Ideally suited to making chipped beef on toast with those little jars of chipped beef. Ah, memories!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                      Mmmmmmwhite sauce. Like Aunt Penny used to make.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                        But didn't, cuz she bought it in a tin.

                                                                                                                                      2. My wife, her sister, mother, nephews, and nieces elected me to cook the American portion of the holiday meal today.

                                                                                                                                        Baked ham and pork picnic shoulder, topped with brown sugar and pineapple, mashed potatoes and gravy, candied yams, baked beans, dressing stuffed mushrooms, fresh baked dinner rolls, prime rib cut into 1 1/2 inch thick steaks and broiled, buttered sweet corn, and steamed green beans.
                                                                                                                                        The ladies did the Korean portion - kimchi, steamed napa cabbage, spinach namul (parboiled and seasoned with salt, sesame seeds, slivered garlic, chopped green onion, and some sesame oil), steamed white rice, a bun type version of Mandu (dumpling) with seasoned minced beef for the filling, seaweed soup, and steamed seasoned bean sprouts (red pepper flakes, salt, sesame seed, and sesame oil).

                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: hannaone

                                                                                                                                          Love the "Korean portion" especially. That's a great sounding holiday meal.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                            Bi-cultural holiday meals are fun, but I really need a larger oven.

                                                                                                                                        2. I am in the midst of making tamales. Well, I'm taking a break and letting my boyfriend fold a few because I was finding them somewhat tedious and frustrating. They're filled with chicken and mole sauce (made using my brand new Christmas Cuisinart super fancy blender).

                                                                                                                                          The baked black beans with maple syrup and bacon are in the oven and will soon be joined by acorn squash (baked with chipotle, butter and more maple syrup). Mexican rice and green beans with browned butter and meyer lemon on the side, as well as two bottles of nicer-than-we-usually-get wine (a Californian cabernet sauvignon and something from Chile that was recommended by the store clerk).

                                                                                                                                          Actually, as my boyfriend just announced, "I think I'm getting the hang of this," I'll let him finish up the rest of the tamales while I have a glass of wine (just cheap white for now -- I'm saving the good stuff for dinner).

                                                                                                                                          Persimmon spice pie for dessert, topped with rum-infused whipped cream, although at the rate we're going, we won't be having dessert until 11 pm.

                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                            your entire dinner sounds fantastic - especially those black beans with syrup and bacon!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                              Could I borrow your BF for a little while, just long enough to make some tamales?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                I suppose so, if you give him back. Although I should warn you, they weren't the prettiest tamales in the world. They tasted pretty good, but... wow, did we not know what we were doing!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                  I've only made them a few times, and yes, they are a lot of time/effort--and I'm not sure I ever got the hang of it, but a good tamale is a wonderful thing.

                                                                                                                                            2. Marinated mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, baby corn & olives.
                                                                                                                                              Sliced corned beef.
                                                                                                                                              Artisanal stone-ground mustard w/ jalapenos.
                                                                                                                                              Scallions & Dill Pickles.
                                                                                                                                              Chinese crullers (you char kway)

                                                                                                                                              Blandys Rainwater Madeira


                                                                                                                                              Salmon fillets, steamed w/ ripe lime juice salt & pepper.
                                                                                                                                              Steamed asparagus tossed w/ lime juice, Alziari olive oil, salt & pepper.
                                                                                                                                              Sauteed mushroom & mustard sauce.

                                                                                                                                              Chopped scallion & chive flower fried rice.

                                                                                                                                              J&B Whiskey.

                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                  Lovely photos huiray, and a wonderful meal.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: RUK

                                                                                                                                                      Thanks, RUK & L.Nightshade. Dessert was Lemon Meringue tart later.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                  Love your nibbles - you tiao as an appetizer is my kind of thing (and the Rainwater Madeira sounds great too, loved the white Madeira we had in Lisbon). Not fond of cooked salmon but that sounds like a nice prep.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart


                                                                                                                                                    ETA: I was reading another thread and it reminded me that roti prata/roti canai would also have been very nice with the "nibbles" as well as the you char kway/you tiao. In fact, I still have a box of frozen prepared dough in the freezer ready for frying. (Well, freshly made would be better, of course)

                                                                                                                                                    The salmon/asparagus/mustard sauce was a riff on a similar combination w/ lemon and dill-mustard sauce using silken tofu. The mushroom-mustard sauce last night was sort-of made on-the-fly with that jalapeno-containing whole-seed mustard, sliced mushrooms sauteed in nice olive oil, lime juice, some chinese lump candy, water, more EVOO, simmered down...I think that was it...I even forgot the chopped parsley, I think in retrospect it was better without it. Came out nice, not sure I can reproduce it exactly. :-)

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                      Pic of the "Chinese lump candy" for someone who asked. :-)
                                                                                                                                                      [see also my post above]

                                                                                                                                                3. Dungeness Crab. With butter. My go to winter celebratory dinner dish.

                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                      Just got home (1:30 am PDT), after eating many magnificent things today--started off at a brunch with my sister and fam, where the high light was a honey baked ham. Followed by snacks / elk loin roast / salmon at my dad's. Lastly we went to a family friend's, where I consumed some sweets and drank some more wine.

                                                                                                                                                      Now, thankfully, I'm home--and hungry again! So I'm eating left overs to make room for food that was sent home with me. I just jazzed up the remaining stuffed pepper (stuffed with chicken and other things that were in a chicken-based soup--carrot, potato). I had some left over collard greens which I had pureed with lemon juice and garlic. I spread them on top the pepper, spread some minced garlic, added chese and broiled. Should be delicious...just coming out of the microwave now; the filling didn't heat well in the broiler.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                        I left my heart...in San Francisco...
                                                                                                                                                        When I think of the crab I turned my nose up at!!!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                          that IS rather shocking, BT.

                                                                                                                                                          we have two beauts sitting in the fridge right now for later this evening (pre-steamed - we're not brave enough to do it ourselves.)

                                                                                                                                                    2. Spaghetti with meat sauce for tonight then leftovers for the rest of the week. Today is my day to scrub the kitchen from top to bottom, clean and reorganize the cupboards, and clean the oven. I usually do this on New Year's Eve, but since I am off from work today, I figured what the heck. Hubby has already left the house this morning as he sensed this was my day to Lysol and bleach anything that didn't move. LOL

                                                                                                                                                      1. Technically, Boxing Day dinner is a brown gloop from the freezer meal. But only in so far as I made it a couple of weeks ago specifically for tonight. Based on Delia Smith recipe, it;s braised beef with a variety of mushroom - I've got dried trompettes de mort, chestnuts, blewitts and a single big fresh cep. When it's warmed through, I'll quicly fry some slices of button mushroom as a garnish. We're having it with fondant potato, roast parsnips and runner beans.

                                                                                                                                                        And, to start, a slice or two of smoked salmon. And, for afters, herself has, as always, made a trifle. But heresy reigns in this household. Herself learned her trifle making talent from my mother. And has always made it as the old girl did. But not this year. For the first time in 60 years, there will be no tinned peaches in my Xmas trifle. But raspberries. I ask you! Raspberries! Whatever has she been thinking of.

                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                          My dear Harters, change is good even for an old dog like you. Herself is just trying to rattle your cage a bit - I'll bet you'll enjoy the raspberry trifle as much as the one with tinned peaches.

                                                                                                                                                          And knowing you - even if you *don't* don't enjoy it as much, you'll tell Herself that you do. Because you're like that. :-)

                                                                                                                                                          The beau made a chocolate/butterscotch/Heath bar trifle last night for dessert. So you and I are trifling friends this season.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                            I had to Google to discover the delights of the Heath bar - but anything involving chocolate and butterscotch show the beau is not a person to be trifled with.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                              No tinned fruit, honestly. I hope there were silver dragées at the very least.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                Not on the trifle, Ms B (top decorated with Cadbury's Flake). But herself did add them to her gingerbread stars

                                                                                                                                                        2. What is it about WFD? No matter how full I am, catching up and reading through makes me SO hungry.

                                                                                                                                                          Our holiday eats included jumbo stone crab claws flown in for Christmas Eve (just the two of us). We ordered from Key's Fisheries for the first time because they had the best prices and also a 25% discount special on shipping. Highly recommend - they were fantastic. No app, just the stone crab with mustard sauce and a bottle of Premier Cru Chablis, and key lime pie for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                          For our casual Christmas Day, now-traditional (since moving to Phoenix) guacamole, tamales from a fave Mexican bakery, refritos, arroz rojo, and Caesar salad. I also made a glazed ham. Apps were a cheese plate and spiced pecans with rum glaze. Cocktail-wise, E and his son had vodka, while I made myself a Blood and Sand, and wine with dinner. For dessert, leftover key lime pie, and I made white chocolate chunk cookies (meh) and Dorie Greenspan's pecan sablés. My first time making those cookies and I LOVED them. I'll have to post on her COTM baking book thread. I plan on stocking the freezer ; ) Finished with bourbon and my cool "Whisky Rocks" - a gift from E's daughter and her boyfriend.

                                                                                                                                                          Had the day off so brunch today was a German apple pancake with the last of the Mountain Rose apples. Happy holidays!

                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                            Good god Rubee! I love it when you put all your photos together, what a lovely array. You are changing my ideas about food in Phoenix (I haven't been there in decades), as you always show such wonderful menus and beverages, both at home and on the town. Brava!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                              Thank you! I have to say, February will mark our 4th year in Phoenix and I feel SO lucky - what a fabulous food mecca it has turned to be. I only knew E's son and his family before we moved from Boston and, as you can tell, the city is full of friendly, passionate, food-loving people too. In fact, we're just back from ArizonaGirl's house - the first local Chowhound I met now 3 years ago - for a nightcap and cookies after Happy Hour/dinner out . : )

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                                Stuffy, runny, nose this evening...so I threw together some soup: chubed up some chicken I cooked the other day, along with potatoes and carrots (also already cooked), and a quarter head of purple cabbage. When everything was warm, I put in a generous splash of soy sauce...then I thought it may be interesting to put in some grape fruit. A little grape fruit aparently goes a long ways--I only used a quarter of it. I think lime would have been better, but I would try grape fruit again (just less next time). Lastly, I put in a little cinamon to take the edge off the bitterness. I am pleased with the results...

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                              How you liking your whisky rocks? I see you drink bourbon, so it may be different for you.... but I bought those for my scotch and hardly ever use them, unless it's a *really, really* smooth scotch.

                                                                                                                                                              And I tend to prefer the peatier, smokier ones, which need a bit of water/melted ice/a rock to open up.


                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                I like them because they chill it nicely without watering it down, but as you say, I've only used them for bourbon so far. I agree completely with a little water/melted ice in the smoky scotches.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                                                                As usual, Rubee, your pictures are amazing - those stone crab legs look heavenly!

                                                                                                                                                              3. My favourite turkey leftovers dish is a Delia Smith recipe. Well, of course it is. It's in her Christmas book as "creamed turkey en croute". The use of French expression perhaps dates the recipe, so let's call it turkey pie. As she says, it's a moveable feast where ingredients can be swapped to suit what's in the fridge.

                                                                                                                                                                So, onion, mushrooms and bacon (or ham in this case) get a quick fry. A roux is made (damn - another French word!) for the thick sauce. It calls for stock you've made from the turkey carcass - but we didnt have a carcass, so I'll use veggie stock from bouillon powder. Bouillon? Damn those Frenchies interfering with my language again. You add in chopped aprsley, brandy and cream and let it all cool. Then you mix in the turkey leftovers.

                                                                                                                                                                A sheet of all-butter supermarket puff pastry is defrosting. The turkey gloop get piled into the centre of that and you egg wash the edge of the pastry. You then pull oposite corners into the centre - pinching the pastry together - so you've got a top in the shape of an X - sort of. Gets about 30 minutes in the oven. Got some broccoli to go with it and maybe some leeks.

                                                                                                                                                                Pate (bought) to start. Lots of cheese for afters. And the fridge is still crammed with sweet stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                Not that I'm wasting away - We've just started on the Christmas cake (another recipe from St Delia) and it's fab. Lunch in a couple of hours will be another leftover use-up in the form of bubble & squeak. Maybe topped with a fried egg. Maybe just the spuds and cabbage.

                                                                                                                                                                In the meantime, I'll go an potter round the garden for an hour chopping back all the dead flowering plants which arent really adding anything to its look now.

                                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                  Sounds similar to our pot pies (which I believe were stolen from the British anyway); I always like them better than the roast turkey in its first iteration.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                    Think of it more like a giant pasty, than a pie that gets baked in a container.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                    Those pesky Frenchies been messing with your lingo since nigh on to 1066 (and all that), haven't they?
                                                                                                                                                                    I love meat pies of any variety, those do sound great.
                                                                                                                                                                    Christmas cake proper with marzipan and royal icing? Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Plain with cheddar is super, too.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                      Nah. Cake plain with almonds for decoration - can't abide marzipan and royal icing.

                                                                                                                                                                      Plain with cheese ? I believe your genes must include a hefty chunk of northern ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                      Just love it with Lancashire - the crumbly texture makes it better than with cheddar.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                        Our next-door neighbours, Ernie and Babs (!), were from the North.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                      And I'm assuming you used a French brandy, Harters? And the paté - yet another French word. Oh - and that puff pastry? Yup. It's pâte feuilletée, I believe. You were surrounded! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                      I hope the turkey pot pie was good!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, I don't mind French products. France is only 22 miles away so there's always been imports and exports. It's using French words when there's a perfectly fine English word - it irritates me particularly when restaurants do it in their menu description.

                                                                                                                                                                        Pie was good - but then pies are always good - I'm a man and northern, you see. It's hardwired into us.

                                                                                                                                                                    3. Last night was leftover tamales, beans and rice. Tonight, I'm not sure what we're having. Something easy. Sandwiches or eggs or something with the cooked chicken drumsticks sitting in the fridge. We're leaving early tomorrow morning on a week-long, long-awaited, very-low-budget road trip that will take us through Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico, and we need to eat all the stuff that will spoil while we're gone.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. Last night was the remainder of the beef tenderloin and brussels sprouts. I roasted more potatoes for the beau and I.

                                                                                                                                                                        Tonight, I'm on my own, as we both had separate medical appts. and went on our merry way, he to be with family members, me to do some "organizational" shopping, plus buying a gommelgrabber (a.k.a. Crazy Circle) for the kittehs with which they tuckered themselves out. Although I suspect should I make a move towards the kitchen, they'll be there in a flash expecting their dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                        Tonight I will be making pizza - picked up some garlic-herb pizza dough from Trader Joe's, as well as some baby spinach and pancetta. Pancetta will be sauteed, and then the spinach wilted in a bit of the pancetta fat. Cremini mushrooms to be sliced and sauteed, and all of that put on the pizza. I'll pre-cook the pizza dough a bit (4-5 minutes) based on recommendations at traderjoesfans.com), top the pizza crust with a homemade type of parma-rosa sauce (diced tomatoes whirred in a food processor and mixed with some minced garlic, tomato paste and dried parsley, to which I'll add a smidge of heavy cream, and some Parm-Reg cheese). The sauce will be spread around the dough, then on goes the pancetta, baby spinach, and mushrooms, add some grated fresh mozzarella, and finish baking.

                                                                                                                                                                        I might make a salad, or I might not. I'm leaning towards not. Various cookies or ice cream should I want something for afters.

                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                          your parma rosa sauce sounds lovely, Linda... going to have to try that sometime soon...

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                            Here's a pic of the pizza - came out pretty well, if I do say so myself! LOL And it took on the shape of a painter's palette. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                it looks even better than it sounded! such an artiste, you are...

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Dec 22 I made a delicious bisque for friends/family to enjoy in those last few days of racing before Christmas -- roasted eggplant/tomato/garlic/sweet bell pepper, pureed with caramelized onion and fennel and some stock. Of course I threw in some heavy cream at the end.... yummmm. Beautiful color, too. The fennel is a great touch! Just salt and pepper for seasonings plus the fennel bulb, and I like that about this soup too.

                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: peppermint_sky

                                                                                                                                                                                Nice combination of flavors there. Welcome to What's For Dinner!

                                                                                                                                                                              2. It was just the two of us this year, and neither of us felt like spending the day in the kitchen, so it was a meal more modest than many of y'all make every Sunday. Easy and tasty, though. The GF made cherry coffee cake for breakfast, and I made a chicken liver and pork pate with bourbon and lots of fresh thyme and sage on Saturday. We munched on that with the requisite cornichons and mustard throughout the afternoon.

                                                                                                                                                                                Dinner started with a dead simple salad of mesclun tossed with a champagne vinegar and fresh tarragon vinaigrette and topped with oversized croutons spread with a truffled goat cheese. Made the croutons in a little bacon fat and rubbed them with a cut garlic clove.

                                                                                                                                                                                For the main, I butterflied a 3-pound leg of lamb and gave it 24-hours in a dry rub of cinnamon, urfa biber, coriander, cumin, white pepper, and cayenne and then grilled it to rare/medium-rare. Meat was accompanied by just a couple simple sides: lemony shredded brussels sprouts sauteed with figs and bacon, and sliced sweet potatoes baked in cream with nutmeg and bay.

                                                                                                                                                                                Dessert was little chocolate pots we made Saturday. Photos aren't the best because I hate making anyone wait while I get things "just so." [edit: and sorry the one photo posted twice. I've tried to delete a few times to no avail.]

                                                                                                                                                                                18 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                  Your Christmas dinner looks WONDERFUL, e-i-p! I adore lamb, and I was glad my mother chose Lamb & Barley Stew as one of the dishes I'll make for her in "mom-sized portions" for her freezer this year. :-) Have you repurposed the lamb in any way, or did you both schnarf it all up on Christmas Day? LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks, Linda! You know, we ate too much out and about yesterday (popcorn at the movie theater, some happy hour bites after), so just made super-small plates of leftovers for a late dinner. Plenty of lamb left, and I am open to any repurposing suggestions. If there's enough, I'm thinking about sammies one night (maybe with a little homemade mayo or aioli) and some sort of pie (peas, carrots, cream) a second night. Happy holidays!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                      lamb tacos are some of my favorite on earth....WITH some type of cheese. a little onion, cilantro, jalapeno..... and a hot sauce. even sriracha. lamb and corn tortillas make a really good pairing.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                    Everything, from coffee cake to pate and that fabulous dinner, looks absolutely delicious. I would have been more than happy w/that on Christmas or any other day!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                      there you go again, EIP, making me google things! "urfa biber" - sounds like it would go well with the lamb. beautiful - rosy pink! the whole meal sounds delicious - especially love the idea of figs and sprouts.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                        That lamb looks fantastic. Absolutely fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks. Never done it that way before. Just lightly oiled the meat and the grill grate (gas at the moment, unfortunately), and browned it pretty quickly---maybe four or five minutes a side. Then lowered and cooked---turning now and then to keep everything browning evenly---until it felt appropriately springy, maybe another 20 minutes or so.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                          "by just a couple simple sides: lemony shredded brussels sprouts sauteed with figs and bacon, and sliced sweet potatoes baked in cream with nutmeg and bay."

                                                                                                                                                                                          Wow. And you call those "simple"?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                            Trust me, Harters, you could have done them both in your sleep! Didn't even use a recipe for anything.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                              Trust me - I'm regularly in awe of the intricate dshes Americans often cook. We just don't do stuff like that in British cooking - even keen cooks - our cuisine is much more unadorned.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                I trust you are not saying that adornment is needed for food to be admired or to taste good? :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: huiray

                                                                                                                                                                                                  No, I'm certainly not saying that, huiray.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  British home cooking, particularly of savoury items, is generally very simple and straightforward. For instance, sprouts would generally be just boiled or steamed. Maybe some chestnuts thrown in if they were being served for Christmas dinner. It's what leads some foreigners to criticise our cuisine as being bland.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  For someone brought up in that tradition, it never fails to interest me that, as above and without a recipe, someone will be dressing their sprouts in lemon, figs and bacon. It's the bringing together of disparate items - sprouts and bacon from cold climates; figs and lemons from hot ones - that we don't really do. I think it's probably with us being a small island - tends to make us insular.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree with everyone else; entire menu sounds great and pics are mouthwatering even if I like my lamb a little on the well done side

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                              Spectacular looking dinner. The lamb looks perfect, and the sides sound just right.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                                Welcome back to WFD, EIP. We've missed you, and I hope you'll pop in here more often.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks, Christina. Love it here. Was just finding that I didn't have time to regularly post on (and read!) WFD and keep my own food journal updated. Too often I would want to recreate a dish I had made months previously, only to find my journal empty and the recipe only generally described here. Been meaning to visit once in awhile, though----especially on holidays and the like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Gotcha. Is your food journal something available online?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ah, no. Don't think my kitchen adventures are of much interest to the general public.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I'm feeling very blimpy after loads of "entertaining" (sounds a lot more festive than cooking, cleaning, shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc.) and too many meals out. Taking a break this afternoon and catching up on CH and all the delectables recounted here. I'm craving spicy, clear brothed Asian soup and someone to feed it to me. A girl can dream, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                We have been eating a lot of New Orleans-y food in the past week since it is, of course, what my brother and his fiancee want to fill up on before heading back to Colorado. For GF's arrival on Friday, we served a large dinner of shrimp and oysters "Mosca" (baked under a blanket of bread crumbs, garlic, olive oil, herbs) and pasta w/garlic, OO, cream, and a big green salad w/satsuma sections, diced beets, and almonds and warm ciabatta. Spiced nuts for starters and baked pears for "afters."

                                                                                                                                                                                                Christmas Eve was a quite untraditional mishmash, mostly requests of Baby Brother. My sister hosted but I still spent much of the day in the kitchen, making sloppy roast beef w/"debris" gravy for po-boys (as the Fiancee fell in love this particular NO specialty when she visited last year). I also made cranberry-cream cheese-nut bread at my other sister's request. (I also brought some totally unnecessary but delicious spring rolls that I'd ordered last week, hoping to diminish my workload--LOL.) Mom made seafood gumbo and miniature pecan pies; my sister made red beans and rice and a pot of green beans (yes, on CE he wanted green beans cooked the southern way). My sister's neighbor brought the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever tasted (but when asked about the recipe, she was vague--not a recipe-sharer, I guess). Brother and GF brought some really nice pinot noir, and I drank too much of it. Brother and Sister got into an argument over the various merits of assorted pop stars. Ah, yes, this is family time at the holidays. ; )

                                                                                                                                                                                                Christmas Day: I served apps (mini crab cakes and oyster "patties"), about which my mother pouted (as she has made her feelings about appetizers known and I, the never dutiful-enough daughter, have ignored her), and then we had champagne (which helped lift Mom's mood--until she and Sister hit the Scrabble board), and I kept cooking. For dinner we had a filet of beef w/horseradish sauce, (Julia Child's) Potatoes Dauphinois, roasted brussels sprouts w/pecorino and walnuts (even Brother ate a few), cranberry relish, and an old family favorite of LeSeur peas sauteed w/mushrooms and onions. Those whowanted dessert ate Mom's pecan pies for dessert because (horror of horrors), I never got around to making the desserts I had planned.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Yesterday, I got a break from cooking as Brother and GF went to the Big Game, but never one to neglect my accumulation of calories, I consumed a few at the two football parties DH and I attended in the neighborhood last night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Tonight, I'm letting the family go to dinner w/out me. Leftovers and an icy martini in an empty house sounds heavenly right about now. And I did have a fried oyster po-boy for lunch (at yet another stop on the NO food tour), so there's little chance of my going hungry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Though a little late, I wish all my CH friends a healthy and happy holiday season. I realize that while many are missing family members, I am lucky to have mine here, maddening as we all can be. Whether your holidays read like Anne Tyler or Norman Rockwell, I know from these boards that you are all eating very well!

                                                                                                                                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                  If she was that cagey about the ccc recipe maybe she...bought them?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                    ncw, sounds like a great couple of days eating. As for families arguing, it's part and parcel of what families do. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I enjoy the way your family dynamics are revealed throughout the food narrative. Everything sounds so good, you are really making me hungry! And now I want to visit NO!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I sure would like that cranberry cream cheese bread recipe, if you wouldn't mind sharing?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Not at all. Here it is, CM:

                                                                                                                                                                                                          CRANBERRY-CREAM CHEESE- NUT BREAD

                                                                                                                                                                                                          ½ c. golden raisins (or dried cherries)*
                                                                                                                                                                                                          ½ c. bourbon (optional)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 ½ c. fresh cranberries

                                                                                                                                                                                                          4 T butter, softened
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1/3 c. white sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                          2/3 c. light brown sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 lg. egg
                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 c. all purpose flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 tsp. baking powder
                                                                                                                                                                                                          ½ tsp. baking soda
                                                                                                                                                                                                          ½ tsp. salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                          ¾ c. orange juice
                                                                                                                                                                                                          ¾ c. coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts (or combination)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          6 oz. cream cheese, softened
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1/3 c. sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 lg. egg
                                                                                                                                                                                                          grated zest of one orange

                                                                                                                                                                                                          In small bowl, combine raisins and bourbon, if using. Add boiling water to cover. Let stand 30 minutes. Drain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          In separate bowl, cream butter and sugar; add egg and mix well. (I use a mixer for this, but you can do it by hand.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          In another bowl sift flour, baking powder, soda and salt together. Add flour to butter mixture, alternating with orange juice and ending with flour. (I use mixer on low setting.) Stir in cranberries, raisins, and nuts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Prepare filling: Process all ingredients until smooth. Pour 2/3 batter into 9"x5" loaf pan which has been greased and floured. Top with cream cheese filling, then top off with remaining batter. Use a butter knife to swirl the batter and cream cheese filling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Bake in preheated 350F oven until golden brown, 55 - 60 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan; turn on wire rack to cool completely. Keeps best in refrigerator. (This bread also freezes very well.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Makes 1 loaf (but I also make this recipe in smaller loaf pans and adjust the cooking times).

                                                                                                                                                                                                          *My friend made this recipe subbing dried cranberries for the raisins or cherries since she doesn’t like raisins and had no cherries. It was good, too, although I prefer the contrast of two different fruits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sounds great! I've copied this down and will give it a whirl :) Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                          NCW, sounds like a wonderful week, all of it - especially the Mosca dish, which has always seemed like some mythical beast I'd one day get to have .... i love that you're an app-girl - i love apps! and champagne heals many wounds (before it starts making new ones!) Thanks for the lovely family recap, much appreciated. hope you enjoyed hell out of that martini.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                            MC--the "Mosca" dish is super simple to make. (Occasionally, DH even does it--and he is NOT like your man in the kitchen department, basically hates cooking--likes eating, though.) I will post it later today or tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            And that was one of the best martinis I've ever had, I can assure you. ; )

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                              but my man doesn't like seafood!
                                                                                                                                                                                                              i really just want someone to make it for me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              preferably Mosca.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              or, as a very, very close second, YOU!
                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'll supply the martinis.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              edit: i just want on the Mosca website. i bet even the BF would like this dish (he claims he loves shrimp scampi.) I'm going to try it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Shrimp Mosca

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Serves two to four
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Shrimp Mosca

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 lbs. large, whole fresh shrimp
                                                                                                                                                                                                              ¾ cup olive oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 tbsp. salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 tbsp. oregano
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 tbsp. rosemary
                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 bay leaves
                                                                                                                                                                                                              6-10 cloves unpeeled garlic, mashed
                                                                                                                                                                                                              ½ cup dry white wine


                                                                                                                                                                                                              Place all ingredients except wine into a large skillet.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Cook over medium-high heat for fifteen to twenty minutes or until the shrimp are pink and the liquid produced by the shrimp has almost completely disappeared.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Stir occasionally.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Reduce the heat and add the wine.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Cook at a low simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about five to seven minutes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Serve the shrimp hot with the pan juices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              It looks like you combined oysters Mosca (which gets baked) and shrimp Mosca (which doesn't.) did you not cook the shrimp all the way, so that it could finish in the oven with the breadcrumbs?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well, actually, we just apply the oysters recipe technique to the shrimp (and bake it, too), something we do because so many people won't eat oysters. Obviously, it's not what Mosca's considers Shrimp Mosca, but I didn't know that until just now; I don't recall ever seeing Shrimp Mosca on the restaurant menu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The recipe we use, by the way, comes from The New Orleans Cookbook by Richard and Rima Colin. He was one of the first NO food reviewers and they developed the copycat recipe (simply called Baked Oysters in the book) b/c Mosca's wouldn't reveal it (at least they didn't back then).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                If you're interested:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Melt 1/4 c ea of butter and OO over low heat. Add 2/3 c. Italian bread crumbs, 1/2 tsp. ea. salt, fresh ground black pepper, dried oregano, dried tarragon, 1/8 tsp. cayenne, 2 T. ea. minced parsley and green onion tops, and 2 tsp. minced garlic. Mix well; remove from heat.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Arrange 1 1/2 pt. well drained oysters(or substitute large shrimp) in a baking dish(or individual ramekins). Spread the crumb mixture over the seafood and bake in a 450F oven 18-20 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                [MC--I have done this a couple of times using chicken breast cut into pieces roughly the size of large oysters, and it was very good; so you might get your man to try that.]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  thanks so much, NCW, that sounds delicious - and good idea with the the chicken!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. So tonight I pulled what I thought was double cut pork chops from the freezer only to find when they thawed, it was half of a chuck roast I'd cut in half before bagging. So, I butterflied the meat and braised it with tomato bouillion on the stovetop til nearly done then stirred in the remaining caramelized onion au jus from Christmas dinner and finished cooking. To go with, I made sweet potato hash and warmed up leftover braised cabbage and the corn kernels also from Xmas dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          We have tons of ice cream in the freezer along with gingerbread, pear tart and sweet potato pie left from Xmas which we'll be working on the rest of the week

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. My Christmas goose - love the convection oven for roasting...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Is it a pied goose? I just realized, I've never seen a goose before!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                By the by, are geese expensive in the States? Definitely a premium product in the UK - up there in the pricing with the free-range rare breed turkeys (and they don't feed as many). Occasionally, I see a frozen breast in one of the discount supermarkets (like Lidl or Aldi) but it's not good quality meat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The color is from the juice under the skin, LS. They have an alarmingly dead-body aspect to them when you get them thawed, it always seems to me, because of their more rectangular body shape than chickens or.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Himself, the goose maniac, went all the way to our old neighborhood in Brooklyn to get this one - he tried everywhere he could think of, and we'd gotten them from that market before, so he betook himself there. USD 4.98/lb, best price I've seen - the luxury markets in Manhattan had them at USD 7.95 - 9.95/lb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They are wickedly expensive when you think how few they really serve - you could get MAYBE 8 people fed on one. It rendered about 2 qt of fat, all told (yum yum), and weighed 12 lb total. But what the hey, Christmas comes but once a year, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Goose production is very limited in the US - there's really only one commercial supplier, Schiltz Farms, in South Dakota. http://www.schiltzfoods.com/Default.asp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  They are irascible and independent buggers (remember "anser sacra" from Latin class, anyone?), difficult to raise. I had a run-in with one on a friend of my father's farm when I was little - chased me and tried to bite me - my dad had to rescue me! Getting my own back at Christmas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Another of my dad's friends raised them and had Canada geese stop by on their way south every year - they didn't mix with the domestics. One was a particular pet of Mr. McDonald's (yes, a farmer named McDonald...) and I got to pet her once - was very interesting, her feathers felt plasticated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My usual supermarket has free-range goose at £11.29 per kg which, if I've done my double conversion right, is about $8.70 per pound.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Discount supermarket Aldi has frozen ones at around £5 per kg.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Looks as though prices are similar both sides of the Atlantic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow, that seems like an incredible amount of fat! But a happy byproduct. I used to buy cans of goose fat, you don't have to!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        One of the more unpleasant things of cooking goose is the lipo one needs to perform in advance -- removing globs of disgustingly yellow fat from all over the goose.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        One of the most pleasant things of cooking goose is having all that rendered fat (and yes, there's a LOT of it) for frying anything under the sun for months.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So, is 12 lbs an average-ish size? I saw one in one of our grocery stores, frozen, and I thought it looked rather puny.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I love goose, have only cooked one once, with a friend, and we liked it but it was not nearly as good as the best goose I ever had, in a German rest. in Milwaukee, which was just incredible. But I'd like to cook another one, just for the fat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Most important--how was yours?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Tonite we had the step-daughter for dinner - so used up the rest of the shrimp & made shrimp scampi over pasta for the two of us and mushroom ravioli for the man. I also had a green salad as I was craving a vegetable. Had a fresh lemon vinaigrette on the salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hubby & daughter made CCC mixed with crushed potato chips & pretzels mixed in for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jenscats5

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      wow, chips and pretzels IN cookies? that sounds pretty good, if over the top!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Happened to see it on a cooking show, where someone did a cookie swap and one of the cookies had the potato chip/pretzel combo. Hubby is a BIG fan of the salty/sweet combo, so just did a standard CCC & added the potato chips/pretzels. They were a big hit!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. When I have a day off for a holiday, it just means I have twice as much work to do when I come back. Thankfully, the charming Mr. NS came to the rescue for dinner tonight. He made chicken with tomatoes, peppers, and olives over homemade pasta. Topped with parm reg. Side salad of greens, apples, blue cheese, and almonds. Mmmm, quite nice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That looks delicous...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I made tacos. Heated up left over chicken with some water, bullion, orgeano, and cumin. Simmered until the liquid was mostly gone, and chicken falling apart tender. Stirred in garlic and hot pepper flakes while heating up tortillas. Chopped up red cabbage, cilantro, radish and avacado. Topped with a sauce of mayo, lime juice, brown sugar, and a squeeze of grape fruit...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It was so good, I decided to take my first ever picture to post on CH.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bjosiah

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Both these dishes look and sound scrumptious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. We took a break from leftovers and whatever you call the surplus food that never made it to the table and had Welsh Rabbit on toast with bacon and grilled tomatoes for dinner last night Nice surplus of good white wine to work through this week. When the going gets tough .....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "and whatever you call the surplus food that never made it to the table" - boy do I sympathize.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Well, after several days of midwinter feasting at Harters Hall, we are sure we have done Saturn proud and the light really is returning once again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As for dinner, it's going to be the fag end of the feast by way of a use up of whatever's in the fridge. I see ham; I see pork pie; I see cheese; I see salad leaves; and radishes; and chutneys and pickles. And I see a cupboard full of sweet things - like the rich fruit cake made by my companion in life.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. It's poker night @casa lingua, which generally means take-out -- as in pizza or Thai.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My pref would be for Thai (despite the fact that I am still suffering the aftermath of last night's heavily spiced Sichuan dinner), but there are 6 other players who likely have an opinion, too '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Come to think of it, pizza would be dandy. As would winning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Its been a week since the last trip to the store and while the cupboards aren't bare what is in them is a little random since that shopping trip was focused on holiday cooking. I want to put off shopping until New Years Eve since I'll need to be there to buy fresh seafood anyhow so I'm being creative with what we have.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It looks like I have a butternut squash from the garden that I can cook and scoop out, mix the flesh with some wild rice pilaf that will be cooked with the chicken stock simmering on the stove (from the bones left over from a mexican chicken joint we had for lunch a few days ago- so glad I hadn't tossed those!) and sauteed diced veggies. There's a decent sized chunk of parmesan left and a handful of cheddar that can be mixed in or sprinkled over the top and put back in the oven to bubble and brown. I'm not too sure where we stand on meat right now but I think this meal can do without it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Steamed/boiled rice w/ Chinese Liver sausages (cut up).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Chicken stock flashed in the pan w/ chopped garlic, with trimmed Thai basil (bunchfuls of it) wilted into it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Steamed minced pork mixed w/ softened thinly sliced Chinese mushrooms ("far koo"), preserved Tianjin vegetables ("tung choy"), a couple of beaten chicken eggs, ground white pepper, sesame oil, dash of sea salt, dash of nuoc mam (fish sauce), finely julienned fresh ginger, finely chopped garlic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Watching The University of Texas play their bowl game tonight. Our dinner was an homage to our home state. Pork ribs rubbed with a chipotle coffee rub and cooked low and slow in the oven (I don't have a smoker) and then finished with BBQ sauce under the broiler. My mom's baked beans recipe. Potato salad with creole mustard and dill. Ramen broccoli slaw for the kid who won't eat the other sides and ended up not being here because he had a sleepover with a friend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Tonight’s starter comes from our cookbook of the week – Italian Feast, Antonio Carluccio, 1996 (the book accompanied his TV series of the same title) – polenta with king prawns. It’s very appropriately north Italian as herself and I have been chatting about a forthcoming trip to Venice in the spring (yes, I’ve started the restaurant research already)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    None of the nonsense of an hour’s stirring of polenta, his recipe uses the instant sort, into which you add chopped parsley once it’s come together (but, surprisingly, nothing else except salt & pepper). Meanwhile a little onion is softened in butter and then basil, chopped chilli and the king prawns go in for a couple of minutes; then a good slosh of white wine and it cooks for a couple of minutes more. Polenta onto the plate, prawns and sauce artfully scattered about.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Keeping to the Italian theme, main course is a regular at Casa Harters and is a Valentina Harris recipe that she just calls Antonietta’s Chicken. It gets a bit of a fry with chopped garlic and rosemary; some red wine and red wine vinegar goes in; lid goes on and it cooks for about 20 minutes. This is almost one of herself’s secret dishes as, as soon as the vinegar goes in, the fumes start me off coughing and I get out of the kitchen and find something else to do until dinner’s ready. There’ll be some new potatoes and salad alongside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I suspect I may find some stuff in the cupboards for us to nibble on beforehand – a few olives, some caperberries, a handful of smoked almonds & cashews, perhaps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The entire dinner - starter to main - sounds heavenly, Harters! You can't go wrong with king prawns, can you? (unless they're overcooked, that is.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So easy to overcook and make them rubbery. The best ever that I can remember was a restaurant in Tenerife in January. Place had no menu and they just told you what he had. Your success depended on how well you spoke Spanish or how well the waiter spoke English. We managed fine both visits (and will be back there this January). These were enormous - cooked on the "plancha" in their shells. So juicy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        that sounds fantastic...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        (psst... Harters..... you said the magic word, Venice... do yourselves a favor and check this place out: http://www.ristoranteallamadonna.com/
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        old waiters (my favorite is Renzo), homey, old time service, wonderful, wonderful seafood. If they have moleche - get them. i still dream of moleche... with a tear in my eye.... I may smuggle myself into your valise.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What a coincidence, MC--we've eaten there several times.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My husband always says he tires of the food in Venice, but I have always eaten happily. The place is so magical that everything always seems right to me. But we both loved the hominess of Ristorante alla Madonna.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i fell in love with that place, and ate there 3 times in 2005. glad you love it too. hope Harters gets a chance to do the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That chicken sounds similar to a vinegar chicken dish we make here, except that the recipe I use calls for riesling and cider vinegar. I know what you mean about the fumes, but we love it. Did you love yours?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Going to have a busy day running about and (hopefully!) cleaning up stuff and putting away stuff here in the house, so an easy dinner tonight - my Mom's Fail-safe Company Chicken and the Orange-Clove Rice she always made to go with it. It's fail-safe because it could "hold" in the oven for about a half hour or so if company was late - not that I'm having company, but I can just start both of these recipes and let them do what they need to do while I'm doing other things. It's one of the few recipes which uses canned cream of mushroom soup, and I'm fine with that. :-) Green beans alongside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fail-safe Company Chicken

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Recipe By :Mom
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Serving Size : 6

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            6 chicken pieces -- assorted
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/3 cup flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Tbsp paprika
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 tsp fine herbes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Tbsp olive oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 can cream of mushroom soup, condensed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 cup orange juice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/4 cup white wine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 tsp nutmeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Tbsp brown sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 tsp garlic powder
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 tsp dried tarragon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 cup seedless green grapes -- optional (I'll use red seedless grapes since that's what I have)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 cup mandarin oranges -- optional

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oven: 450º & 350º

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Choose whatever assortment of chicken breasts, thighs, or drumsticks suit your taste. Breasts should be halved and all pieces should be skinned. Mix together flour, paprika, and fine herbes, and dip chicken pieces into the mixture. Pour olive oil into large baking pan, suitable to go from oven to table, and swirl oil around to cover bottom. Place chicken meaty side down into pan; dust with remaining flour mixture. Bake at 450° for 30 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mix remaining ingredients (mushroom soup through tarragon) for sauce in saucepan and heat to boiling. Use whisk to blend, and double amount for more than 5 pieces of chicken or to have plenty of "gravy." Remove chicken from oven; turn heat down to 350°. Turn pieces meaty side up and scoop off excess oil. Pieces may shrink during cooking, so they may be combined into one pan if they do so. Pour on sauce and bake at 350° for another 30 minutes. Baste occasionally, about every 10 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To dress up recipe, about 5 minutes before serving, add 1 c. each seedless green grapes and mandarin oranges. (Recipe can be held 30 minutes or so for late guests. Just continue basting every 10 minutes or so and add more wine or o.j. if needed.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            * Exported from MasterCook *

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Orange-Clove Rice

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Recipe By :Mom
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Serving Size : 4

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 cup rice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 cup orange juice
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2/3 cup water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Tbsp dried minced onions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 cinnamon stick
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            10 whole cloves

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Put rice in orange juice and water in medium saucepan. Add dried minced onions, and stir a few times. Put cinnamon stick and whole cloves on top and DO NOT STIR.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bring to a boil, and cook for 12-15 minutes, covered. (Add 1-3 Tbsp. water to keep from boiling dry, but it should look dry on top.) Turn off heat and allow to sit another 15 minutes WITHOUT stirring or removing cover. Remove cinnamon and cloves before serving.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Your mom sure has some interesting recipes, LW. Both of these sound really good, but I'm very intrigued by the rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well, this isn't Mom's recipe per se, but she can't remember where she found it. The recipe wasn't paired with the chicken recipe but she thought it would be good together. I like the light flavor the cloves and cinnamon give the rice, although it's more orangey than anything.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Ack. Two days before the big day I feel like I might be coming down with a cold (shakes fist towards... anyone). So lunch will consist of zycam, zinc, vitamin C and other delights, while dinner will be an almost homemade chicken noodle soup: either storebought broth or 'better than bouillon" will go into the pot, along with celeriac, carrots & leeks, perhaps even an onion, and chicken thighs. Lots of fresh ground pepper & fresh parsley at the end. Amish egg noodles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This better do the trick.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh no, you can't be ailing for New Years! I think your soup will cure you, here's hoping, as it sounds very good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh no! I hope you're feeling better by Saturday night, linguafood. Dinner sounds like a good way to combat the sneezles and stuffies. Maybe add some Sriracha to help burn it out of you?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Try some black elderberry extract, too, esp. if it's just coming on. Hope you feel better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. After a week away, we are home and enjoying cooking and eating what we want once again. I managed to put on three pounds in New Hampshire. I blame the starch and sweets, of which there were many. Can't blame the snow or alcohol, that's for sure!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Anyway, after a week of corn as a vegetable, and certainly no salads, I am inhaling spinach every chance I get.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The first night back we mustered the strength to make ahi tuna steaks, in a sesame-shitake marinade. Really nicely done in the cast-iron grill to a nice med-rare, with sticky brown rice and a bucket of steamed spinach with butter for each of us.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    After a home coming lunch of quiche and salad at my parents (to pick up the kitties, of course), I'm surprised we had the energy to cook, but you know how you just long for the familiar after a trip? It did us good, and we slept like logs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Last night we had aged rib eyes, also med-rare, super simple. A sweet potato, two red potatoes, a bulb of fennel and a shallot were roasted with espelette and a penzey spice rub that made it just this side of too salty. A sliced lemon would have helped things, but I'm trying not to scare off the better half from my crazy roasted veg concoctions.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Another boatload of spinach on the side, and damn was that satisfying. The '07 Miner merlot we had with it definitely helped too.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tonight it's chicken pot pie (oh boy, soft pants, i can hear you calling) at my sisters house after a day of walking around window shopping and enjoying the end of the year.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We have a date night tomorrow, but I plan on making a big batch of beef-mushroom-barley soup to come home to. I'm using the three big slices of prime rib my parents gave us, as it's just so fatty and I can't imagine eating it as is. -If they knew I was using it for soup, they'd probably disinherit me, but I promise to cube it and treat it kindly.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Saturday's a night of feasting. So far we have clams and mussels with chorizo and three (!) crabs on the menu. I offered to make rolls so we could have crab rolls akin to the great lobster roll we had while in Boston (at Neptune-loved it), but my bh said no, he didn't need it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Of course this was followed up with, "but they'll be meat too, right?" so lordy, who knows what we will have in the end.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sparkling wine is a definite.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Glad you made it back from the chilly East Coast, rabaja! I hope your Boston-area trip was fun (lobster rolls are *always* fun and tasty!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        more to the point - how did you like the future in-laws?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        mussels with chorizo.... meat enough there! yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          corn as a vegetable

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I love it- was it canned or frozen? Was it gulp creamed corn?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I admit to serving Trader Joe's frozen corn as a side to chili on rice ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Last night I made Spanish style shrimp from the COTM. Nice wild shrimp cooked in olive oil, garlic, and paprika. The recipe said have bread to sop up the juices. I don't know where the juices were supposed to come from, but they didn't come. Delicious anyway. Also made Ottolenghi's char grilled broccoli with garlic, red chile, and lemon. A great combination (in spite of the silly piece of dry bread just sitting there).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tonight? Haven't a clue yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Those shrimp look mighty tasty! If we hadn't OD'd on shrimp over the holiday weekend, I might be in the mood for them again.... oh, who am I kidding. I could eat shrimp every other day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Good thing we ordered two platters for NYE!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Stunning photo, L.Night! Can you paraphrase the Ottolenghi broccoli recipe? Unless it has to do with grilling, which I cannot do. ::::Sad kitty face:::: But if you have a substitute grill-prep method, please *do* post it! ::::Happy kitty face?::::

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sure Linda!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I used two big knobs of broccoli, cut into florets. (The recipe calls for two heads or 500 grams, but I didn't weigh or measure anything.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bring a pot of water to boil and drop in the florets. After EXACTLY two minutes, fish out the broccoli and shock in ice water. Drain the broccoli and let it get completely dry. Toss in a bowl with 45ml of olive oil, and generous amounts of coarse salt and pepper.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The recipe calls for, and I used, a ridged grill pan. But hey, they're florets. They don't really get good grill marks. I think a cast iron skillet would be great. Get the pan very hot, for about five minutes, then add the broccoli. don't crowd, do it in batches if necessary.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                While the broccoli is cooking, place 70 ml of olive oil in a small pan (did I mention I didn't measure anything?). Add 4 thinly sliced garlic cloves, and two thinly sliced mild red chiles (I used red jalapeno). Cook over medium heat, until garlic turns color, but don't overcook. Toss the mix over the broccoli and garnish with thinly sliced lemon (skin included) or toasted almonds. I used lemons, and I recommend it. Can be served warm or room temp.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hope you like it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Was starving when I got home from work yesterday & hubby was going to be late so finished up the last of the prosciutto with some cheese to hold me off. So wanted something light for dinner & had some flounder left over along with a bit of spinach. Ended up sauteeing the spinach with a mango-salsa I found, topped the fish with that & served with green beans. Nice & light!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This morning I put chopped butternut squash in my crockpot, so if all turns out well, tonite will be butternut squash soup. Will have to blend it as my immersion blender died a while back & I haven't gotten around to replacing it yet......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Haven't really been in the kitchen since last Saturday, so I'm cooking vicariously through all of you.... and you're all doing a fine job. Actually, last night i did make my dad some chicken thighs in the style of piccata, though i had to omit capers for the fussy oldster's taste. i "think" he liked it.... his appetite is shrinking alarmingly (tho he managed to stuff 2 plates into himself at the crappy xmas buffet - i guess the answer is: "Cook crappier"!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                but that's IT! we have dinner out tonight, tomorrow afternoon we leave for our NYE weekend in Ft. Bragg/Mendocino, so maybe i'll get got cook again Tues. or Wed. next week....? sniff.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    <. his appetite is shrinking alarmingly (tho he managed to stuff 2 plates into himself at the crappy xmas buffet - i guess the answer is: "Cook crappier"!>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Try not to take it personally, MC. I noticed my grandparents wolfed down their Chil-fil-A, when their appetites for homecooking were considerably less voracious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thx, CM, i'm not taking it personally anymore. his tastes and appetite have changed, and mostly i just feel bad for him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I'm finally home, rested, and cooking again. Tonight is some sauteed spinach, poached eggs, and corn salsa on sweet potato nacho chips.. I'm so glad to have a simple, veg-based dinner with no butter. And I finally fried the rest of my stuffing leftovers for lunch with some sweet potato soup. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tomorrow, after my only workday this week, I'll be making chicken diable with some currently-frozen chicken thighs, the rest of the box of spinach, and celeriac fries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Last night's dinner was BBQ'd chicken breasts done in the oven served with smothered potatoes (sliced potatoes simmered with chicken stock, scallions, garlic & herbs then a splash of heavy cream at the end) and simmered mixed veggies. A salad was prepared but went uneaten.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tonight, I've got good old fashioned pork chops browned in a skillet then coated with tomato soup and topped with sliced bell pepper & onions then finished in the oven, just like the recipe mom used to make off the side of a soup can. To go with, rice pilaf and green peas. Last night's salad to make it's second appearance (basic garden with olive oil drizzled roasted cherry tomatoes)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Tonight is the last night our son will be with us beffore he heads first to the SF area to spend the New Year's weekend with his girlfriend and then on home to New Orleans with her from there (they are both students at Tulane but she is visiting her family there....). So there had to be a special dinner. Since I work late Thursday nights it fell to DH: his Gujarati-style chicken, rice, and a kachumber salad. And some fruitcake someone gave me for desert :-) I call it Gujarati-style because it uses spices and sauce ingredients typical of that state, but most Gujaratis are vegetarian. Son's girlfriends' family happens to be Gujarati as well, and her mother is already planning meals for him. So I think we have some competition ;-) Oh well, I took him for a treat he never gets in NOLA this afternoon: lunch at Los Molcajetes in Las Vegas. Great Mexican food.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: janetofreno

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You are right about that, janetofreno--we do not have great Mexican food in NOLA : (

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Your son and his GF sound very lucky to me if they have parents competing with Gujarati-style meals!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. We continue to be "cooking the books" at Harters Hall. Lunch came from Nigel Slater's "Tender" ( 2009) - a potato, leek and celery soup enhanced, as the recipe, with a slice of fried black pudding floating on top of the bowl. There was, of course, no chance that this was a book that was ever going to be culled from the shelves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dinner is also a Slater recipe whoich regularly puts in an appearance here. - sausage & bean hotpot - from his "30 Minute Cook" (1994). You brown your sausages - I've got "Italian style" we bought from a farm shop in the summer. They then go in a casserole with a couple of tins of beans - flageolet and butter on this appearance - passata, some chilli paste (I've got harissa), a dollop of English mustard and a very big dollop of grain mustard and a couple of chopped tomatoes,. It'll probably need some bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Looks like we are fast becoming an equal participation household, at least in the cooking department. Last night Mr. NS grilled tuna, I made a ginger, lemon, scallion butter. Mr. made a warm potato salad with green beans and anchovies, I threw in some tomato. A nice weeknight dinner, and an enjoyable time in the kitchen!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ooh, that ginger, lemon, scallion butter sounds right up my alley, L.Night! I think salmon and sirloin tips are on the menu for tomorrow night, and I just might make that compound butter for the salmon as well - thanks for the idea!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tonight is leftovers. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The ginger lemon butter is from the COTM. It's actually meant to go on salmon, so, perfect!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree - sounds delicious & is due for a copy on my part!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Boss took us out for lunch today so wanted a light dinner....had planned on crab legs anyway - so just had king crab legs chopped & sauteed in Kung Pao sauce with added Sriacha (sp?) sauce.....MMMMMMMMMMMMM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Life has been crazy and I have not been making anything too adventerous over the last month. There have been lots of cocktail parties and meals on the run due to theatre dates and so on. Christmas came way too quickly and I cut way back on shopping and such. I was the cook over the hols and found it quite exhausting. This was especially due to the fact that food shopping included long waits at the Swedish Bakery and deli in the city. 2 visits to the deli in one day due to lack of stock in the morning visit. I needed a special Swedish cheese and they are the only source. That's another story! Oh and tree roots in our drainage system so washing up was an issue. The kitchen was stacked high with pots and pans. Now you can see why I was quite tired!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Made Swedish dishes for Christmas Eve and the whole British Turkey extravaganza on Christmas Day. Tired of leftovers and I scrounged one piece of salmon out of the freezer for my husband tonight. Not sure what I will eat but it won't be turkey, ham or meatballs which are now all in the freezer. Yesterday, I made Hot Browns for lunch. One of my favorite turkey leftover dishes. Might just whip up some cheese fondue for moi and be done with it although I am craving something meaty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hope to get back to some lighter and interesting cooking in the coming weeks. Hoping to take a Gelato class sometime soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'd like to take this opportuinity to wish all of you a Healthy, Happy 2012 and some good eating too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And a Happy 2012 + good eating to you too!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. So. Last dinner of the year then.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's been a great year for us. We've travelled - been away from home for 12 of the 52 weeks. We've had some great restaurant meals and some not so good ones - we've eaten in 112 different restaurants in the year. Great experience. We've enjoyed some absolutely cracking meals at home and few fairly shite ones - and I've enjoyed sharing them with you on WFD (and sharing yours).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So, for the last meal:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There's smoked salmon to start. Squeeze of lemon, scattter of capers, slice of buttered wholemeal bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There's a game stew to follow. I bought a pack of mixed meats from the farmers market - there's pheasant, mallard, pigeon, rabbit and venison - and a warning that the meat may contain shot. I made this yesterday so the flavours could develop for 24 hours. There's the meat, along with onion, carrot, turnip and celeriac. Pepper, thyme and juniper berries to flavour. Red wine and beef stock as the liquid. There'll be steamed kale to accompany. And spuds of course - possibly a rosti.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Followed by cheese. A local Lancashire. Two years old. The cheesemaker, Bob Kitchen, sells at our local farmers market - he had a five year old one but it was too strong (and he agrees). This should be fab. A few sticks of celery to go with that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And, finally raspberries and ice cream. We picked the fruit ourselves at the farm during the summer and always had them in mind for New Years Eve. They won't hold their shape when they defrost - this is a good thing - it'll be part whole fruit and part sauce coating the ice cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Herself has a nice bottle of South African shiraz to go along with it. And there's a de-alcoholised tempranillo for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Have a great 2012, folks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        OMG -- Harters, that game stew sounds really, really, really ridiculously yumboski.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Happy to hear you had great 2011 (112 restos!! impressive!!!!) and wishing you a fab 2012 with plenty more good eats.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        May you travels lead you to Berlin sometime....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree, that game stew sounds wonderful. Your entire last meal of 2011 is perfect. Looking forward to more of your mouthwatering reports in 2012!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Must admit, the meal says everything about how herself and I like to cook and eat. Seasonal veg in the kale and celery. Local food - the game, cheese and raspberries havnt travelled more than 50 miles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              12 weeks travelling sounds like heaven to me. And dinner sounds lovely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sounds like the perfect meal for a chilly winter's night. Delish!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Harters, thank you for sharing with us all - it's so fascinating to hear of your meals and food adventures from across the pond.... your meal sounds exotic and yet homey and simple. perfect combo. How did that de-alcoholised tempranillo taste

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Happy 2012 to all, and Happy Cooking...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tempranillo tasted OK. Even though Spanish, it didnt have the dry, oak-y flavour that I remember from "proper" tempranillo wines. That said, the memory of "proper" wine is now pretty faded - at the end of this month, I'll have been on the wagon for 12 years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Congrats on the twelve years Harters!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A daily struggle, 2D. I'm still unsure which I miss most - the booze or the cigarettes,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      YIKES - willpower galore, on both counts! hats off to you....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Hard to believe 2012 is upon us already, but as the new year develops, I'll be interested as ever in what everyone's having for dinner, looking here for inspiration, tips, and the culinary camaraderie that I've come to count on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              More eating out for us as we caught up with local friends after the last houseguests departed, but I got back in the kitchen last night for a farewell dinner for my sister, who left Mom's this morning to head back to Atlanta. Thank goodness she didn't ask for fried seafood. Instead I pulled out some leftover apps from the freezer--spring rolls and oyster patties--for folks to munch on as I prepared chicken-mushroom ragout (steveh posted the recipe a while back; it's become a favorite), served w/egg noodles, roasted baby brussel sprouts glazed w/fig vinegar, and a green salad w/somee blue cheese and spiced pecans tossed in. Sister asked for blueberry cobbler so I made that (w/frozen berries) and served it w/vanilla ice cream. Everyone seemed to enjoy the lot of it, even picky niece and Mom of tiny appetite.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Getting ready to start prepping a few hors d'oeuvres for a NYE party at my girlfriend's: lamb meatballs w/yogurt dipping sauce; oyster "patties" (filling made and in freezer-yay!); toasted baguette slices w/smoked duck, goat cheese, and a dollop of cranberry relish; smoked salmon on pumpernickel w/creme fraiche, lemon zest, and capers. From the sounds of her hd menu and what her neighbor is bringing, we should be in for quite a feast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              To all you Hounds, wherever you are, however you're spending the turning of the calendar page, I hope you are healthy, happy, safe; I know you'll be well-fed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Last night I made Vietnamese tacos, using a recipe from inaplasticup. They were fantastic! Caramelized pork, pickled vegetables, habanero lime crema, cilantro, and cabbage, all on corn tortillas. Delicious, such a variety of tastes in each bite! Mr. NS made raspberry frozen yogurt in our new ice cream maker.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tonight, out on the town. Going for an eight course tasting menu prepared by a creative local chef. I'm looking forward to that, but it's not home cooking so, sadly, I can't report about it here!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, you can at least let us know a bit about the tasting menu you get to try tonight, Night! Enjoy, enjoy. Sounds like a wonderful time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i can't wait to try this Linda! I have a lot to live up to, with you and Ina! Will report back too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    No cooking yet, still on vaca - Ft. Bragg, Mendocino & Gualala, driving home tomorrow. Absolutely lovely time away. Ate like the proverbial pig all weekend, some good, some just so-so. I did manage to purchase some wonderful looking and much touted smoked sausages (habanero, duck, cajun, garlic, etc.), smoked duck breast, a smoked cotswald, and a couple other things. they're sitting in the motel fridge right now, and we'll probably break them out sometime this week, as a sampler.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Dinner is on my own, as I'm back to being a singleton. My choice, but still I'm sad. And timing sucks, but when is it ever good timing?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dinner will be grilled salmon topped with a dollop of a facsimile of Night's COTM compound butter she mentioned yesterday - mine will be freshly grated ginger, lemon zest, and finely minced shallots as I don't have green onions. (I'm assuming that's all that in the compound butter. The sides will be rice and a succotash of edamame, corn, and chopped onion, red bell pepper, carrots, bacon (BACON!) all sauteed and mixed with some half and half (or hell, I might as well use some of the containers of heavy cream I have to use up!). Dessert will be cookies or chocolate ice cream. I doubt I'll stay up to watch the ball drop tonight. Don't really have the heart to do so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Linda - here is a link to the discussion about the compound butter, if you are interested. The recipe called for fresh ginger, lemon juice, and chives. As you can see, there are variations on those ingredients. Some people found it difficult to incorporate the juice, and decided zest would be better, a conclusion you've already come to!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sorry you are on your own, but bravo for preparing such a lovely sounding meal for yourself. I will send you a virtual NY eve toast!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I hadn't read (or searched for!) the thread, L.Night, so thanks! I just knew that lemon juice probably wouldn't incorporate well (although I'll definitely squeeze the lemon for its juice and freeze it for later use). So I'm glad the zest was also tried and liked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thank you for the toast...and ncw, I'm definitely using the heavy cream! ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Go for the cream, LW!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'll also send you a toast. Sorry things didn't work out, but to paraphrase Scarlet, tomorrow is another year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That news, as we say round here, is a right bugger, Linda.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'll also send you a midnight toast - but it'll have to be my midnight, not yours. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Then I suspect you're about to raise a glass, dear Harters. Much health and happiness to you and the Mrs., and enjoy the many trips you and she will be taking in the new year.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            All the best this new year, LW.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Modest stuff for supper tonight: blini and creme fraiche to pair with Italian, farm-raised caviar; California sparkling wine; fresh salad with maybe some smoked trout. Crab cakes will be the main focus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Giants play the Cowboys Sunday night. I refer to this game as the despicable (Dallas) in pursuit of the dysfunctional. I'm pulling for the Giants but nothing would surprise me. Neither team is SB material.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Monday is the Rose Bowl Parade. Deb and I were in Pasadena a few weeks back when winds blew strong (60-70 mph) and took out trees and houses in the historic district. Pasadena is resilient. I took the time to take Deb to the staging area for the floats.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Look for this float on Monday:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              steve h., good to see you here again, and with such a wonderful "modest" meal. Happy New Year to you & Deb!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Howdy mc,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                All the best to you and yours this new year!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh no! I'm sorry to hear that, Linda, even if it was your choice. Not that we could tell at all through the 'ether', but things sounded to be going so well....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Here's to you having a brilliant new year with many new chances for... well, anything good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LW, so sorry for the singleness, but you aren't alone. I'd rather be alone than in a relationship that isn't working. I have a beautiful piece of salmon in the fridge as well, but I think I'll make that tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi LindaWhit please enjoy your dinner and best wishes for a very happy new year! Having read your posts for some time now there is no doubt you will be in some very fine company tonight.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chowdom

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I just wanted to add that I believe spending time with oneself is very underrated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Back on the old thread, for just a minute, for a toast, and to wish happy New Year, especially to LindaWhit, but to all Chowhounds who know that not quite good enough, is just never good enough, with respect to food, and to life.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      linda, i'm so sorry to hear this.... i've done that before too - made the decision to end a relationship, but it's still terribly hard, as you put your heart and hopes into someone.... take good care of yourself in the coming weeks - cook good, stay connected, eat well, feel strong that your decision was in your best interest. big hug to you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. For New Year's Eve, and in fact the entire weekend, I'm just going to be experimenting with new recipes/non-recipes and see what tastes good. Tonight I've started out with a cannelini bean/roasted garlic/goat cheese spread that tastes pretty darn good with whole wheat pita. Only made about half a cup so I need to jot down the recipe so I can make it in a bigger quantity next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I spent Thursday & Friday loping and working cutting horses so I'm in a much better mood than I was at Christmas. Left here Wednesday night and got home last night. Food and accomodations were horrible in S. TX but being around all my cutting horse friends was wonderful. Was so thankful when I got to the ranch, spent time with my two horses, and got a good night's sleep in the guest house there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have a refrigerator full of fresh food and now I just want to graze away the long weekend. I think maybe a nice, crisp salad is next tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ...and which CH poster is Christine McNamara in RL, pray tell? :-)