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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


        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?


        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:


                                                  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.

                                                  2. We are having a dinner party for 8 but because our friends are traveling so far they will be arriving a 1 pm.

                                                    Afternoon snacks:
                                                    artisanal hummus 2 flavors
                                                    roasted red pepper feta dip
                                                    pepper/wine jellies with cream cheese

                                                    Ham baked with brown sugar and crushed pineapple
                                                    Spinach and cheese stuffed shells with a butternut squash sauce
                                                    Spinach salad

                                                    One friend is bringing cheesecake but SO doesn't like and another guest is lactose intolerant so I have an angel food cake I bought and I might soak some berries in balsamic vinegar to put over it.

                                                    1. Dinner's a tad ecletic Chez Harters.

                                                      Kicking off with lobster bisque (jar - supermarket). Not sure whether to have rouille with it (one of the foody goodies that Father Christmas left me)

                                                      Followed by a farmers market purchase. Locally shot pheasant, boned, with a plum & ginger stuffing. Needs about 50 minutes roasting. There'll also be roasted carrots, steamed caulflower and, probably, fried spuds. And I got a cranberry, orange & port sauce from the supermarket that might benefit from tarting up a bit with some mustard powder and red wine to make it into a sort of Cumberland sauce.

                                                      And, for afters, another farmers market purchase - apple & blackberry pie. With custard.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                        Harters - There is a farmer's market going on near you still? I'm so jealous...they've all closed here (Portland, OR) for the season. Unless I just don't know where to look...I'll have to do some Googling.

                                                        1. re: bjosiah

                                                          Yep. Our farmers markets operate all year (usually monthly or fortnightly)

                                                        2. re: Harters

                                                          Sounds like a lovely meal, Harters! And I just found out about a winter's farmers market near me; I'll have to check it out next Saturday as I completely forgot today.

                                                        3. Hurray for food cooked by and with your MIL! Chili with assorted cheeses, crackers, green salad with homemade vinaigrette, and family favorite frozen lime pie, next night roasted pork tenderloin, mixed berry salad, mashed spuds, pork gravy with lots of pepper and roasted cauliflower (these done by my SIL), and mo pah. Tonight, Shanghai pork chops, rice, homemade rolls, fruit salad with pineapple, broccoli, and Amanda H's almond cake (and Japanese cheesecake, and brownies). This will mostly be of my confection. Tomorrow at another SIL's, doubtlessly featuring her killer taco dip served with that most delectable of all comestibles, the Fritos scoop (consumption of same strictly limited to these occasions). Ah family.
                                                          Oh yeah, oatmeal-raisin cookies (doubtlessly made from the pedestrian recipe with ordinary ingredients), and coconut macaroons featured the second night with the pah. Color me happy.

                                                          9 Replies
                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                            sounds like quite the feast(s)! enjoy your family, sounds like you are....

                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                              Some serious chowing down with the MIL!

                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                Color me adoptible. This, THIS is why I love the MidWest, and the South and all the attendant foods.This is why I love food, period. Oh my goodess gracious me oh my. And by the by, just what do Shangai pork chops marinate in?

                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                  She's currently making a salad to take tomorrow night...lemon jello, lemon pudding, Cool Whip, crushed pineapple, and miniature marshmallows. And it's gonna be good, so there.
                                                                  I made an Amanda H almond cake and some Medrich cocoa brownies with browned butter, gotta go shopping for the choppies.
                                                                  Brown them, cook a whole lotta sliced onions in the fat, add 2 TB dark soy + 1 tsp sesame oil + a shot of Scotch or whatever + 2 TB brown sugar + 1/3 c water per 4 chops (I add some black vinegar if at home), bang them all in together and let 'em cook until done and the sauce is syrupy. Helen Chen's Chinese Home Cooking (who should know better than she, with the mother she had.)

                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                    Oh, those chops sound heavenly. Maybe even I could manage a decent pork chop with that treatment. (Who is Helen Chen's mother?)

                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                      I'm going to hazard a guess and say Joyce Chen.

                                                                    2. re: buttertart

                                                                      Yum. buttertart posted with a bit more info on the chops here, in case anyone wants a recipe: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6340...

                                                                  2. re: buttertart

                                                                    Ah, yes, the one and only Fritos Scoops! We're having some with chlii, onions and cheese, otherwise known as the Frito pie. Nothing tastes quite like that chip.

                                                                  3. Not that the weather has been cooperating, but nevertheless soup's been WFD Chez Nous the past couple of nights. New England-style chowder on Thursday (little bacon, scallops, shrimp, lobster tail discovered in freezer--how did I forget that one?) served with a salad and a baguette. Yummmm.

                                                                    Last night--grilled ham and gruyere cheese sandwiches, mushroom soup (COTM recipe, just ok), chocolate chip cookies for dessert. We obviously haven't succumbed to lighter, cleaner habits for the new year yet, alas.

                                                                    I also made a big pot of split pea soup, and no matter how much I give away, there's still a lot left. I'm about to have a bowl for lunch. But tonight's dinner shall be consumed late, in a restaurant, and I hope we will be celebrating a win in the playoff game we will have just attended with a lot of other crazy people in the Superdome. Geaux Saints!

                                                                    Happy weekend Hounds.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                      Seriously two WONDERFUL meals with your NE-style chowder and grilled cheese dinners, ncw! And enjoy the game!

                                                                    2. May I just say something?

                                                                      It is an absolutely GLORIOUSLY BEAUTIFUL SUNNY & WARM FREAKIN' DAY in Boston Town today!

                                                                      That is all.

                                                                      No it's not. This is me talking. I'm rarely brief and to the point. :-) Anyway - despite it being so gorgeous out (it's actually 58° right now - FIFTY-EIGHT DEGREES ON JANUARY 7th!!!) I'm going to make pot roast. Tangy Caramelized Onion Pot Roast, to be exact. Picked up a couple of 7-blade roasts at Market Basket today to be used for tonight's dinner. Why two? Because I want to make a lot so a good bit of it can be used for making beef-barley-vegetable soup/stew for both me and Mom (one of the "Linda Meals" I promised her in her Christmas coupon. Well, she chose lamb-barley stew, but lamb's a bit pricey right now, so she'll get beef-barley soup/stew and she'll like it! LOL)

                                                                      Anyway, pot roast to me means fork-mashed boiled potatoes and carrots alongside, but I've also served this over butter-parsleyed egg noodles. Tonight? It's the boiled Yukon Gold potatoes and carrots. Here's a pic from the last time I made it. This was stew, and that's the recipe I have, but it's not too hard to adapt for the pot roast version.

                                                                      * Exported from MasterCook *

                                                                      Tangy Caramelized Onion Beef Stew

                                                                      Recipe By :Linda
                                                                      Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :3:00
                                                                      Categories : Beef Stew

                                                                      Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
                                                                      -------- ------------ --------------------------------
                                                                      1 large onion
                                                                      1 Tablespoon butter
                                                                      2 pounds beef stew meat -- cut into 1" cubes
                                                                      1/3 cup flour
                                                                      1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
                                                                      1 teaspoon salt
                                                                      1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
                                                                      2 Tablespoons canola oil
                                                                      1 1/2 cups beef stock -- or water
                                                                      2 Tablespoons tomato paste
                                                                      1 1/2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar -- up to 2 Tbsp. depending on how tangy you want it
                                                                      1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
                                                                      1 Tablespoon brown sugar

                                                                      Thinly slice onion with mandoline (carefully!) or a very sharp knife. In 4 qt. stockpot/Dutch oven, melt 1 Tbsp. of butter over low heat and add sliced onions. Stir to coat with butter, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden brown and caramelized. Remove to a bowl.

                                                                      In a ziplock bag, combine flour, salt, pepper and thyme. Add beef cubes and seal bag. Shake bag until beef is completely coated with flour mixture.

                                                                      In same Dutch oven used to caramelize the onions, heat 1 Tbsp. canola oil over medium-high heat. Add a portion of the beef cubes in single layer (do not crowd so they don't steam vs. brown). Brown beef on all sides, about 3 minutes a side, removing with slotted spoon to a bowl so you can add remaining beef for browning, adding more canola oil to the pan if needed. Reserve remaining flour mixture for thickening, if needed.

                                                                      While beef is browning, combine tomato paste, beef broth, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar in a large jar with a tight lid. Shake to combine well.

                                                                      Add tomato-broth mixture back into Dutch oven and return onions to the pot. Stir to combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover, and simmer for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally so the beef doesn't stick to the bottom. Add more beef broth (or water or red wine) if needed for more "gravy" but it'll probably still be too "liquidy". If it is, dissolve several teaspoons of of the flour mixture in 1/3 cup of cold water (I used some of the liquid from the Dutch oven and let it cool before shaking it up with the flour). Add to pan in a drizzle, stirring it in, until the gravy begins to thicken. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes or so.

                                                                      Serve over hot buttered noodles or Yukon Gold fork-mashed potatoes.

                                                                      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                                                                      NOTES : 03/14/10: LLW Notes - VERY good!

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                        Lovely plating, LW. I've never seen beef stew look so vibrant.
                                                                        I'm sure the roast will be delectable.
                                                                        Enjoy your weather. I could go for some 58 degrees. It's January; we're in the 70s--and muggy.

                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                          See, that would definitely be a "cold weather meal" for me, but yesterday it was 73 degrees here in Fort Worth. Very beautiful plating.

                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                            I'm frozen solid at 58 degrees! That recipe sound nice and cozy.

                                                                          2. I feel surprisingly good after last night's gig at a *very* smoky bar, so my cold must be nearing its end. Now that my sweetie caught my cooties, I'll be taking care of him.

                                                                            Which today, as I am feeling lazy, means likely getting some very spicy Indian take-out. Haven't had Indian in forevah, so very much looking forward to it -- thinking of lamb jalfrezie, mutter paneer and some chicken chili. Our local Indian actually takes you by the word when you say spicy, so this should clear out our respective sinuses (sini? :-)).

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                              Oh yeah, Indian is good for what ails you.

                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                Indian food is indeed good for whatever ails you. Meat samosas are excellent for hangovers (not that I'd know about that, of course).

                                                                              2. Reheated roast chicken (the dark meat tonight as we had the breasts last night), baked potatoes and roasted brussels sprouts. Not that I'll be able to taste any of it. I probably should have followed suit with the Indian food in order to clear out my poor nasal passages.

                                                                                1. I, too, have a cold. I made lemon chicken soup and spinach and melted fontina cheese bruschetta. Very comforting.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: wineos

                                                                                    It sounds it, wineos! Hope you're feeling better soon.

                                                                                  2. Something that I was craving over the holidays but couldn't find at the time, moules marinieres. Found them on my Costco run earlier today. Picture to follow.

                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: letsindulge

                                                                                      I just used up the rest of my blah chicken broth in a curry, so it tastes much better with coconut milk and grated ginger! I added some carrots, potatoes, and pork marinated in soy sauce, garlic, and seaseme oil. Mmm...

                                                                                      1. re: bjosiah

                                                                                        Perfect use for a blah broth, bjosiah. Coconut milk and ginger will always outshine the blander stuff.

                                                                                        1. I missed a whole freaking thread? Maybe two. All of you have been busy in your kitchens, and making me heartily jealous. I've actually declined to go out tonight just so I can have a kitchen night. Even though we are experiencing a slight warm spell, I'm craving soup. Tonight's dinner will be Pepin's cauliflower soup, plucked from WFD awhile back (not certain who posted it, but my notes reference CM, so maybe Christina Mason provided the inspiration). To go with, a wilted spinach salad with over easy eggs and a balsamic vinaigrette, and TJ's garlic naan, topped with a lovely garden vegetable farmer's cheese.

                                                                                          The boy and I are planning on a rousing game of darts in the early evening time, and I know that between the whisky and paying for the whisky, we really should be planning on a quick reheated dinner when we get in, so tonight I'm throwing together another pot of those garlic noodles, with the same subs for magi as before, but with the addition of sambal oelek and a little lime juice. A big pan of roasted broccoli will also be hanging about, so that might be the side. If I manage a trip to Spice House tomorrow, the aleppo pepper will be added to , well, everything.

                                                                                          Tonight, I'll also throw in all the prep for tomorrow morning's pot of black bean chili for Monday's dinner, with cornbread.

                                                                                          I'm going to have music in the kitchen to keep me company as I cook, and then I'll confront last night's martini-fed itunes purchases, won't I.

                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                            My thanks to whomever posted the Pepin Cauliflower soup recipe. The boyfriend almost always dislikes pureed vegetables soups, but he really loved this. I played around with it only a little bit. I had succumbed to buying a jar of that Baconnaise, and discovered that, while I liked the flavor, I didn't care for it on sandwiches. So I've been adding it to caramelizing onions whenever I thought the smokiness would be appropriate--and it was perfect in this soup. I also used tarragon instead of parsley.

                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                              I think that was Nomadchowwoman! It's a compliment to be confused with the likes of her :)

                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                No argument there, though you're pretty inspiring yourself.

                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                  Oh my--I'm blushing--but have to be honest: it was Buttertart's mention of it that sent me to the recipe.
                                                                                                  And I'm in total agreement with oadl as to your inspirational self, CM!

                                                                                              2. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                glad the soup came out good, i'm going to try that some time. and that wilted spinach salad with fried eggs sounds delicious.

                                                                                                does baconnaise contain actual bacon?

                                                                                                who won the dart game? ( :

                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                  Nope, bacon salt and baconnaise are actually vegetarian. Expensive though, five bucks for a pretty small jar. So it's much more cost-effective if I use small portions as a base with my cooking fat. I'm planning on using it in a white bean soup sometime soon--the same soup I've stopped making since I couldn't imagine it without a ham hock tucked in there. I am . . . somewhat hopeful about this endeavor.

                                                                                                  And, pffft. Boyfriend only had three hours sleep the night before, so yesterday, he was a zombie when he got home. I took pity on him, and agreed to reschedule my win.

                                                                                              3. After indulging over the holidays, I can't take anything junky (edited later)....and as an Accountant with the close of our Calendar Year occutring and working all the time - dinners are limited!

                                                                                                I conjured up a stir fry the other nite using the leftover veggies in 15 mins - delicious! The man liked it! Other than that, it was leftover butternut squash soup, homemade salads, homemade pizza or pasta.......not interesting, but good! I'm tired already....and comfort food hits the spot...

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: jenscats5

                                                                                                  On Wednesday I had one employee already asking for her W-2, so I can sympathize with you. I used to issue over 1,400 W-2's and about 500 1099's annually when I owned my own payroll company. I'd go through a 10 lb. bag a chocolate chips from Costco while printing W-2's! Good old dot-matrix printer and six-part forms back in the 80's & 90's :)

                                                                                                2. Chili and cornbread here, but I really wanted sushi. The chili seems to have been a hit though, there is only a kid's size portion of leftovers. :)

                                                                                                  1. An amazing dinner -- salmon two ways made by my husband. We started with a salmon serviche served over sliced avocado and finished with a coarse black salt. Next, was salmon in a miso nage with haricots verte and enoki mushrooms with small boiled potatoes. It had a wonderful Asian vibe. Both were delicious but I could eat that serviche every night of the week!

                                                                                                    1. I just made my meal plan for the week. My husband is out of town until Thursday and the kids have lots of things going on so I really had to think through my plan since I have to do all the running around.

                                                                                                      Tonight, macaroni and beef casserole from Food and Wine with a salad. I will head out to the grocery store shortly and plan on putting it together later this morning. My daughter has a volleyball tournament this afternoon and I can call home when she is done and have one of the boys turn on the oven and take it out of the fridge so we can warm it when we get home.

                                                                                                      Tomorrow, chuck roast in the crockpot that will be turned in to bbq beef sandwiches. No one will eat at the same time so I need something that will hold for everyone. Cut up veggies on the side or maybe slaw.

                                                                                                      Tuesday, leftovers.

                                                                                                      Wednesday - roast chicken, butternut squash, green beans

                                                                                                      Thursday - no plan yet

                                                                                                      Friday - oldest has a swim meet and they always have a pot luck after. I'm not sure what my potluck assignment is going to be.

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: suburban_mom

                                                                                                        care to share your chuck roast in the crockpot recipe suburban mom? sounds great.

                                                                                                        1. re: millygirl

                                                                                                          It is nothing special. Throw a chuck roast in crockpot. Add some liquid. Today I added chicken broth, red wine, and liquid smoke - about a cup total. Cook until done, drain most of the cooking liquid, shred roast and add bbq sauce. I then cook it a little more to thicken the sauce.

                                                                                                          Today's roast is about 5 lbs and I'm cooking it on low. I put it in an hour ago. I will check on it early afternoon.

                                                                                                      2. Dinner comes from the Harters cookbook of the week - one that is never going to find its way to the charity shop - Nigel Slater's "30 Minute Cook" (1994).He calls the recipe Flash Fried Moroccan Chicken.

                                                                                                        Chicken breast cut into, erm, kebab sized pieces. Marinated in fresh red chilli, dired chillis, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, cinnamon, sultanas and pine nuts. A quick fry and the chicken is kept warm while the marinade goes in and reduces down a little. With couscous and some veg or other from the freezer - cos I am miserable and can't be bothered being more creative (my football team having been knocked out the competition by our arch rivals in the city)

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                          how long does that marinate, Harters?
                                                                                                          (sorry about the game - i hope the couscous will be assuaging.)

                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                            Slater says minimum 20 minutes, maximum 60. Needless to say, we're going max.

                                                                                                            There's now rice instead of couscous - and a tomato/onion/red pepper sauce (by way of using up fridge "stuff")

                                                                                                            And we've still got Lancashire cheese left over from Xmas that's going to make an appearance for "afters"

                                                                                                        2. Ended up having to work yesterday, so today is my only day off this week......and am spending it doing some cooking! Made a big batch of brown jasmine rice and will use 3/4 of it to make a big batch of fried rice. Now have some red lentils in the rice cooker. Also roasting some cippolini onions, a head of garlic & some wrinkly grape tomatoes to be used in something later on......

                                                                                                          If my ground chicken thaws out in time I also plan on making curried meatballs...

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: jenscats5

                                                                                                            I love having time to dig into a bunch of cooking projects. Yours sound good!

                                                                                                          2. Home-made roast beef hash topped by a poached egg for brunch today. California sparkling wine to wash it all down. Giants football on the plasma.

                                                                                                            1. Indian take-out def hit the spot last night, especially for my sweetie's sinuses. Now if we could just stop the hacking... >sigh<. We (as in *I*) over-ordered yesterday, so dinner will be a combo of leftovers for my sick man & salmon & cuke salad for myself, as sweetie is not a fan of either.

                                                                                                              1. Today's culinary adventure: Stewing beef (round); shaken in seasoned flour, browned, and braised in the oven with lots of onions and garlic and strong stock. Part to be frozen, for the additions of sauteed mushrooms deglazed with a tot of brandy, and finished with lots of sour cream. Part for tonight, served over egg noodles, as-is. Perfect sickabed (ok, couch) food.

                                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                  'Tis goulash by any other name. No?

                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                    Kind of fake stroganoff, Harters. Goulash, I'd re-braise with paprika and sliced bell pepper and some tomatoes. And I THINK if I lived in Texas, I'd be supposed to serve it over elbow macaroni for it to be goulash. Wait, that's Texas goulash!!

                                                                                                                  2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                    Sounds like my mom's stroganoff, which I hadn't thought of in ages. Great wintry meal!

                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                      I am looking forward to it pretty seriously. No cream of any kind in mine, though - milk products aren't the right idea for today, which is all I'll say. :) But for sure, that's a keeper.

                                                                                                                    2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                      And we had another name for that dish (the first, without the mushrooms, brandy, sc--but, wow, does that sound incredible) when I was growing up, but I can't remember it for the life of me--[Something] Steak. We loved it.

                                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                        I have had something like that, minus paprika, with the peppers and a dash of soy and maybe powdered ginger, and it was served as Pepper Steak.

                                                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                            Yes!! Why couldn't I think of that? We had it a lot. All I kept coming up with was Chuckwagon Steak (and I knew it wasn't that--not sure I even know what CW Steak is).

                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                          I knew I'd find inspiration on this thread! Leftover roast chicken, wrinkly mushrooms and the dregs of the sour cream will turn into a delicious meal with brandy and stock! Served with veggies tonight and with some leftover mash for lunch tomorrow.

                                                                                                                          1. re: gembellina

                                                                                                                            What a good idea for leftover roast chicken! I'd go so far as to cook some chicken, just to have leftovers to do that with. I'm so locked into the beef thing that I never thought about doing that, but yum!

                                                                                                                        2. Chicken thighs are defrosting, and will be roasted in the oven, with mango sauce drizzled over top. Sides will be steamed green beans and some of the homemade rice-a-roni I had made (instead of the Israeli couscous) a few days ago.

                                                                                                                          1. Everyone's been sick, my goodness! Hope you all feel better soon.

                                                                                                                            I'm also defrosting chicken thighs! Pan-fried in the oven, natch. With the oven on I'll also make nice potato wedges and whip up some chipotle aioli, with country-style green beans for good measure. The man isn't happy about going back to work after two weeks off; what could be more homey-indulgent?

                                                                                                                            1. I don't think I've posted a meal here in a while, and I don't know why. But I'll post now about last night's dinner. I covered it in the COTM thread, so I'll be brief, and hopefully not bore those of you who read both threads.

                                                                                                                              We made Jacques Pepin's Chicken Ballottine last night. This is a fully deboned chicken stuffed with garlicky spinach, breadcrumbs, and gruyere cheese, and finished with a red wine sauce. I say "we" because Mr. NS was in charge of the deboning process, I, the remainder. This dish was rather labor-intensive, but we enjoyed the outcome. We are going to try it again to improve our technique, and perfect the roasting and the saucing of the bird. It's worth it! Side dish was a salad of sweet red onion, cherry tomatoes, and navel oranges, a nice counterpoint to the rich main course.

                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                Looks delicious!! Such a colorful salad!

                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                  Looks VERY nice! Great job on the trussing. :-)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                    wow, bravo to Mr. NS! to both of you! that's a pretty impressive meal you got there.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                      Thanks jen, Linda, and maria! We had a lot of fun preparing this dinner. Pretty different from our usual, which made it interesting!

                                                                                                                                  2. The Giants beat the Falcons big time. As a reward, they get to face the Packers in Green Bay, Wisconsin (mercy). It's deja vu all over again.

                                                                                                                                    Italian wedding soup for supper tonight. House red (a sangiovese) to wash it all down. The bread will be Italian. More football will be on the plasma.

                                                                                                                                    Giants movin' on.

                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                      Chocolate hazelnut brownie cake for dessert. Heavy cream was whipped, sugar and Cointreau added. Yes, this is a Pepin recipe.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                        And we're rooting for you because, believe me, if there's any team that doesn't need to go to Green Bay, it's New Orleans (assuming we beat SF, o/c). We can discuss a Saints-Giants match up later.

                                                                                                                                        Next weekend's football menu in planning.

                                                                                                                                        That cake sounds heavenly.

                                                                                                                                      2. Tonight is a slow cooker beef stew, which will be served with polenta rounds and perhaps salad. Before heading out for the day's adventures, I browned some cubes of beef round, then sauteed diced onions and garlic, adding a dash of curry powder. Threw in a can of TJ's diced fire roasted tomatoes and a glug of red wine. 5 hours on high and it is beautifully tender and the house smells amazing. love the slow cooker and don't use it enough.

                                                                                                                                        1. All intentions to cedar plank a filet of salmon but after lunching on a HUGE bowl of spicy pork dolsot bibimbap, I'm having a mixed green salad with apples, strawberries, blueberries, blue cheese, and sliced almonds with a strawberry vinaigrette, AND a healthy pour of Viognier.

                                                                                                                                          1. yesterday my sister roasted marrow bones which we sucked down with kosher salt standing right over the stove when they came out of the oven. we also shucked 19 oysters (Kumamotos, Miyagis and Drakes Bays) -8 apiece- very badly - (engendering even more awe for the BF and his excellent new shucking skills) which did not stop us from slurping them all down. On the side i made a smoked trout, fennel, honeycrisp apple salad in a dijon dressing. that trout was damned good.

                                                                                                                                            coming up: Vietnamese Street Tacos.

                                                                                                                                            12 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                              what a spread. "damn you, 1000 mile distance" >shakes fist to the sky<

                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                haha- that's what time-travel is for, dahlink.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                What an amazing repast. I'm stunned into almost-silence.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                    All of this sounds and looks amazing. Especially the trout!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                      mamachef, i am stunned by your almost-silence.
                                                                                                                                                      thanks, all!!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                        The marrowbones did it. The beauty of the repast did it. And I was stunned that I could hear of an erster without........well, you know. On the serious, though? That dinner looked starworthy.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                          i'd forgotten about you and erster incident! poor mc.....

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                            Every time I think that I might be ready to eat another oyster after 2010's digestive pyrotechnics, I am reminded of the recent news story that 75% of UK oysters are contaminated with norovirus. *shudder*. can't wait to go somewhere they're clean(er)!!

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                        Damn, MC, you and your sister rule!

                                                                                                                                                        That is REAL FOOD.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                          Truly fabulous. And nary a carb....

                                                                                                                                                          1. Tonight we had linguafood's spicy tofu, adapted to CM specifications: sliced the tofu into planks rather than diced, upped the sesame oil and decreased slightly the Maggi and oyster sauce, added about 1/2 tsp. ea. sugar and grated ginger, and skipped the cilantro (out again). This time, I added a pinch of szechuan peppercorns when heating up the oil/toasting the sesame seeds. Yum.

                                                                                                                                                            On the side: mixed greens in peanut vinaigrette, steamed rice, and broccoli prepared a new way, which we both loved: steamed and drizzled with compound butter with a little minced lemongrass, a touch of sriracha, and a bit of salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

                                                                                                                                                            I'm thinking about a hot chocolate (extra marshmallows!) for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                              that sounds like a nice twist, CM. I would probably leave out the sugar, but i really like the ginger & sichuan peppercorn addition. Duly noted for my next tofu prep :-)

                                                                                                                                                              love the sound of the veggie side, too.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                Love the sounds of that particular compound butter on broccoli. My broccoli is always boring. Will try this next time. (And always appreciate another use for the LG in my giant plant.)

                                                                                                                                                              2. Tonight we're having fresh (but not homemade) linguine with fresh (but not homemade) marinara, spiffed up with some onions, oregano, spinach, preserved lemon and salt-cured olives. Also, a spinach-frisee salad with apples, radishes, green peppers and orange-lemon green olives. A vinaigrette made with the last of the preserved lemon liquid over the salad and warm baguette on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                Fairly low key, but actually more elaborate than I was expecting when I put on water for the pasta. I'm very pleased to report that my cold has begun to fade and I am celebrating the return of my taste buds.

                                                                                                                                                                1. Still experimenting with the corzetti stamp…
                                                                                                                                                                  I made a decent batch of the stamped pasta, then proceeded to overcook them, so they pretty much lost the image. I'm working on the timing, it's different from fresh pasta cut into strands.
                                                                                                                                                                  Tossed the corzetti with a puree of fresh spinach, goat cheese, pecorino, and ricotta. A little soft to the tooth, but very tasty!
                                                                                                                                                                  Side salad of greens, cherry tomatoes, za'atar dressing and pine nuts.

                                                                                                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                    i'm stuffed and i'm drooling. those look delicious, Linda.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                      You throw me every time you call L.Nightshade by "Linda". I always think "Wait - I didn't make that! I *can't* make that!" :-)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                          No need to apologize! I'd *love* to be able to be as elaborate as L.Night often is with her wonderful sounding meals!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks maria! They weren't so pretty after they cooked, but the goat-cheesy green sauce was great!

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                        Those look fantastic! I assume you got that stamp in Italy?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                          Actually, I kept looking for one in Italy, but they were upwards of 68 euro, and rough carved and splintery (I was not in Liguria, however, which is probably the place to buy them). I ended up getting mine from a woodworker in Sonoma CA!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                            Wow, it's lovely! Does this woodworker have a web site?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                              Yes indeed! They are not cheap, but very finely crafted, and made to order. There are different woods and different designs to choose from. I chose a different design for each side of the disc. I talked to him on the phone and he had just gotten in some lovely pear wood, so that is what I chose.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                              wow, this is good info to know, LN, so close to me...if i ever get ambitious enough....

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Inaplasticcup's Vietnamese Street Tacos were, simply, to die for. wonderful flavor, great textures, and i could have bathed in the habanero lime crema.

                                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                            I'm going to have to steal that crema for something soon. It all looks wonderful, MC.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                              I stole that crema not so very long ago, and used it atop black bean soup. Yummmmmmy.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                              Wonderful pics mc! I'm glad you enjoyed this as much as we did!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                Oh wow, I missed inapc's recipe first time round and wil have to take a look but they look fab - you had me at habanero lime crema.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gembellina

                                                                                                                                                                                  Here you go:

                                                                                                                                                                                  VIETNAMESE STREET TACOS

                                                                                                                                                                                  - Vietnamese caramelized pork
                                                                                                                                                                                  - habanero lime crema
                                                                                                                                                                                  - pickled carrots and daikon
                                                                                                                                                                                  - thinly sliced red cabbage
                                                                                                                                                                                  - quick lime juice pickled onions
                                                                                                                                                                                  - 10 to 12 corn tortillas charred over an open medium flame for about 10 seconds a side
                                                                                                                                                                                  - cilantro and sriracha for garnish

                                                                                                                                                                                  FOR THE CARAMELIZED PORK

                                                                                                                                                                                  - 2 to 2.5 pounds pork country ribs/ shoulder/butt/ picnic shoulder, cut into 1.5 to 2 inch cubes
                                                                                                                                                                                  - 2 Tablespoons minced garlic (3 to 4 cloves)
                                                                                                                                                                                  - 1/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar (dark preferable, light ok)
                                                                                                                                                                                  - 1/8 cup fish sauce (I used Tiparos brand, which is widely available)
                                                                                                                                                                                  - 1 green onion, chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                  - 1 1/2 cups sliced onion (about 1 small)
                                                                                                                                                                                  - 1 cup water
                                                                                                                                                                                  - 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                  - 2 Tablespoons vinegar (Distilled white, apple cider, or even red or white wine will work. The acid helps to tenderize the pork and add a little balance to the salty and sweet elements. You could use balsamic, which would make the color darker and richer, but you'll have that really aged grape-y flavor that might take this dish into a sort of Italianese/Vietnamalian (???) fusion thingy...)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1) In a large bowl, combine the pork with the garlic, brown sugar, fish sauce and green onion. Mix thoroughly to ensure even distribution of the seasonings. The best way to do it is just to get in there with your hands and massage the pig. Time permitting, let the pork marinate for 20 minutes or so to allow the seasoning to penetrate the meat.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2) In deep skillet or pot, heat 2 Tablespoons of a neutral oil over medium high heat and sear the pork, 4 or 5 pieces at a time (don't want to crowd the cooking surface) until the fatty bits get a rich, dark, caramel color, 2 to 2.5 minutes per side. This is one of those rare instances in which you could actually put the seared pork back into the bowl with the uncooked pork without worrying about contamination because all of it is going back into the pot to cook for a long time.

                                                                                                                                                                                  3) After the pork is seared, add the onions into the pot and saute until they just begin to become translucent, about 2 minutes. This quick saute develops the flavor of the onion and helps it hold some shape during the long simmer.

                                                                                                                                                                                  4) Put the pork back in the pot, and increase the heat to medium high. Add the water, soy sauce and vinegar, stir to ensure they get evenly distributed, and bring to a gentle boil (i.e., the liquid is bubbling gently and consistently but not so actively that it splatters).

                                                                                                                                                                                  5) Reduce the heat to medium low and cover the pot. Simmer 45 to 50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so to ensure that the meat gets evenly seasoned and cooked. Because heat accumulates, watch for signs that it's getting too high (the aforementioned splattery bubbling) and adjust back down if that happens.

                                                                                                                                                                                  At this point, the meat should be fork tender. If not, cover and simmer another 5 minutes or so.

                                                                                                                                                                                  6) Once the meat is fork tender, uncover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer another 15 minutes to allow braising liquid to reduce, thicken and caramelize further. Stir every 5 minutes to further ensure even seasoning and cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                  FOR THE HABANERO LIME GARLIC “CREMA”

                                                                                                                                                                                  Zap the following in a blender 20 to 30 seconds or until smooth.

                                                                                                                                                                                  - 1/4 cup sour cream or Mexican crema

                                                                                                                                                                                  - 2 Tablespoons mayo

                                                                                                                                                                                  - 1 habanero, rough chopped (habis, as they're affectionately called in our house, are VERY hot. If VERY hot is not your thing, you might try using just an eighth or quarter of the pepper to start.)

                                                                                                                                                                                  - 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (about 1 very small clove)

                                                                                                                                                                                  - 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice

                                                                                                                                                                                  - 1/8 teaspoon salt

                                                                                                                                                                                  FOR THE PICKLED CARROT AND DAIKON

                                                                                                                                                                                  - 1 medium carrot cut into matchsticks
                                                                                                                                                                                  - ⅔ cups daikon matchsticks
                                                                                                                                                                                  - ¼ cup white vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                                  - 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                  - ½ teaspoon salt

                                                                                                                                                                                  Combine all ingredients, mix thoroughly and let pickle for at least 15 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                  FOR THE PICKLED ONIONS

                                                                                                                                                                                  - 1 medium red or white onion thinly sliced (about ⅛”)
                                                                                                                                                                                  - 4 cups water
                                                                                                                                                                                  - ½ teaspoon kosher salt and more for seasoning later
                                                                                                                                                                                  - juice of 2 small limes

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil while you're slicing the onion.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Slice the onion thinly (about 1/8") either with or across the grain - I prefer to cut horizontally, across the grain - and put in a bowl that can handle hot temps.

                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Pour water and 1/2 a teaspoonful kosher salt into the onions and let them sit for about 20 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                  4. After 20 minutes, rinse and drain the onions and add the juice of 2 limes, and adjust the salt to taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks, mc, my feeble search attempt yesteday failed to uncover this. I'm not sure I will ever get my act together to make these but a girl can dream....

                                                                                                                                                                                2. Upcoming......burgers.

                                                                                                                                                                                  But not just any old burgers. These are burgers with a sense of history. We bought them from a farm shop in Shropshire during the summer - and, unlike many farm shops, this isnt just a shop on a farm, it's a shop selling their own produce, raised on the farm. The Sparrow family have been farming there since 1853.

                                                                                                                                                                                  But that's not the history. The real history is that the farm is on the land that formed the site of the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403


                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                    Harters my man, that's what we miss out on here in the Young 'States: a sense of history like that. If I were to do the necessary research, I'd likely find out that my meat market stands on the grounds of the site of the last big semiautomatic drive-by between the Crips and the Bloods. Well.
                                                                                                                                                                                    A burger-ish type thing tonight here too. This cold is accompanied by a "feed me" fever, and so I acquiesce. Ground lamb; spiced and stuffed into pita bread, topped w/ raita. And a bowl of soup. Ragtag, but it will let me avoid hitting the market. And today, that's just how it has to be.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Have the best week ever, y'all.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                      If I were to do the necessary research, I'd likely find out that my meat market stands on the grounds of the site of the last big semiautomatic drive-by between the Crips and the Bloods.

                                                                                                                                                                                      LOL! I *am* so glad to have you back amongst us, mamachef. Your sense of humor is just wonderful. I hope by feeding the fever, the cold gives up the ghost...enjoy the burgerish type thing tonight. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                        DAMN glad to be back, LindaWhit. You have nooooo idea. I love this community. I love this community like I like food, and writing, and exchanging ideas and opinions. I just forgot for a little while, is all. :) But imagination and creativity require regular feedin', just like the monkeys in the zoo. When dinner was a regular rotation of canned soup and grilled cheeses or cheese melted on crackers or crackers dipped in cheese, it was time to come home and be re-inspired. Thank you for the welcome!!

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                        Your burger will make up in edge what it lacks in history, mamachef.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                          Damn. I want lamb and pitta and raita instead of my hysterical historical burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                      3. I spent most of the weekend doing volunteer cooking, fun but exhausting, and happily crawled home to leftover lasagna and mac and cheese from the freezer. So I have decided we need more comfort food. Tonight am making what we call The New York Times Casserole. It's the humblest casserole in the old NYT cookbook, with hamburger, onion, green pepper and tomatoes mixed with pasta and covered with a cheese sauce and baked in a high temp oven. Cornbread and peas will round out the meal and the freezer will be full for the next round.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                          Sounds like another name for Johnny Marzetti, beerhenia. And may I just say yum. Perfect comfort food after a long weekend well-spent.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                            Johnny Marzetti is new to me but of course I googled it and it looks yummy! Mine is more of a poor man's pasticcio with a bechamel loaded with cheese.....

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Last night we had a couple of friends we'd missed over the holidays for dinner. As these are bubbles lovers, we shared a bottle of Veuve Cliquot I'd rec'd as a gift with an appetizer of smoked salmon w/emon creme fraiche and assorted sprinkles on pumpernickel squares. For dinner we had "chinese style" braised shortribs (Dec COTM recipe) with mashed potatoes and a spinach salad (w/ spiced nuts and a pepper jelly vinaigrette). Dessert was Lazy Mary's Lemon Tart (to which I took the liberty of adding coconut):


                                                                                                                                                                                          Which really is a lazy gal's recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I was hoping to make something exciting and delicious (whatever that may mean), but my man is still half-dying from his cold & has requested chicken soup. I think I might break a personal record, as this will be the third (3rd) time in 2 weeks that I make chicken soup. It's nice, it's tasty, and all, but I am sooooo chicken-souped out. Perhaps try my hand at avgolémono instead, I've got a bunch of quartered lemons in the fridge nobody used for hard drinks on NYE, and it'd be nice change of pace. I'd still likely serve it over noodles tho, cause we just had rice yesterday with the Indian leftovers.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Off to find a decent recipe now....

                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                              orzo would be a nice compromise between rice and pasta.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Tonite, it's braised beef shanks in the slow cooker.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Last night I prepped all the veggies and ziplocked them.
                                                                                                                                                                                              This morning I dusted the shanks with flour, hard seared them, deglazed with red wine, then dumped eveything into the slowcooker with a couple cups of beef stock and set on low.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Can't wait to get home from work today!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Now begins the winter of my discontent: back to the gym, back to the weights. Here begin the protein counts and the weigh-ins of a life measured in kcals and kick lunges. But discipline need not mean deprivation and I find these health regimens are made much more bearable (not to mention successful) when you feel satisfied at the end of the day. So here’s to turning a new leaf with a high-protein, low(er) fat stew made of braised goat. It has all the right ingredients: habaneros and sambal for heat, soy sauce and smoked paprika for depth and all the hallmarks of a richly satisfying winter meal, albeit one that will not leave me with a guilty conscience. Although even if I were to cheat, a few servings of my dessert of pisco sours topped with nutmeg as recommended by christinamason would easily absolve my conscience. Sides are a bit of a conundrum as of now. I have some cucumber and yogurt salad made with mint, Aleppo pepper, sumac and rose water in the fridge, but I’ll need to augment that with something else. Probably will have to pay a visit to the green grocer for some inspiration.

                                                                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Some beautiful winter greens maybe wouldn't destroy your conscience, and would be delicious to boot, if you do make it to the greengrocer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I followed your advice and got a huge grocery bag-sized bunch of red chard. I braised them with some bright spices (coriander, nutmeg and sumac) as well as a warm hug of allspice and got approximately one bowl of greens. I forgot how much they cook down, but they were nonetheless a beautiful side dressed with a tahini pomegranate dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I love your foodspeak, JungMann. "A warm hug of allspice." What a lovely, and apt, description!!
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh sumac. I rarely think to use it. I have some. Love the citrus tang - it will be so gorgeous with the pomegranate. And some tahini for mellowing it all out. I think a foray out to my local purveyor is in order too. So who is following whose advice now?
                                                                                                                                                                                                      As always, nice to see you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                        When I teach someone how to blend spices, I find it useful to get them to think of each spice as an individual with a distinct personality. Being as homey and ubiquitous as it is in Levantine cuisine, I always think of allspice as a grandmother who loves to cook and give everyone warm hugs. In baharat, she's the backbone of the family, uniting everyone even when chain-smoking cumin and perfume-drenched cardamom come out to play.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm looking forward to more synergy in our kitchens very soon! Particularly with the sumac. Such an under appreciated ingredient when Meyer lemons are around, but so much more seductive!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                          i love that cardamom sounds like a strumpet! my kinda spice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                        LOVE the sound of the braised chard with the spices, JMann!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                      funnily enough, i'm having a lunch of leftover birria and rice from a local mexican joint, mixed with roasted broccoli and the quick-pickled daikon, carrots and onions from Ina's taco dish i made above. I was pleasantly surprised to find the lower WW Pts. calculation for goat, as I am in the same rueful season as you are. your stew sounds wonderful, especially with the smoked paprika.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Tonight it is Gong Pao Chicken from Fuschia Dunlop's Land of Plenty

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                                                                                                        oh-ho, we have another Fuschia fan here... are you listening, buttertart?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The BF and I have vowed to learn how to make good chinese food this year. So I hope to be venturing into Fuschia land myself soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                          My Fuchsia looks at me accusingly from the shelf. I'd like to hear about your forays :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Stuffed cabbage. Haven't made this in ages, but I love it and it's cool enough in the evenings to warrant some heartier dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am using a mixture of pork and beef, and I'll use bulgur instead of rice, to make it a little lighter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am going to wing it, and hopefully wont screw it up too badly. I have homemade tomato sauce to use up, to which I will add just a touch of honey. The rolls will be baked on a bed of thinly sliced cabbage, and a boiled potato will work it's way onto the plate as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Now that that's decided, I better go get some dill!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I love using bulgur instead of rice in stuffed cabbage! How did yours come out?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I lost my day to puttering and the internet, so made roasted chicken thighs instead. They were tasty though, with roasted butternut and delicata squash, oven-roasted tomatoes from the freezer and a healthy serving of sauteed chard. My attempt at lighter fare while I'm trying to take off the holiday weight.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Those cabbage rolls are on the schedule for today though, to be re-heated for an easy dinner tomorrow. Will let you know if I manage to make them as tasty as my memory serves. Something about the bulgur lightens the meat filling I think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I took some pork riblets out of the freezer and will turn them into delicious salty-tangy adobo later tonight. And I picked up a package of wonton wrappers from Grocery Outlet yesterday ($0.99!) so I'm going to experiment with veggie potstickers using whatever I happen to have in the crisper (broccoli, carrots, onion, ginger are the obvious ones... perhaps I can get away with shredded radishes?) Add some rice and that should be about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Haven't made anything really worth posting about for quite awhile -- just food as fuel -- but spent a very enjoyable day yesterday puttering in the kitchen. I made some pork osso bucco (aka porkobucco) with some gorgeous pork shanks from a local farm. Doubled up on veggies (leek, onion, garlic, carrot, celery, fennel) because the jeans demand that I forego any mashed spuds to go with. That will be WFD tonight and some other night this week. I took out some of the chopped veggies after browning and added to some turkey stock culled from the freezer along with a head of escarole and a handful of spinach and some chopped tomatoes for a "free" veggie soup for lunches this week, five containers packed and ready to go so I don't get lazy about bringing it. Then for dinner last night I made a cornish hen using the Around My French Table technique of butterflying and high heat roasting but instead of putting tapenade under the skin, I mixed a bunch of the spice mix from the Staff Meal chicken with just a bit of butter and put that under the skin, and sprinkled more on top along with lemon juice. That was completely amazing, much better than the Staff Meal chicken itself. Served on a bed of spinach with garlic and lemon, I barely missed the carbs...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                              porkobucco - love it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              i'm going to make some "free soup" tonight, myself, GretchnS - in the same boat right there with you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              your chicken sounds fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Cumin-glazed ribs with avocado-pineapple salsa. It's a Susan Feniger recipe cribbed from the June, 2011 edition of Food and Wine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Deb is doing all the heavy lifting (started on Sunday). The house smells great. Cold beer to wash things down, Bourdain on the plasma.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Tonight we will have modified swiss steak. Heavily modified. I'm starting with ground beef, which will be seasoned liberally with salt, pepper, garlic, and A-1 steak sauce (I love the stuff for this kind of dinner). I have dried mushrooms from Costco (the big ol' honking jar of mushrooms of course) soaking, and those will go in a sauce of roux and homemade beef stock which was made from the bones leftover from the last time we smoked a prime rib roast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Then the whole kit n kabooble will be served over polenta, because I have a taste for that tonight and am out of potatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I suppose we need a vegetable too. Zucchini? I need to find some inspiration for that. I'm getting kinda sick of zucchini at this point, maybe I'll make a summery salad with it, or just zap a bag of frozen veg.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                If the kids keep stealing fruit from the bowl though, they may skip dinner entirely. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: tzurriz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  tzurris, if you oven-roast bunches of sliced onion with the "modified" Swiss, that's a delicious mild veg. that the kids might eat. You could slice the zucchini in for the last 45 minutes or so. So the kids have already had their fruits for the day - they'll be ducky without a veg. if they don't like them. Nice Monday meal for a busy ma.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Everybody's meals sound fabuloso. Wow. I get such inspiration here!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Okay, having eaten dinner and discussed it with Mr. Tzurriz, I realize that I wasn't making a modified Swiss steak. We had modified Salisbury steak. I fail nomenclature 101. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I am making a white chili tonight...wish me luck as I cannot find my old favorite recipe. It was in the "Great Good Foods" cookbook by the authors of the Silver Palate cookbook. Sigh. I am really making it because I am taking in a huge pot of it to school for our monthly teacher appreciation lunch tomorrow (seemed like a good idea back last fall when I signed up, haha). The family gets to eat it because I don't have time to do a dinner for them and the chili besides.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I remember most of the key ingredients...just not sure on the proportions. Please tell me winging it will be okay. I don't care about messing up for my family, but am a little more conscientious when it comes to my daughter's teachers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It will be delicious, and it will be fine if you wing it. Remember to start with less spice - you can add more, but you can't take it out. And if you like I can send you a recipe with proportions. Have a great time.......it's amazing what feels do-able when you don't actually have to do it AT THAT MOMENT, innit? I know I tend to sign on for a whole lot, and then when life gets......really real, it feels like some pressure, but you'll feel great when that's history.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Aww, you are so sweet and encouraging. I would very much love it if you would send me a recipe with proportions! :-) I decided the family is eating something I can throw together quickly (meat pies I have in the freezer--I got one of those personal pie-maker things for a Christmas gift and have had a lot of fun with it). I will get them fed and then take care of what I need for the chili.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I totally took for granted that I had the cookbook right where I needed it (ahem....heads will be rolling later when I find out who has been in my favorite cookbook cupboard!) and didn't even think of looking up the recipe until this afternoon. That despite the fact that I got a reminder 10 days ago, then late last week, and then again yesterday. Sigh. It will be fine, it will be fine, it will be fine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Excellent point about the spice. You definitely cannot take it out. I have made that mistake before and have (more than one time, I am embarrassed to admit) had to make a second batch of whatever to add to the first so the heat level wasn't ridiculous!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have this cookbook jlhinwa. You would have been just fine without these i am sure, but here are the proportions of ingredients:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1lb dried great Northern beans, soaked overnight
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1tsp canola oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        11/2 cups chopped onion
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 garlic cloves, minced
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1tbsp minced jalapeño pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2tsp dried oregano
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pinch cayenne
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 tsp ground cumin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pinch ground cloves
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Juice of two limes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        8 cups chicken broth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1/3 cup grated pram

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Do you need the directions as well?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tartetatin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tartetatin,I LOVE you!!!! Thank you so much. I think I am good with the order of preparation. The one thing I don't remember is how many servings it makes. Would you mind letting me know that piece of info so I can figure out my proportions?. Thank you soooo much!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sorry, did not see your request until now. Too late I am sure, but serves 8 for future reference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: tartetatin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I saw this too late as well. That pie-maker sounds like a fun gadget, girl. Your chili will be delicious, I betcha.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: jlhinwa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I almost wrote that! Attendant to those lines about adding more spice, that I didn't think you'd have time to bang out a second batch if you needed to make it more bland! Too funny.tartetatin below has given you a recipe that's about identical to mine, except I use a little more garlic, and add chunks of chicken sometimes. Also if you can get cotija instead of parm., it's a little more autentico. I know you know what to do with the rest of the recipe.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Of course, it'll be fine.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I need to know what a personal pie thing is: a set of indy. pie tins? Pretty cool. And they go in the regular oven, or is it something else?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You are right, I would not have time to make a second batch. To save myself the possibility of overdoing it, I bought mild chiles instead of jalapeno and will augment with cayenne if need be. I also doubled the garlic (never can have too much), lessened the cilantro (I am one of those cilantro-soap people), and added chicken, plus had to thicken it up some. Good thought on the cheese...will have to do that next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The personal pie thing is one of those evil kitchen applicances that serves no other useful purpose but is wonderful at what it does. Here's a link: http://www.legourmetchef.com/Temp_Pro...&

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It makes absolutely perfectly formed personal meal-sized pies. My brother, who is a big guy with a big appetite, always is full with two pies, everyone else is satisfied with one. We have done all kinds of savory pies as well as dessert pies. It is a very fun little gadget.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That pie thing-y looks like a fab tool. But I will leave this thread and put it out of my mind immediately. I will.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I threw together a quick meal tonight from leftover odds and ends that had DH mumbling "best meal from leftovers EVER" while rolling his eyes. It was kind of funny. Drinking a strong beer before eating does tend to enhance the taste buds sometimes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I combined some leftover pepperoni sauce (inspired by Mike Isabella) with 1/2 a jar of light vodka sauce, then layered that with some thinly sliced eggplant and mushrooms I'd dusted with pepper flake, s&p, garlic&onion powder, and dried Italian herbs and pre-roasted. With each layer I added some squares of broken no-boil lasagna noodles (3 in total for our gratin dish) and grated mozzarella, parm. regg., and romano, along with a palmful of parsley. It was surprisingly good, esp. considering how low-effort it was, and somewhat low carb. DC Brau pale ale alongside (can't skimp too much on the carbs!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh that does sound good! Do you have any leftovers of leftovers???

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tzurriz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Weeeeelllll, until we got home last night from a show, we did :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Mexican quiche, cooked carrots, red pepper sticks, and challah rolls. Not elaborate, but tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Not much cooking the last few days...Saturday, we had Subway. Sunday, we ate brunch late (1:30 ish) & included pancakes, bacon, sausage, scram. eggs,) The bf ate a chocolate bar late in the evening before having to go out with the truck overnite (18 wheeler) and didn't want dinner so I didn't cook. I had Cheerios.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tonight, I cut two squirrels (caught by the bf & frozen) into quarters and boiled them in a pot of water and some sausage seasoning for 45 minutes. After draining, I floured and browned in a skillet before adding gravy & onions to simmer for an hour. Man! They were some kind of good. Some mashed potatoes, green beans and homemade rolls rounded out the entree. I have chocolate cheesecake for "afters"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Gotta ask, Cheryl--what is squirrel like?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Chicken satay with spicy peanut sauce with lots of rice for the man and oodles of beautiful wilted pak-choy and other assorted greens for both of us.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tonight I made brocoli beef. Marinated meat in soy sauce, siracha, seaseme oil, and garlic prior to cooking. Stir fried brocoli and mushroom...Pretty tastey! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. got my fish wish sooner than i thought - the BF had dental work and so we had to have separate foodstuffs. i made a quick curried/ginger roasted cauliflower soup with some mexican crema for him, and a side of scrambled eggs. And for me - FISH TACOS! lovely pearly pink tilapia (i don't know why people look down their noses at tilapia, i love the stuff for preps like this) lightly dredged in flour seasoned with paprika, cayennne, granulated garlic, s&p, then quickly sauteed until golden and crispy, on charred corn tortillas with cilantro, red cabbage & red onions sliced thin. guzzled all of the Ina habanero lime crema last night so i made a cheat version (since i was juggling two different dinners) of mexican crema, lime juice, salt, and habanero salsa. not as good as Ina's, by a long shot, but still good. the tacos were wonderful. roasted broccoli on the side for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I loved tilapia for fish tacos. I should pick some up and make them for the boyfriend. I know he misses them. But it doesn't sound like your BF did without at all. I'll bet the crema was very nice in that soup. I'll have to remember that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  poor thing was still hungry. he ate two bananas, and finally relented and let me make him 2 more scrambled eggs with cheese at 11:00 tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Upcoming.......Lancashire Hotpot. A traditional and authentic dish of, erm Lancashire - the county to the north of Harters Hall.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So,as anyone who knows anything about traditional and authentic dishes, there are as many recipes as there are cooks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                There would be no disagreement that the meat is lamb. And that's about as far as agreement goes. What cut of meat to choose? We're using boneless neck . My mum used to make it with scrag end chops. Do we brown it? No, we don't? And neither did Mum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Anyway, the meat is layered up in a casserole with thinly sliced onion and potato (ensuring the top layer is potato. Seasoning, eh? Well, not much. Salt, pepper and a little thyme.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Liquid? Beef stock - although water is more usual.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And it cooks away in the oven till it's done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nice fresh vegetables to accompany? Don't be so daft. You don't have veg with hotpot. You open a jar of pickled red cabbage and dollop that all over your plateful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So, that's a home version. But we've eaten a Michelin starred hotpot a couple of years back that was absolutely fab. At the restaurant of north west superchef, Nigel Haworth - here's his recipe:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Was Nigel's any better than my mum's version? Or our own? Damn right it was.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nigel Haworth's version certainly looks fab! What des he mean by "preferably Lonk" with respect to the lamb? Google was uninformative.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lonk is a breed of sheep native to Lancashire. It's rare - I've never seen it for sale.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nigel is very keen on using local produce, cooking it very much in a traditional style (albeit with modern interpretations). If I had to suggest just one restaurant in the north west of England for a visitor to try, it would be his (although the kitchen is now run by his head chef, Lisa Allen)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As educational as ever, Harters, thank you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I've planned a lasagna for dinner tonight. I usually forgo tomato sauce when I make a meatless lasagna, but I'm craving the acidic component. The sauce will be a basic tomato, a little spicy, with artichoke hearts and basil, and the lasagna filling will spinach, ricotta, mushroom, lots of cheese, and bechamel. Writing this all down is just serving to remind me of everything I forgot to buy at the market for this dish: eggplant, lemons, milk, and cream. Geez. Looks like I'm actually going to have to get dressed today--not to walk over two miles for the damn eggplant, but for a run to the corner store for the dairy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm tempted to take what I have on hand and make pizza, but I need something that will feed us for at least two days running. And, in my house, you can't just say you're going to make a lasagna and then *not* make a lasagna.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    make it with EGGS instead of eggplant. hard boiled eggs. at least you'd only have to put something over your jammies to walk to the corner. Just thinking about your maximum jammie time, is all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I had no idea that was a thing, until just now. http://almostitalian.com/my-grandmoth...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I went from "Ugh" to "Huh" to "Hmm" in the space of one minute. Add that to the fact that I found a when-did-I-buy-this-it's-opened-but-smells-okay quart of milk in the back of the fridge, along with some half-and-half, and guess who's not leaving the house today? And putting eggs in her lasagna! This is just weird enough to cheer me up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Eggs. You know me so well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i just liked the idea of you not getting out of your jammies all day. living vicariously thru you. tell how it turns out!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. More pork riblets tonight, I'm afraid -- the boyfriend gets panicky at the thought of pork sitting in the fridge for more than 24 hours. I'm thinking I'll do them with a maple mustard glaze. Rice (either more of the green pearl or basmati mixed with wild rice) on the side, and baked acorn squash. Possibly a salad, if I get myself to the store to buy lettuce (which I probably won't).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I'm feeling rather meaty today, and since my sweetie's tastebuds seem to have recovered a bit, chuck eye 'roast' (or as we like to call it big fat cheap-ass semi-ribeye steak roast) will get the treatment in pan and oven to finish, sliced after resting and topped with maitake shrooms.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Side will be romaine & butter lettuce, cukes, radishes & orange grape tomatoes with blue cheese dressing. How very American of us '-P

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        sounds great, lingua. please send leftovers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Just had some leek and swiss cheese quiche, quick, easy and tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I made a big dutch oven full of chicken cacciatore, to be served with rotini. I used Noilly Pratt in lieu of the white wine as I prefer its taste, it's going to be delicious !

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Tonight is un-trim the tree party with bought pizza from Trader Joe's - I cannot believe the cost of delivered pizza - Mr. Berhenia wanted his own pizza... sorry bud. I bought the ingredients for a red lentil soup recipe in the latest Food and Wine so my intentions are good! I will make a nice salad to go with the pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Chopped up a small onion, about 4-5 oz. of cremini mushrooms, 2 small Yukon Gold potatoes, 3 carrots, and tossed it all into a stockpot to sauté for a bit before I put in 6 cups of beef stock, 3/4 cup of pearl barley, and about 1lb. of pot roast beef, a bay leaf, and some crushed dried thyme. That's simmering on the stove for about an hour or so to make beef-barley-vegetable soup/stew for Mom for her "freezer meals".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have some sourdough bread from which I'll slice off a big hunk, warm in the toaster oven, slather with some butter, and a bowl of soup/stew and sourdough "barely-toast" will be WFD tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Your pot roast sounds lovely Linda. Lucky mom, good daughter!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I made the yummy potato/ham soup from allrecipes, roasted broccoli and sweet potato biscuits from paula deen; all top notch and wonderful on this rainy night in atlanta

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: thesunflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I made a HUGE salad of purple cabbage, onion, and cucumber a dressing of sweet/spicy mustard with some milk to thin it out, some cinamon, and some cayene. I roasted a pork chop in the oven with some olive oil and rosemary, which I cut up and mixed in the salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bjosiah

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    wow, that sounds really good. the dressing was just sweet/spicy mustard & milk, no oil or vinegar? interesting!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi Maria - I thought about adding at least some oil, and perhaps vinegar, to thin it out. But I wasn't sure if it would be a wierd texture, or if the vinegar would clash with the mustard. As the mustard made some a great starting point, I will try it again with some variations--and definently try vinegar and/or oil. I have some ginger-berry balsamic would probbaly be delicious. I typically use mayo as a base for dressings which I make, so I'm pleased I branched out can now use mustard, too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: bjosiah

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        it sounded good just the way you made it! and yes, that ginger-berry balsamic sounds fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: thesunflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That sounds very good, especially the sweet potato biscuits. I think someone else here mentioned them one; I'll have to add them to my list of recipes to try soon!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Celery remoulade with shrimp, pickled herring and Chinese pickled mustard. Word to the wise: if you buy the frozen shrimp at Ikea, it is cheap for a reason. Several of the shrimp were pregnant with roe which was entirely out of place with the remoulade, though I gulped down the boys with Neronian delight. We'll have to figure out what to do with the girls later.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I sliced up a whole mess of sweet onions and multi-coloured bell peppers, and to try out my new wok I stir-fried them with grated ginger, chile-garlic paste and sriracha, soy sauce, lime, rice wine vinegar, palm sugar, tofu cubes.. and cashews. Lots of cashews I kind of crushed up a bit with the butt end of a knife. The lot of it served over soba noodles, mmm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You know, it really was. Sometimes after a long day at work this sort of thing is absolutely the ticket -- both in the making (easy) and in the eating (delicious).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Change of plans -- I decided to slow cook the pork riblets in orange juice and cola until all the meat separates from the bones and serve it up carnitas-style with corn tortillas. Rice on the side with a cabbage-red onion-jalapeno slaw in a light lime-and-crema dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Meyer lemon frozen yogurt for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Tuscan chicken thighs (braised with fire-roasted tomatoes, herbs etc), carrots, yellow peppers, and served with fresh cornbread drizzled with whipped amaretto honey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Amaretto honey? That sounds interesting. Do you whip it up yourself or is it a purchased product?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              They sell it at my local farmers market--along with many other good kinds.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks! What nice looking products they have. I love their suggestion of using the spiced whipped honey on sweet potatoes. That sounds delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Testing out my pressure cooker, corned beef, steam green beans and new potatoes. Loving my pressure cooker so far.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. It's been leftovers around here. Tonight. re-heated short ribs. I made some (cheesy) polenta (used an oven-baked, no-stir technique that worked reasonably well) to go with, as well as balsamic-glazed brussels sprouts and a cherry tomato-red onion salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tomorrow: will be trying out a lamb recipe from Paula Wolfert's Food Of Morocco.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Paula Wolfert.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You WILL paraphrase and post recipe, if it's good, pleaseandthankyou? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, LW. I'm trying one of the easier ones, with my new tagine. We'll see.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  All I know is I want to be done before TC tonight. Now that I'm all caught up, I can't wait to watch, read your excellent recap, and then read the always entertaining discussion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, as you've probably seen, the actual recap will have to wait until I see the entire episode myself tonight after I get home. Uber-frustrating night last night dealing with a non-existent Verizon FiOS. :-(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      oh sorry you had a problem Linda! I've not wanted to look at that thread because I missed it too! I don't even want to know what happened.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My TV connection essentially froze up - remote AND TV. Didn't get it working until 10:26pm so I got to at least see the 2nd half of the show....but while trying to get a Live Chat with Verizon FiOS, I then lost Internet connectivity. Grrr....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So I'll watch tonight right after dinner and get it recapped. Although the thread continues without me, however. I read briefly this morning, and I'll do my full write-up (because I'm anal-retentive like that! LOL) and see if the Mods can copy what I wrote in the recap at the bottom into the main thread, so it at least is all at the top of the thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Last night we had red lentil tacos in crunchy corn shells with homemade guac, shredded lettuce, grated cheddar, salsa, hot sauce, and sour cream. DH did all the cooking; they were great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That does sound good (and healthy). How do you cook the lentils, CM? Are they loose, or more like patties?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    They are loose, meant to sort of mimic the seasoned ground beef of Americanized tacos. Usually we start some onions caramelizing in oil, then add assorted seasonings (cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, Mexican oregano, black pepper, maybe a little chipotle powder), add a Tbsp. or two of tomato paste to brown, then deglaze with broth (they soak up quite a bit, actually), toss in a bay leaf, season with salt, and simmer until the lentils are tender and beginning to split. I usually add a little soy, Maggi sauce, or Bragg's amino acids to up the umami.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ETA: here's a recipe I used as a jumping off point, although I just add salsa to individual tacos. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/tasty-le...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The midwestern expression "taco meat" cracks me up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Last night I made Jacques Pepin's steamed cod over a tapenade of olives, anchovies, capers, and figs. The tapenade was very tasty (if a little salty: in spite of diligently soaking and rinsing capers and ancovies, I still needed to drink three quarts of water in the hours that followed dinner), but the fish just sat on top of it, and the flavors didn't really reach that synergistic level that I had expected. Alongside was a Hasselback potato, for which, I believe, I am following in the footsteps of mariacarmen, linguafood, and BabsW. I love the presentation of this spud, but I needed to add more butter. Or so I'm told.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    haha! i can't believe you need to be told.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    the dish looks beautiful, Linda. i love the idea of that tapenade.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Too bad it didn't deliver, taste-wise, b/c both look pretty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I have marinating in the fridge Chicken with Cardamom and Yogurt from the Food52 site, except it's a cornish hen which I prefer. As I bashed up the cardamom seeds with my trusty mortar and pestle I was nearly oversome with the aroma and naturally thought of JungMann and mariacarmen and their overly-perfumed strumpet. I am a tad concerned that it will be overly-perfumy-tasting but we shall see. There is also coriander, cumin, pepper, garlic, ginger and lemon. No hugs of allspice. :) To go with, either sauteed spinach or roasted broccoli.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I can smell that spice combination from here! It sounds lovely, and I will be awaiting your final impressions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wow, that sounds excellent: http://www.food52.com/recipes/9275_ro...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm with you though---that seems like a LOT of a very pungent spice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I know, I've been fretting all day. :) But the reviews are extremely positive and I am trying hard to break out of my culinary rut so that I can maybe overlook the lack of carbs in my life at the moment. Except tomorrow I have to pick up an order of 8 large pizzas at lunchtime and drive them a couple of miles to give them to the extremely nice people at the doggie day care and I haven't quite worked out how I am going to do that and not have any. I have been seriously considering duct tape across my mouth. But that's a topic for a different thread....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I am pretty sure the only solution to that problem is to make sure you get yourself an order of spicy chicken wings from the pizza place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                possibly a conversation for a whole other website.... ( :

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                it sounds extraordinary, can't wait to hear what you thought of it. probably everything mellows out after awhile, just like most old strumpets....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                thanks to CM for posting the link recipe!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No, sadly this old strumpet was an in-your-face vulgar sort of old strumpet. I think maybe I didn't account for the fact that the cornish hen was so much smaller than a chicken. Or maybe it's my tastes. I'm not going to fault the recipe because it has so many positive reviews. And the method is great: the hen's flesh was moist and tender and the flavor had fully permeated it. Which meant that each bite was like eating cheap cologne. Feh. I should have stopped eating but I was very hungry but after I did the dishes I still had the taste in my mouth and it was very unpleasant so I was forced to have a belt of my smokiest, peatiest single malt (Lagavullin) to clear my palate. Forced, I tell you. But I am going to make the recipe again, with either significantly less cardamom or none, because it was extremely promising.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think the key mistake in this recipe is to grind the cardamom. 6 cracked pods, a tablespoon each of cumin and coriander, a cup of yogurt should yield a fine basic marinade. 6 pods' worth of finely ground cardamom, however, is very aggressive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Knowing me, I'd probably also balance the brightness of the cardamom and coriander with something warm like garam masala or cinnamon and some chili so that the fragrance of the cardamom sort of "glows" on the tongue. But then that would be a different recipe entirely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the analysis and suggestions JM, I will take it in that direction next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      what a shame! and i'm so sorry you had to break into your Lagavullin. no one should have to go to such lengths.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      JM, are you saying you would crack the cardomom pods and leave them whole, but then fish them out later?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        MC, that's exactly the technique. Cracking the pod will allow the liquid to come in contact with the seeds inside to lightly perfume the final dish. In my experience, ground cardamom is mainly used for making spice mixes like garam masala or in sweets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          OK so that is what I will do, with some of the other tweaks you suggested.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wow, that's terrible. Glad JM has a suggestion for correcting! You might want to post your comment on the recipe so others are warned.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lagavullin for a palate cleanser-- I like that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Pizza tonight, using that basic no-knead dough as the crust (harder to work with and a bit breadier than the Reinhart recipe I usually use for pizza, but it's what I have in the fridge). I'm thinking bacon, grilled onions and green peppers on top and, of course, lots of mozzarella. Wishing we could afford some beer to go with it but, sadly, the holidays are indeed over.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Got some nice double-thick pork chops to make a dish the better half found in Sunset magazine. It sounds dead simple, and will hopefully be a winner.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You stuff the chops with blue cheese, pan-sear and pitch in slices of pear, roasting until caramelized. My goal will be to not overcook the chops. These are decent ones, but sadly, are boneless.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sides will likely be steamed spinach and a brown-wild rice pilaf, with carrot, like my mother makes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Still trying to pull off cabbage rolls for tomorrow. Why am I always so lazy in January? I just want to sit on the sofa and cocoon!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I hear you. In my case, upping the B complex vitamins helped quite a bit!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Wracking my brain for something taking minimal effort while still being tasty and tempting. Have mizzuble cold and nothing appeals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ramen soup -- boil the noodles in chicken broth with some fresh ginger if you have it, throw out the seasoning packet, doctor it up with kimchi if you have it or srichacha, maybe some scallion, maybe an egg, some spinach or other greens if you have them and they appeal. Feel better!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        pasta puttanesca. Lots of chilli!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ooh sorry bt, it's definitely going around.... but you, with your sichuan -ready kitchen? not even something hot and sweat-inducing? you must be down, poor dear....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It devolved into slob "chili" - can of black beans, thing of TJ's soy chorizo, about 2 c of leftover pico de gallo, served with biscuits I had frozen. Was tasty enough. Made an endive and walnut salad for the man.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Leftovers!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Italian wedding soup will be the main attraction with some crusty bread on the side. Chocolate brownie with a little Cointreau-kissed whipped cream for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Thai-esque soup; I love how Asian dishes can use so many of the same ingredients yet end up tasting totally different depending on ratios -- so tonight's soup didn't taste at all like last night's stir-fry. (I find Ethiopian food to be the same way, incidentally.) But dig all the use-em-up fridge clean-out items marked by asterisks:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chicken stock and coconut milk. Lemongrass*, garlic, ginger*, soy sauce*, fish sauce, sriracha, lime juice*, lime leaves. Pho noodles. Sliced carrots*, shiitakes*, yellow pepper*, and Shanghai bok choy stems*. Diced potato* and tomatoes*, chopped spinach*. Of course I toasted the rest of the pack of cashews* and threw them on top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Siiigh.. I'm contented AND amn't stuffed. Good thing this made a big pot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: megjp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Awesome and yummy fridge clean-out work!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Tonight I made an ad hoc pasta dish that was quite the hit. Quartered beets were tossed with herbs and olive oil along with rings of shallots and roasted until both were toasty and brown around the edges. Separately I roasted asparagus cut on the bias with hot pepper flake and lemon pepper. I boiled some whole wheat penne and tossed that with some soft chevre, fresh minced rosemary, and a little pasta water, then added in the roasted veggies. Drizzled the top with syrupy balasmic, and that was dinner. A quick salad on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Wait, beets AND asparagus? I think these may be my favourite vegetables. We don't get good asparagus until the spring, but I can't hardly wait to toss this together. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: megjp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It was so easy. The only thing missing was some chopped pistachios for crunch and color!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Seasoned chicken legs with s&p, smoked paprika, and some cumin/coriander poultry rub. Browned in a 12" skillet with a mixture of olive oil and Garlic Gold oil, then set aside. Into the (now empty, except for the oil/residual spices) skillet went sliced onions, celery, carrots, and some sliced oyster mushrooms that we foraged last weekend. After onions were softened and a little browned, I poured in 1 C. long-grain rice and 1 3/4 C. chicken broth. Placed chicken legs on top, covered, and now the whole thing is baking in the oven 'til operaboy gets home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Craving some vegetables. Will make some stir-fried broccoli with a peanut butter, ginger and garlic sauce... Hmmm, sounds good :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: happyzhangbo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pork tacos.Sliced and Marinated the pork in oregano, cumin, jabanero pepper and vinegar, and lime juice. Also sliced up some carrots and onions and put them in some vinegar and chili powder for a while. Then I cooked the pork, which ended up being very tender. I threw in the veggies near the end, and let them cook a little with some of the chili powder/vinegar mixture. Topped tacos with cabbage, chedar chese, and sauce of mayo, lime juice, and a tiny bit of brown sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Shrimp tacos tonight. Rubbed shrimp with chipotles in adobo mixed with cumin, let them chill out for the afternoon, then did a quick sauté. Added chopped apple and lime juice to a standard pico de gallo. Blended up some of inaplasticup's habanero lime crema, and added cilantro. Then pile the whole shebang onto warm tortillas with avocado, tomatoes, red cabbage, extra cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. A tasty mix of hot, tart, sweet, and savory.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        oops, this is the old thread. moving it on over to the new spot.... i keep trying to delete the photo but it won't go... oh well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. We're off to the eastern Mediterranean tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        No, not going. Just dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've butterflied a small leg of lamb and smeared it with a mix of Greek yogurt and garlic. It'll go in the oven for a short while.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There'll be a tabbouleh (or, more precisely, a bulghur salad as I tend to chuck all sorts of salady things into it). And khobez bread. And stuff from jars like olives, beans in tahini, and some aubergine glloop that I bought from the middle eastern grocers in a rash moment (we're entertaining the BiL so I'll try and pass that off onto him - "This is great, Andy, try a big portion. Hmmmm"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And there's dates for afters.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Last night was a hasty dinner of chistorra and eggs with ketchup, linguine with nettle pesto (freezer gloop from the Spring) and steamed broccoli with anchovy dressing, a recipe I found here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8264...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tonight, however, I'm headed in your direction, Mr. Harters. I have two lamb chops marinating in the refrigerator. One is bathing in lemon juice, garlic, mint, rosemary and pimenton. The other has a light sprinkling of baharat, Aleppo pepper and lemon rind. For sides, we have khubz as well, musaqqa and I think I'll try another broccoli rendition I saw here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8264... Dessert is cardamom and saffron bread pudding.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            OK, the beans in tahini didnt make the cut. I opened the tin and it just looked horrible - and didnt taste too great either. But we don't gonna starve.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Now, where's the guest - I'm freaking hungry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. at the oldster's, i made three meals for future dinners. we ate take-out pizza (sausage, pepperoni, salami, olives and fresh ricotta - oofa) while i cooked. First, i roasted a chicken - plain, with melted butter, salt and pepper rubbed all over. Second, cottage pie, with ground beef, carrots and peas, ketchup (no tomato sauce/paste) a touch of bbq sauce (ditto), and worcestershire. And grated parm regg in the potato topping. Third, pounded out some carne asada and egged and seasoned-bread-crumbed for apanados. Nothing exciting - it is, after all, for the oldster.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            a question. doing his fridge clean out, i found a pot of rice with roasted chicken i made for him last Tuesday. He said he'd had some that day for lunch, and wanted to eat the rest for dinner tonight. So, 8 days old when he had it for lunch, 9 if he eats it tonight. Too long? i feel yes, but it's so rare to find something he likes and wants to eat lately...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As long as it passes the smell test, I would say it's OK. It is a bit disheartening to find food one has prepared sitting in the back of the fridge during clean-outs, isn't it? I started leaving a list on the counter next to the fridge of what was in it because somehow my oldster can open the fridge and not see the nice things that are right there but he can look at a list and then find what's on it. I think he thinks of it as a personal menu. :) Your oldster cooking sounds very tasty and wonderfully comforting if not exciting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                he ignores the list! worse, my sister (living next door and doing most of the cooking but not most of the fridge clean-out!) ignores it too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                thanks GS. it did smell fine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Soup. Some kind of soup. Probably Matzo ball.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Still feeling poorly? Matzo ball soup should help!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Better, but no cigar. Actually, the soupfest is prompted by the grand occaision of my darlin dotter's Crohn's surgery. She totally refuses the hospital food. Little poohface.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh dear, tough to educate a discriminating palate and then leave them to hospital cuisine. Your own fault, you know! ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am so glad you are back here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I'm thinking it will be Ina Garten's saffron risotto with butternut squash for tonight, adapted to fit what I have at home: long grain white instead of arborio, acorn instead of butternut, bacon instead of pancetta, turkey stock instead of chicken, red and yellow onion instead of shallot, a touch of lemon juice instead of white wine... okay, so I'm changing a lot, but I have what I have and the point was to use my squash before it went bad (and to use some of the saffron that is burning a hole in my cupboard).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Marinated cabbage salad on the side for a bit of contrasting crunch.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I gots a band practice tonight - right in the middle of our usual dinner time... feh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So we'll be having the early bird special today around 6 pm: grilled cheese sammich & tomato soup. Easy, light, cheap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Just realized we're well over 300 - so I took the liberty of starting a new thread here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/828045