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What's For Dinner? #122 [Old]

We all just keep on keeping on with cooking for one, cooking for families, making soup if we're sick...or even better, having someone make soup for us!

So what's cooking in your kitchen this weekend?

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  1. As for me, I've got a pork chop defrosting. A quick seasoning of the chop with oil, salt, pepper, and then into a hot pan to sear. It'll finish in the oven. I'll reduce some orange juice, a splash of brandy, and freshly grated ginger for a sauce.

    Sides? I like the idea of Israeli couscous tossed with minced parsley, toasted pine nuts and dried cranberries. And peas alongside as well.

    And white wine while prepping dinner and during dinner. And Cuarenta y Tres for afters. It's the weekend. :-)

    11 Replies
    1. re: LindaWhit

      i shimmy-shook as fast as my shimmy-shaker would allow!

      DRIED cranberries would be the key, LW. raw frozen were a tad too bitter in the end. edible, but not a repeater.

      have a lovely weekend, please!

      1. re: mariacarmen

        Well, no Israeli couscous in the house, so I made a homemade version of Rice-a-Roni with rice and broken spaghetti, chicken broth, dried parsley, salt and pepper. Mmmm, Rice-a-Roni - the San Francisco treat! And one for New England as well! :-)

        And I hope to have a lovely weekend - gotta be better than the last. Wishing the same for you, dear mc.

      2. re: LindaWhit

        Linda,

        I just watched Ann Burrell and she did an Israeli Couscous dish with dried cranberries, garllic, scallion, celery, champagne vinegar and olive oil, finished it with chopped parsle. She infused the couscous water with blood orange skin peel and bay leaves. I feel like running to the store to get all the ingredients. :)

        But, I have dried bing cherries from TJ's, do you think this could replace the cranberries?
        Thanks.

        www.saffron215.blogspot.com

        1. re: mcel215

          I don't see why not, mcel! They're both tart, and would add the right amount of sweetness to the couscous.

          And Burrell's couscous dish sounds VERY good!

        2. re: LindaWhit

          Heck yeah, it is!! I intend to spend this particular weekend doing a couch-cruise and nursing what's panned out to be looking like a pretty severe code in my haid, ugh. Just want to say that couscous sounds mighty interesting. I have some currants that I need to use and I just might make this. I LOVE carbs. when I'm on-cruise. As evidenced by the fact that I plan to eat the allegedly-happening couscous with some homemade wonton soup: ground chicken and shrimp and water chestnuts with a lot of scallion and ginger; more of that ginger in the stock, with soy sauce to splash in it, toasted sesame seeds on top and maybe a splash of hot sauce. Accompanied with something Maybe some mulled cran juice with spice; I wanna avoid the boozy while I feel like crap, which actually I don't mind as long as I can eat.

          1. re: mamachef

            I hope your homemade wonton soup with couscous helps burn out the code in your haid, Marci!

            And I agree - avoid the alcohol when you have a head cold. Just makes the stuffiness worse, IMO.

            1. re: mamachef

              Why would you want to splash soy sauce in wonton soup stock? Just curious.

              1. re: huiray

                Um, because I like soy sauce, huiray.

                1. re: mamachef

                  Ah, I suppose so. :-)

                  Have you considered having the soy sauce on the side, to dip your wontons or meat pieces etc into? It might be an idea to try keeping the soup a little more "clean tasting", so to speak, perhaps salting it with normal salt if needed?

                  But by all means add the soy sauce in if that's what you like. :-)

                  1. re: huiray

                    Well, thank you for the nice suggestion!! If you read my post carefully, you'll see that my post actually reads, "soy sauce to splash in." The way I wrote it indicates that it's a finishing add-in per person, not a part of the stock. But to be honest, I've used drops of soy on many occasions in all manner of sauces, stocks and soups to bring in some depth without a soy taste. No complaints yet.

            2. Tuna steaks, in another attempt to clean out the freezer. We only have two 4 or 5 oz steaks though, and while I know thats a good serving of protein for me, it'll never do for the other half. He seems to think tuna is like a free food, and one should eat 10-12 oz in one sitting. -not hard to do, save for the cost of good tuna.
              So I am off to the east bay to surprise him with fresh shrimp from Monterey Fish. I hope. If not, I'm sure some other delight will be available.
              Spinach on the side and maybe some other veg.
              Tomorrow we start packing up the apartment in Larkspur so dinner will likely be pizza and salads. They have a great artisinal pizza place there, so I look forward to this. Thin crust, lots of delicious meat and veg options and chicory salads. Totally my kind of pizza joint.
              Sunday it's dinner at my parents: prime rib, creamed spinach, baked potatoes AND Yorkshire pudding. Oh my, I really thought the holidays were over!
              I've been assigned dessert duty and I can't decide between a pear-mulberry crostata or a deep chocolate tart. The fruit one would be "lighter", but really only on paper. ;)
              Tonight we shall probably try a new single malt, to be sipped while prepping. Something whiney for during and after. It is, as LW says, the weekend.

              7 Replies
              1. re: rabaja

                Homemade pork sausage from the freezer, , and cabbage salad.
                Tomorrow will be Oden (Japanese fish-cake hotpot) with hot mustard and rice on the side
                Sunday the Japan kick continues with Okonomiyaki and/or pork belly curry

                1. re: foodslut

                  foodslut, i love your name..... and your Sunday menu.

                  1. re: foodslut

                    I like how you cook at home, foodslut. :)

                    1. re: foodslut

                      Cabbage salad? Info? Pleeeeeeaase?

                    2. re: rabaja

                      Ooh. Shrimpy-shrimp. I do believe, despite having enough to cook in the freezer, that I will stop by either Whole Foods or some other place tomorrow and see what they have available. :-)

                      And your ENTIRE weekend sounds heavenly on the eating front, rabaja! And the drinking front - hope the new single malt is everything you hope it to be.

                      1. re: rabaja

                        you're moving TO larkspur from sonoma, right? what a nice, perfectly-in-the-middle area to be! so happy for you. your parents' dinner sounds amazing.

                        "something 'whiney'" - love it.

                        i had dreams for our dinner out tonight at another german place -schnitzel and spaetzle danced in my head..... alas, twas not to be. late-night hungry family arriving, too-long wait at the resto, made for a short trek to the nearest mexi-place instead. not bad, not great. at least i had something out of the ordinary, tho (for me, at a mexi-place, here) - birria, and with homemade tortillas, that. goaty goodness.

                        1. re: mariacarmen

                          Mmmmmm sigh. Did the goat have plenty cilantro, and chopped onion and lime, MC2? Oh oh oh. I thought that too...I think Larkspur's her destination, right rabaja? Either way the move, both great food communities there. Great STORES; now I know why Scotty's makes sense for you! Yeah, on that free popcorn!!
                          Everyone, enjoy the next couple of days. It is, as LW says, the weekend. :)

                      2. Woke up this morning with my post-vacation cold worse than ever and have enjoyed being cooked for all day. Bacon, eggs and leftover pinto beans for breakfast, courtesy of my boyfriend. And he's roasting a chicken for dinner. I'll toss together some scalloped potatoes (most likely from a box, but doctored up so they're edible) and salad to go with it. And then some tea with lemon and honey.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                          Nice boyfriend. VERY nice boyfriend! Hope you're better soon, BBL!

                        2. Pork spare ribs (short cut) steamed with black bean garlic sauce & finely julienned ginger.
                          Deep-fried silken tofu slices, with Pohon Cabe Sambal Istimewa & Lingham's Hot Sauce.
                          Stir-fried Bau-Sin chinese mustard.
                          Steamed basmati rice.

                          4 Replies
                            1. re: huiray

                              I might actually eat that tofu, huiray! :-)

                              And that dish looks to be a sinus-clearer with the hot sauce and Chinese mustard.

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                :-)

                                Deep fried tofu (and its variants - across cuisines as well) is really nice. I polished off the tofu last night at a quick clip, I have leftover for the others.

                            2. I'm still trying to get my terminally sick kitty to eat. Tonight was shrimp shu mai, chicken broth, crab meat, and rotisserie chicken. As for me, I really haven't eaten anything all week. I've also offered her smoked salmon and prescription cat food.

                              I offer her plenty of fresh water, but she prefers drinking out of the toilet.

                              I just keep going through all of the recipes I've made over her lifetime, and what made her tearing into my kitchen and meowing for a taste. So far nothing is working.

                              29 Replies
                              1. re: Barbara76137

                                If your kitty has CRF, ask your vet if you can give her pepcid ac (MUST be AC. There is info on it and dosage on feline CRF sites. It really helped one of my kitties.)

                                Hang in there and don't forget to take care of yourself. (Enjoy that shu mai, crab and chicken!)

                                1. re: weezieduzzit

                                  weezie, I'll check out the pepcid tomorrow

                                2. re: Barbara76137

                                  Barbara, don't worry about the toilet water. And hopefully you'll find something she will eat. She's not in any pain, right?

                                  And is there any way you can liquify foods and use an eyedropper to squirt some into the side of her mouth to get her to swallow some nutrients?

                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                    I don't worry about the toilet water, I just find it ironic that I'm doing everything and preparing all these foods and she wants to just drink out of the toilet. I tried a syringe and some baby food and that didn't go over too well tonight. I'll keep working at it.

                                    1. re: Barbara76137

                                      Barbra - Good luck getting your kitty to eat.

                                      I am out of town tonight (Friday) and tomorrow for a class, so I ate a chicken salad from Denny's this evening for supper. It was pretty good.

                                      Last night (Thursday) I made amazing pork chops, though I should have pulled them out of the oven a little before they reached 140 degrees (which seems to be the new acceptable temperature for pork now..). I let them marinate a few hours in a mixture of fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, a little lemon juice, and some jabanero pepper, and ginger. Browned on both sides, then into a 350 degree oven for probably a little less then an hour. I poured the remaining marinade over the top before baking. I also mashed some left over potatoes. I baked some left over apples to make an apple sauce with which to top the chops. After they come out of the oven, I reduced the little bit of marinade that remained into a sauce, which I spooned on before the apple sauce. Lastly, I roasted some brussel sprouts, coated in garlic and olive oil. I wasn't overly impressed by them; not sure if they cooked long enough or what.

                                      Sunday I am going skiing, so I made some gravy from chicken stock for the left over potatoes, and packed the remaining pork chop and apple sauce for lunch. After I get back Saturday night, I have to leave again to meet up with my stepmom to get to the mountain...so busy weekend.

                                      I have a question about my chicken stock. I made it a few days ago, and I scooped it into tupperware to cool before refridgerating.So maybe I did not adequately skim off the fat. But the whole stock is more like a jelly. It seems okay after it heats up, but I'd of like it to be a little more flavorful. What might have happened - any ideas? What, if anything, can I do to "salvage" it? Could I re-heat, cool, and skim it?

                                       
                                      1. re: bjosiah

                                        bjosiah, i am stunned into asking a question - you actually browned pork chops and THEN put them into an oven for almost an hour?? and they weren't dry?? i know you marinated them, but still ... where are you, where are you getting your pork? i have cooked pork chops by searing and then sticking in the oven for even 10 minutes (and i've tried marinating, brining, low temps, high temps, etc.) and end up with dry dry dry pork. i'm DONE with pork chops. unless.... what is your secret??

                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                          The chop I did last night for dinner wasn't in the oven for more than 30 minutes @ 350°. I had made an orange-juice-brandy-ginger sauce when the chop first went into the oven, and I poured that over for the remainder of the cooking time, so that helps. I used an instant-read thermometer and pulled it out at about 135° and let it sit. It slid up to 140° when I was ready to serve it and it wasn't dry.

                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                            thanks. LW. i must be buying way too think chops. i can't imagine them cooking for - literally - more than 10-15 mins. in the oven without drying out.but the tip about the sauce going over them in the oven is a good one.

                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                              I almost *always* buy boneless thick loin chops. Definitely takes a bit longer to cook. If they're thin-cut, I agree with you - not much more than 10 minutes in the oven after a quick pan sear on both sides.

                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                "think" chops - that's my problem, my pork chops are too brainy.

                                                yes, i've been buying way too THIN chops.

                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                    Chop thickness is something that divides Mrs H and me.

                                                    I like a chop with a decent thickness. On the other hand, herself prefers the really thin ones you get in Spain where they only need a brief period in the pan.

                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                      I love both kinds, but can't cook either worth a damn most of the time.

                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                        Harters, I would probably call those cutlets - BIG difference in cooking time!

                                              2. re: mariacarmen

                                                Mariacarmen - They were perhapsa little dry. I will be pulling them out much sooner next time. I should clarify I didn't brown them too much. I got them from a Safeway...This was my first time cooking Porkchops, so I don't have any secrets yet! ;-) Hopefully the next batch will turn out better. I'll let you know if I come up with any earth-shattering ideas to keep them moist.

                                                1. re: bjosiah

                                                  thanks BJ, hopefully we'll both get to a non-dry pork chop day!

                                                  1. re: bjosiah

                                                    bjosiah: best to you and to your kittykat. And those porkchops do sound good. You can always get ideas for your next foray right here!

                                                2. re: bjosiah

                                                  bjosiah - that is exactly how my chicken stock gets after it "sets" - jelly-like. How long did you low-simmer the chicken bones and mirepoix (if you used the latter)? And did you brown/roast the bones used for the stock in the oven before pouring water over all? That gives it a really nice depth of flavor.

                                                  I usually make mine in the crockpot (in fact, need to make some more today!) and let it go for 24 hours in the crock (I'll have to move it downstairs where the cats can't get to it overnight, however!). If yours doesn't have a lot of flavor, perhaps it was cooked for too short a time and it's more like chicken broth?

                                                  Can you give a bit more info re: how you made the stock? We can then help. There are also several links here on CH I'll give you with some ideas for flavorful stock:

                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/743072
                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/820315
                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/783548
                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/825313

                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                    Hey Linda,

                                                    It simmered while I was cleaning up the kitchen, organizing stuff, etc...so perhaps and hour and a litttle extra. I can't remembered if I roasted the bones this time. Maybe I didn't, and that is what's missing! I didn't do any mirepoix this time...though I've done it often without veggies and still gotten good results. I will check out the links - thanks!

                                                    1. re: bjosiah

                                                      bjosiah, 1.5 hours (to *me*) means it's more of a chicken broth. No deep flavors have been allowed to develop over many hours of low, bubbling simmer. If you have a large crockpot (one of the older ones that cook at a slightly lower temp than the newer ones) try letting it go 24 hours after roasting the bones. Makes a BIG difference in flavor.

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                        Linda - I had really good sucesss with the crockpot last time! :)

                                                        1. re: bjosiah

                                                          Stick with the tried and true, bjosiah. :-) I just don't think 1.5 hours is enough to get the depth of flavor you'd be looking for.

                                            2. re: Barbara76137

                                              Barbara - so sorry.... my kitty had feline leukemia (many years ago) and for a loooong time, i fed him through a tube in his stomach. it wasn't fun, but i had him and his fierce little spirit around that much longer. may be an option....? and he lived a decent life after the tube came out.... i know your baby has a different condition.

                                              repeating what others have said, sending good fuzzy kitty thoughts your way, and asking you to take care of yourself, too. and hoping.

                                              1. re: Barbara76137

                                                When my 18 year old fellow was very sick near the end of his days, the only thing I could get him to eat was baby food. If you want to try this, just get good quality meat purees, and make sure they have no onions. Actually fed him the baby food with a syringe when he got really ill, and he would just take little licks from the end of the syringe. It seemed to make him happy.

                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                  I want a "Like" button for your post, L.Night. :-) They do become ingrained so tightly in our lives, don't they?

                                                2. re: Barbara76137

                                                  Barbara when we were nursing my sweet Lilly through CRF she LOVED tuna water. TJ's has salt-free albacore tuna.

                                                  1. re: Barbara76137

                                                    Second the Pepcid AC....it can be transdermal or injectable.....otherwise plz syringe-feed - blend canned cat food + water or Clinicare & syringe into mouth. You can get the syringes from the Pharmacy of your local drug store - they use them for kids meds.

                                                    You can also blend in livers or other treats (to keep on topic)....

                                                    1. re: jenscats5

                                                      She's not a fan of the syringe, but a few minutes ago she had a little crab meat and juice. It is the cheapo stuff from the 99 Cent Only store. She followed me to the refrigerator, meowed, and I was shocked when she actually ate a little of it, then went back for seconds. That stuff is horrible! I'm happy I never wasted my time making crab cakes with it!

                                                      Even with ME not eating or cooking for me all week, I've managed to have a full load of dishes in the dishwasher every single day this week! I have a bunch of small plates and bowls that I normally use for mise en place but this week they were for the "kitty buffet".

                                                      1. re: Barbara76137

                                                        You need to eat,too, Barbara, to keep up your strength for kitty nursing.

                                                        I find most canned crab meat to be vile, even the more expensive brands.