HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

What's for Dinner #129 [old]

roxlet Feb 21, 2012 08:32 AM

Here in the northeast it feels more like spring than the bleak midwinter, so we were outside grilling steaks last night on the day before Fat Tuesday. Do you have anything special planned for tonight? Will you feast before the Lenten fast, or is it chowhounding as usual?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. linguafood RE: roxlet Feb 21, 2012 08:38 AM

    Lenten! Hahahahaha. Sorry about that '-)

    Yesterday was black bean & oyster sauce nuked salmon over a bed of scallions, served with the leftovers of that stupid broc salad I made palatable by adding it to a stir-fry with baby bellas, orange peppers, and linguine fini.

    It was a huge piece of salmon (and two tilapia filets for my man who doesn't like salmon. his loss!) and quite a bit of stir-fry, so wasn't able to finish..... right away. I managed to snack away the leftover salmon during the Downton Abbey finale we had recorded on Sunday.

    I noticed two (!) containers of French feta in the fridge, so tonight will likely be Greek-themed. Grilled pork or lamb chops with a good helping of Greek salad & perhaps CM's eggplant fries if I'm feeling ambitious.....

    3 Replies
    1. re: linguafood
      ChristinaMason RE: linguafood Feb 21, 2012 08:49 AM

      lingua, i've got salmon fillets, will they work?

      1. re: ChristinaMason
        linguafood RE: ChristinaMason Feb 21, 2012 08:56 AM

        Oh yeah, absolutely. Mine was a filet, too, but 3/4 of a pound. Yeah, I'm a glutton when it comes to salmon :-)

        It's one of the fastest dinners ever, but I can't remember if I posted the "recipe" before, so here it is, just in case:

        Layer the green parts of scallions on bottom of a wide bowl (well, wide enuff to fit your filets). Put filets on top. Cover in a mix of black bean sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, minced ginger, and chopped scallion whites. Nuke for approx. 4-6 minutes, depending on the desired doneness.

        While nuking the fish, heat up 2 tbsps of neutral oil (I use peanut) in a pan. Pour over salmon -- a method called 'flashing'. Careful when you do it, as it can splash. Ouch.

        Dig in.

        (I used three bunches of scallion yesterday b/c I just LOVE how the scallions come out.)

        1. re: linguafood
          ChristinaMason RE: linguafood Feb 21, 2012 09:17 AM

          Excellent. I'm definitely going to make this--most likely this week. Thanks!

    2. L.Nightshade RE: roxlet Feb 21, 2012 09:41 AM

      Credit for last night's dinner goes to Paula Wolfert and Christina Mason. I did Wolfert's chicken stuffed with olives, Serrano ham, onions, garlic, chicken livers, and bread crumbs. Chicken is stuffed, set on a bed of carrots, leeks, and celery, doused with a bit of brandy and sherry vinegar, and roasted in a clay baker.

      The side dish was eggplant fries, following Christina's method. My seasoning of the panko consisted of piment d'espelette, paprika, and oregano. These fries are so crispy on the outside, rich on the inside, I felt like I was eating some overly indulgent fried food. Mmmm.

      ETA: OK, I see that the eggplant "fries" don't look that great in the photo. But, trust me, they were delicious!

      13 Replies
      1. re: L.Nightshade
        ChristinaMason RE: L.Nightshade Feb 21, 2012 10:09 AM

        So glad they turned out well for you. Did you do the microwaving step? How long did you salt for?

        And Paula Wolfert? Fine company, indeed.

        1. re: ChristinaMason
          L.Nightshade RE: ChristinaMason Feb 21, 2012 10:19 AM

          Dinner was a rush, they were only salted for 30 minutes! and yes I microwaved, they seemed tender at 3 minutes. And they really came out perfect!
          I didn't know if I should peel them, opted not to, which was fine.

          1. re: L.Nightshade
            ChristinaMason RE: L.Nightshade Feb 21, 2012 11:06 AM

            I didn't peel them either. Good to know they work well with less salting time, too.

            I'm microwaving eggplant for many recipes now. It really cuts down on the oil absorption!

            1. re: ChristinaMason
              nomadchowwoman RE: ChristinaMason Feb 21, 2012 11:16 AM

              Great tip, which I'm going to try next time I take on Eggplant Parm.

              1. re: nomadchowwoman
                bear RE: nomadchowwoman Feb 25, 2012 06:24 AM

                Christina or L.N., do you have the link to Christina's initial post on the eggplant fries? I couldn't seem to find it. Thanks!

                1. re: bear
                  L.Nightshade RE: bear Feb 25, 2012 10:31 AM


                  1. re: L.Nightshade
                    bear RE: L.Nightshade Feb 26, 2012 11:40 AM

                    Oh, thanks!

        2. re: L.Nightshade
          mariacarmen RE: L.Nightshade Feb 21, 2012 10:17 AM

          that chicken looks wonderful. serrano ham.... mmmmm.... i had iberico de bellota for the first time Sun. night and now i want to try more spanish hams. and even the eggplant fries look yum.

          1. re: mariacarmen
            L.Nightshade RE: mariacarmen Feb 21, 2012 10:25 AM

            Thanks maria! The amazing thing was how aromatic it was, the entire house smelled like serrano ham and olives. In a good way.

            1. re: L.Nightshade
              mariacarmen RE: L.Nightshade Feb 21, 2012 12:01 PM

              how could there be a bad way?

          2. re: L.Nightshade
            nomadchowwoman RE: L.Nightshade Feb 21, 2012 11:15 AM

            It's hard to make eggplant pretty--but those look pretty darned good, LN.

            1. re: nomadchowwoman
              L.Nightshade RE: nomadchowwoman Feb 21, 2012 11:51 AM

              Thanks ncw! Now I'm eager to play with the seasonings in the coating. Next time za'atar!

            2. re: L.Nightshade
              Rubee RE: L.Nightshade Feb 24, 2012 08:19 PM

              Looks fab, can't wait to try those eggplant fries.

            3. LindaWhit RE: roxlet Feb 21, 2012 09:59 AM

              Fasting? Ummm...not me. No way, no how.

              I have leftovers for a few days, and I'm *hoping* to be going out to dinner on Friday with friends, so I'm not cooking again until the weekend. :-)

              1. mariacarmen RE: roxlet Feb 21, 2012 10:39 AM

                i want something fast, with chicken, with asian-y flavors (vietnamese, thai, korean), but without a lot of marinating time.... i've been really craving something with sweet thai chili sauce.... maybe s/b chicken breasts pounded out, with just a quick 20 min. marinade of soy, brown sugar, ginger, lemongrass, scallions....quick saute, then paint with chili sauce and under the broiler for charring.... tho as they'd be skinless, there's not much charring to be had, but I'd still get caramelization from the sauce.... jasmine rice, some cabbage salady thing.... dinner is shaping up.

                1. Uncle Bob RE: roxlet Feb 21, 2012 10:45 AM

                  George Dickel ..........
                  Grilled Chicken Salad with the (Original) World Famous Come Back Dressing/Sauce..........
                  Blue Bell Chocolate Ice Cream.........

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Uncle Bob
                    LaLa RE: Uncle Bob Feb 21, 2012 03:02 PM

                    yum...comeback sauce!

                    1. re: Uncle Bob
                      gingershelley RE: Uncle Bob Feb 22, 2012 08:54 AM

                      Uncle Bob, please do tell about this awesome sounding WF Come Back sauce?

                      1. re: gingershelley
                        Uncle Bob RE: gingershelley Feb 22, 2012 01:52 PM

                        Come Back Sauce originated at the Rotisserie Restaurant located at Five Points in Jackson Mississippi ~ It was the 'House Dressing'.~ From there it spread to other Greek family owned restaurants in the area...and beyond ~Today it is the "Mother Sauce" of Mississippi. It is often imitated but never really duplicated...Unless you have *The* recipe. ~ It's good on everything but Pecan Pie!! :))

                        1. re: Uncle Bob
                          gingershelley RE: Uncle Bob Feb 28, 2012 10:58 AM

                          Uncle Bob, can you share THE recipe?

                          Slow-Cooker roasting a pork shoulder today for dinner tonight, and I think I might need that sauce to go with it!

                    2. nomadchowwoman RE: roxlet Feb 21, 2012 12:06 PM

                      Everyday is fat around here it seems though I must say we have been rather tame (some might call it *lame*) this year. It was very rainy on Saturday for the big parade that rolls through our 'hood. Just about every other house is "open," with all the food and booze that goes with the annual revelry. Problem was that few people ventured out into the weather and so the parties were much smaller--and all the neighbors were foisting food off on each other.

                      Anticipating the rain, I had at least downsized my menu at the last minute and went with roast beef "debris" po-boys dressed w/Mardi Gras slaw and horseradish mayo and red beans and rice. Someone brought a small vat of potato salad. Another a few dozen turtle cookies. So we've been noshing on leftovers.

                      That rainy night pretty much set the tone. We stayed in Sunday, and were all set to go out last night when friends called and said "let's ditch the parade, and you guys come for dinner." Didn't take much arm twisting. We happily sat down to her delicious goulash, potatoes, tiny french green beans w/roasted shallots, and an unbelievable chocolate dessert (dense cake, berries, creme anglaise). Good food, good friends, good wine, good times. Really better than any parade.

                      Working from that script, DH woke this morning and said in his sweetest voice "could we not go out costume-watching today [something I love doing on FT; he'd promised to come along] and [you] make veal parmigiano?" I put up a small fuss, but then veal parm started sounding so good--so you've probably figured out the end of this story.

                      Yep, tonight is veal parm, linguini, roasted brussels sprouts, and some kind of salad containing beets. Might even make Fat Thighs Day Bars (aka seven-layer) for DH. May call our friends to join us so they can give us the lowdown on the best costumes.




                      1. s
                        suburban_mom RE: roxlet Feb 21, 2012 12:31 PM

                        I haven't been here in a few days so I have multiple WFDs. Sunday - bolognese from a recipe that I made before but it was missing something and not as good as the last time I made it. Monday - coriander chicken and fennel tostadas from Epicurious. A meal that will go on my regular rotation. Today - Kielbasa with onions and apples, frozen pierogies or maybe obrein potatoes, and a green veg (I still have to go to the store).

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: suburban_mom
                          suburban_mom RE: suburban_mom Feb 21, 2012 07:26 PM

                          I ended up with potatoes rather than pierogis and green beans for the veg. I cooked the green beans grandma style. Stewed with onions, bacon grease, salt and pepper until soft. Dh and I both grew up in Texas and this is the way our grandmothers made green (pole) beans.

                        2. m
                          MaryContrary RE: roxlet Feb 21, 2012 01:03 PM

                          Cream of shrimp soup (which I've never made before, so wish me luck) and cheese biscuits.

                          1. GretchenS RE: roxlet Feb 21, 2012 01:13 PM

                            The *plan* for tonight is that old standby pork chop recipe with wine, vinegar, mustard and sliced cornichons, you know the one I mean, it dates back to the 70s but Cooks Illustrated updated it a few years back and it really is good. I say that is the *plan* because the pork chops were discovered in the farthest reaches of the freezer and they are undated so they are either about 6 months old or more than a year old. If they are unusable, salmon patties will be grabbed from the very front part of the freezer. Either way, a side of really quite nice-looking asparagus (from Mexico) that was on super-cheap special at the market yesterday. I meant to leave brown rice soaking because I read in the latest Cooks Illustrated that if you soak it all day it cooks up faster and nicer when you make it at dinner time, but somehow I got distracted and only remembered the rice when I pulled into work, so no rice tonight. Has anyone tried this method?

                            1. JungMann RE: roxlet Feb 21, 2012 01:17 PM

                              Pancake Day! I am fully stocked to make moo shu pork, pancakes and crepes to my heart's delight, but I have had a long day and the last thing I want to do is cook and clean for 2 hours when I get home. So we are modifying pancake day. There are spring roll crepes defrosting in the refrigerator. Those are going back in the freezer. Rather I'll use some of the vegetables to make Korean-style scallion pancakes. It's a nod to tradition without mess or effort. There will of course be Chinese style scallion pancakes as well, just not from scratch. Rounding out the meal we have fresh kimchi, potato pancakes with labneh and caviar, chicken adobo, wilted kale with prosciutto and romano cheese and alfajores in place of moon pies for dessert.

                              1. ChristinaMason RE: roxlet Feb 21, 2012 02:18 PM

                                The plan for tonight is broccoli-potato soup and open-faced (broiled) cheese toasts. One or two cocktails out at a concert tonight, depending on how much I eat at dinner ;)

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: ChristinaMason
                                  ChristinaMason RE: ChristinaMason Feb 21, 2012 04:48 PM

                                  yum, really satisfying for the paltry calories and carbs.

                                2. r
                                  RelishPDX RE: roxlet Feb 21, 2012 06:13 PM

                                  A good friend is coming to dinner tonight and we're having an eclectic meal. Since it's raining, she wants to try my Tom Ka Gai instead of a salad, even though the flavors might not meld with the rest of the meal. Such a brave soul!

                                  For the main we're having lamb porterhouse chops that have been marinating in oyster sauce since noon. These are much better done on the grill outdoors, but the broiler will have to suffice tonight. If you've never caramelized oyster sauce onto lamb, you really must try it. It's a lick the plate sensation. Served with rice pilaf from scratch and asparagus.

                                  For dessert, nothing flashy or gooey, just a grapefruit, orange and blood orange that I've supremed and will drizzle with a Grand Marnier syrup and top with blueberries.

                                  I did a batch of chicken broth earlier, and there's a pot of beef broth that's ready to pull from the stove when she gets here, so the house is smelling of slow cookin'. Nothing better, I'd imagine.

                                  1. Barbara76137 RE: roxlet Feb 21, 2012 06:33 PM

                                    Had lunch at a mediocre Cajun place today, and so the leftovers were dinner tonight. BUT......I've been prepping food like crazy for my week running the cutting horse ranch, so my kitchen has been really busy. I've made soup, eggplant parmesan, broccoli salad, cauliflower goat cheese gratin, three bean salad, salad dressing, rice for the cat, and a few other things. I'm also digging through the freezer to see what else I can take. I need to lose weight but I need a lot of energy to be putting in 12-14 hour days of working horses so I'll have plenty of foods in the fridge that I can graze on throughout the day. Some of the dishes have cheese but for the most part I'm concentrating on good carbs and vegetable protein, lots of fiber, and most important, lots of flavor!

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: Barbara76137
                                      linguafood RE: Barbara76137 Feb 22, 2012 09:20 AM

                                      12-14 hour days working horses!! It's been much too long since I've ridden. Damn.

                                      1. re: linguafood
                                        Barbara76137 RE: linguafood Feb 22, 2012 05:20 PM

                                        Thought I'd be at the ranch by now, but will be driving down tomorrow midday. I had one of the containers of cauliflower goat cheese gratin tonight, so I'm thinking of making a pasta dish right now so I have "no brainer foods" since it was confirmed that I'll be there for at least 7 days. Orzo with olives, sundried tomatoes, garlic is pretty low maintenance.

                                        1. re: Barbara76137
                                          linguafood RE: Barbara76137 Feb 23, 2012 10:12 AM


                                          1. re: Barbara76137
                                            buttertart RE: Barbara76137 Feb 24, 2012 10:18 AM

                                            Kitty doing ok?

                                      2. BananaBirkLarsen RE: roxlet Feb 21, 2012 06:47 PM

                                        Got back from our 3 day road trip last night, filled with memorable and not so memorable restaurant food (I posted a full report on the California board). Tonight, however, I am jumping back into home cooking. Dinner will be roast chicken, gravy, scalloped potatoes with buttermilk, shallots and smoked paprika and a green salad with more of my buttermilk vinaigrette.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                          GretchenS RE: BananaBirkLarsen Feb 22, 2012 07:16 AM

                                          BBL, buttermilk vinaigrette sounds really tasty. Do you have a recipe?

                                          1. re: GretchenS
                                            BananaBirkLarsen RE: GretchenS Feb 22, 2012 09:36 AM

                                            I originally used this recipe: http://www.grouprecipes.com/3482/butt... only I used apple cider vinegar, added a touch of dijon and cut the parsley entirely. I still had a bit left last night, so I just topped it up with the main ingredients.

                                            1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                              GretchenS RE: BananaBirkLarsen Feb 23, 2012 07:59 AM

                                              Looks delicious, thanks for linking it, BBL!

                                        2. mariacarmen RE: roxlet Feb 21, 2012 08:38 PM

                                          don't you love it when you plan something, and it comes out exactly as you'd planned it? i loosely followed a couple recipes for a grilled thai chicken. I made a paste in the food processor of turmeric, lemon grass, oyster sauce, fish sauce, cilantro stems, shallots, a shitload of garlic, and salt, marinated b/s cut-up chicken thighs for about 1/2 hour, then into the broiler for about 20 mins. total, turning once, brushed with sweet chili sauce and back into the broiler to char a bit for the last 5 minutes or so. Alongside was a salad of quick pickled carrots, red onions, and minced habanero, strained out the habanero, then added in red cabbage, cilantro, and basil. the dressing was a little of the strained pickling liquid (white vinegar and sugar, with the heat of the habanero) and a teensy drop of sesame oil. This meal was practically fat free, unintentionally, really, and SO GOOD. the nooks and crannies of the b/s thighs gave them lots of surface space for charring, and the sweet chili sauce made it taste like fatty (just the remnants left on the thighs) tender juicy candy - but not too sweet. served with jasmine rice, more sweet chili sauce on the side. This is going to be a staple.

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                            GretchenS RE: mariacarmen Feb 22, 2012 07:18 AM

                                            Yes, I do love it when that happens. Your salad especially looks amazing and will be copied sometime soon!

                                            1. re: mariacarmen
                                              nomadchowwoman RE: mariacarmen Feb 22, 2012 08:04 AM

                                              Nothing better than a delicious and accidentally light and healthy meal! Beautiful. I love that kind of salad too.

                                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                                linguafood RE: mariacarmen Feb 22, 2012 09:21 AM

                                                I've found, time and time again, that the best meals i make are only very loosely based on any kind of recipes, and some of the most underwhelming when following one to a 't'!

                                                congrats on the thai chicken success. you clearly know what you are doing in the kitchen, mc.

                                                1. re: linguafood
                                                  gingershelley RE: linguafood Feb 22, 2012 09:30 AM

                                                  +1 on that Linguafood... I tend to look at a few similar recipes, or a couple of CH threads or ideas, then put it all away and just go in the kitchen and get busy!

                                                  1. re: linguafood
                                                    mariacarmen RE: linguafood Feb 22, 2012 09:47 AM

                                                    aw, thx, linguafood! and NCW & GS!

                                                    i find it 50-50 on winging it on my own vs. following a recipe exactly. it depends on the recipe, for me - if all the components work together, and i follow it, it usually works out really well. if i omit something, and then wonder why it doesn't taste that great, it's my fault. but if i'm winging it, there's no right or wrong, and sometimes it's a success!

                                                    i wish i'd made more chicken, but who am i kidding, it wouldn't have lasted the night anyway.

                                                  2. re: mariacarmen
                                                    Rubee RE: mariacarmen Feb 24, 2012 08:20 PM

                                                    Just ate but you're making me hungry all over again.

                                                  3. L.Nightshade RE: roxlet Feb 21, 2012 09:07 PM

                                                    Apparently I was on the same wavelength as mariacarmen tonight. My salad was almost the same, without the mango (great idea, by the way), but with shrimp added.
                                                    Tonight I was in fridge cleanout/no shopping allowed mode. Dragged out all the refrigerator contents, and found I had the ingredients to make mapo tofu, baked spring rolls, and pickled vegetable salad. Ended up being quite a production for what was supposed to be a simple meal of leftovers, but, also, quite a success!

                                                    21 Replies
                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                      mariacarmen RE: L.Nightshade Feb 21, 2012 09:26 PM

                                                      that is just too freaky! i had to buy most of the components of my salad, and we still made almost the exact same thing. your mapo tofu looks A.MAZING.

                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                        RelishPDX RE: L.Nightshade Feb 22, 2012 05:50 AM

                                                        Hmm, can't say I'm really big on tofu, but the MaPo recipe looks like a good way to use up my container of spicy bean paste and the TetraPak of tofu that's near expiry (see, I told you!). :)

                                                        Just need some ground pork, easy enough, and I'm in business. Your photo does makes it look delicious!

                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                          nomadchowwoman RE: L.Nightshade Feb 22, 2012 08:06 AM


                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                            rabaja RE: L.Nightshade Feb 22, 2012 06:25 PM

                                                            That mapo dofu looks absolutely divine!
                                                            Mine always looks slightly broken up, and to serve it over glass noodles? Genius, thanks for the inspiration!!!

                                                            1. re: rabaja
                                                              L.Nightshade RE: rabaja Feb 22, 2012 06:46 PM

                                                              Thanks everyone! I use Nina Simonds' recipe. I've been told that mapo tofu (dofu, doufu, etc.) should be made with soft tofu. I make it with firm. Just my taste (I don't like the soft stuff, it always seem mucoid to me). But that's probably why it didn't break up. And the noodles? Just what I had, and this was a no-shopping mission!

                                                            2. re: L.Nightshade
                                                              tcamp RE: L.Nightshade Feb 23, 2012 08:16 AM

                                                              How did you make the pickled salad? That looks delicious!!

                                                              1. re: tcamp
                                                                L.Nightshade RE: tcamp Feb 23, 2012 11:30 AM

                                                                I had made pickled carrots and daikon to accompany springrolls several days ago, using inaplasticup's directions: mix 2 tablespoons white vinegar, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and let pickle for at least 15 minutes. I used largish matchstick sized pieces.
                                                                As I had made them earlier, they actually pickled for several days! Daikon and carrot were separate, so the carrot color didn't bleed. For this salad, I just tossed in some red cabbage, mint, Thai basil, cilantro, Thai bird chiles, and shrimp. I didn't use oil, but I think mariacarmen's addition of sesame oil is inspired, and I'll probably do that next time. Love her mango addition also!

                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                  mariacarmen RE: L.Nightshade Feb 23, 2012 11:36 AM

                                                                  i've kept those pickled veggies in the fridge for a week at a time too, and together, with no bleeding, fresh as daisies. this last time i quick-pickled the red onions the same way, although ina's method has you, for red onions, first pouring very hot water over them to soften a bit (or maybe to take some of the bite out?) these were definitely crunchier, but they still worked.

                                                                  the sesame oil was a mere drop, but i do think it helped.

                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                    L.Nightshade RE: mariacarmen Feb 23, 2012 12:11 PM

                                                                    Ooh, good to know. The liquid around the carrots was so orange (and around the onion, so purple), that I assumed the daikon would turn color!

                                                                  2. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                    mamachef RE: L.Nightshade Feb 23, 2012 12:12 PM

                                                                    You go girl! I'd so make banh mi...

                                                                    1. re: mamachef
                                                                      L.Nightshade RE: mamachef Feb 23, 2012 12:52 PM

                                                                      That idea has me salivating...

                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                        mamachef RE: L.Nightshade Feb 23, 2012 01:05 PM

                                                                        Have you got a recipe? Can you wing it?

                                                                        1. re: mamachef
                                                                          L.Nightshade RE: mamachef Feb 23, 2012 01:19 PM

                                                                          I've got several recipes (according to EYB) which call for pork belly, which I haven't found around here (not saying it's impossible to find, but I haven't found it yet). Any suggestions on a workaround? (I've got pork tenderloin, pork loin, bacon, guanciale, pancetta...)
                                                                          If you have a recipe you like, I'd love it if you'd share. We've got plans the next couple nights, so there's no hurry.

                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                            mamachef RE: L.Nightshade Feb 23, 2012 01:34 PM

                                                                            LN, I'll post in just a few (I'll edit this if I can) but have you got a Chinatown where you are? That's where you'll find the deliciousness of pork belly to work with. Meanwhile bacon or guanciale would be a fine substitute....
                                                                            Also the bread is a very very important component........if you have a Vietnamese community head for one of their stores.. if you don't, head to your Mexican market that has a panaderia and get their rolls. And if you haven't got that head to Safeway or whatever and get a baguette!
                                                                            Ok, phone was ringing but it wasn't a must-take. (whoopee.) Here you go:
                                                                            Banh Mi
                                                                            1 24-inch baguette or 4 crisp--crusted sandwich rolls
                                                                            1 c. pickled veg. (daikon, carrot, horseradish if you want heat)
                                                                            2 T. veg oil
                                                                            1 T. nam pla (fish sauce)
                                                                            1/4 lb liverwurst
                                                                            1/4 lb. roast pork or red pork
                                                                            1/4 lb. sliced pork belly or bacon or guanciale
                                                                            1 shredded rotisserie chicken breast (optional, but really nice)
                                                                            2 thinly-sliced fresh jalapenos (or pickled if you prefer)
                                                                            1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced (tame this for 10 minutes if you want)
                                                                            3/4 c. packed cilantro sprigs
                                                                            1/2 head leaf lettuce, separated
                                                                            4 T. mayo
                                                                            Preheat oven to 350, middle rack, rimmed baking sheet.
                                                                            Heat baguette or rolls until crusty. Cut off ends and split.
                                                                            Mix oil, fish sauce and soy sauce and brush cut sides or bread. Spread liverwurst on bottom layer, and top with jalapenos onions and cilantro.
                                                                            Drain your pickled veg
                                                                            Layer all meats you're using in order. Arrnge veg and lettuce atop that and spread top of roll with mayo and press on top of sandwich hard. If you're using baguette, cut in quarters; otherwise serve 'em up and be ready for NO conversation at table.

                                                                            1. re: mamachef
                                                                              L.Nightshade RE: mamachef Feb 23, 2012 01:42 PM

                                                                              Wow, thank you so much, that sounds stupendous! I've already made a recipe card.
                                                                              And, to your question, the nearest Chinatown is 90 miles away, therein lies the problem. We have a small, hodgepodge Asian store (frozen fish and poultry, nothing fresh) and a small Mexican market, so I'll go shopping soon, and see what I can come up with.
                                                                              Once again, thanks a million!

                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                ChristinaMason RE: L.Nightshade Feb 24, 2012 09:24 AM

                                                                                This post has some nice visuals and alternative fillings, if you like. It's very good with lemongrass pork, too. http://www.vietworldkitchen.com/blog/...

                                                                    2. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                      nomadchowwoman RE: L.Nightshade Feb 23, 2012 12:24 PM

                                                                      No heat involved in those pickles, LN?

                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                        L.Nightshade RE: nomadchowwoman Feb 23, 2012 12:50 PM

                                                                        You certainly could add heat, I saw them as a counterpoint to the hot dishes.

                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                          nomadchowwoman RE: L.Nightshade Feb 23, 2012 03:53 PM

                                                                          I wasn't clear, but I meant to ask whether those pickles were made without heating the liquid.

                                                                        2. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                          mariacarmen RE: nomadchowwoman Feb 23, 2012 02:59 PM

                                                                          oh, i actually added habaneros to the pickling liquid, but dumped them out at the end, and used the liquid for a salad dressing. it was spicy but not too.

                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                            L.Nightshade RE: nomadchowwoman Feb 24, 2012 12:11 PM

                                                                            Oh, sorry. You were actually clear, I just misinterpreted. And, correct, no heat. They're just quick pickled vegetables. You can do them in as little as 15 minutes.

                                                                    3. r
                                                                      RedTop RE: roxlet Feb 22, 2012 05:33 AM

                                                                      Boiled cabbage and potatoes together yesterday, so I can fry up some Bubble & Squeak tonight. Will also do a generic cased sausage to complete the meal.

                                                                      1. Chocolatechipkt RE: roxlet Feb 22, 2012 08:56 AM

                                                                        Apple-ginger pancakes last night ... :)

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                                                                          LindaWhit RE: Chocolatechipkt Feb 22, 2012 10:10 AM

                                                                          Yum! Were they both incorporated into the pancakes? Or as a topping?

                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                            Chocolatechipkt RE: LindaWhit Feb 23, 2012 08:23 AM

                                                                            I grated a couple of honey crisps and some fresh ginger directly into the pancakes (and used brown sugar instead of white, just for a little extra depth.)

                                                                            1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                                                                              LindaWhit RE: Chocolatechipkt Feb 23, 2012 10:22 AM


                                                                        2. linguafood RE: roxlet Feb 22, 2012 09:26 AM

                                                                          Ended up making pork souvlaki, with the organic pork loin chops cut into large-ish cubes and marinating for a good 3 hours in olive oil, lemon juice, lots of 'rigani, 2 garlic cloves, paprika & salt.

                                                                          They were very tasty -- Greek flavors nailed and such, but dry... it's just a shitty cut for souvlaki, I guess. Sides were Greek-ish salad and roasted, non-Greek cauliflower tossed with some Cajun seasoning.

                                                                          Getting my Sichuan fix on at our weekly jour fixe tonight -- just in time given LN's mapo pics!

                                                                          Sichuan heaven is here: http://bitchinberlin.wordpress.com/20...

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: linguafood
                                                                            mariacarmen RE: linguafood Feb 22, 2012 09:49 AM

                                                                            oh my goodness do those dishes look good!

                                                                            sorry about your porky adventure... pork loin is a troublesome child.

                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                              linguafood RE: mariacarmen Feb 22, 2012 09:56 AM

                                                                              that place has saved our culinary sanity here in the boondocks, as it truly serves up stuff worthy of chengdu (according to someone from there, obviously not myself) or at least nyc.

                                                                              seriously, i never tire of that food. in fact, we're going twice this week b/c of a china conference at the uni here & we've been invited to tag along with the speakers. yowzah.

                                                                            2. re: linguafood
                                                                              nomadchowwoman RE: linguafood Feb 22, 2012 01:37 PM

                                                                              I'd kill for a place like that here. We just don't have good Chinese of any stripe in this town.

                                                                              1. re: linguafood
                                                                                L.Nightshade RE: linguafood Feb 22, 2012 06:50 PM

                                                                                Agree, those dishes look tasty. Sadly, there is an entire CH thread about the absence of good Chinese where I live, so I'm jealous.
                                                                                I like the the sound of your Greek marinade, too bad the meat disappointed!

                                                                              2. gingershelley RE: roxlet Feb 22, 2012 09:32 AM

                                                                                Last night was a vaguely terriyaki-like-with wasabi-added marinaded flank steak, seared fast and left MR, sliced on the bias, served with a baked potato with greek yogurt and lots of scallions and pepper in it (I didn't feel like rice), and some yummy baby peas with butter, sugar and a wee bit of orange peel. Very good!

                                                                                1. boyzoma RE: roxlet Feb 22, 2012 10:28 AM

                                                                                  Well, I have not been on for a few days either, but here goes - Saturday was some beef enchiladas made with ground sirloin, diced jalapeno and onions. Lots of sauce, cheese and olives on top! To go with was freshly made guacamole and sour cream. On the side was spanish rice with diced tomatoes and some refried beans.

                                                                                  Sunday we were out celebrating a dear friend's birthday so had a yummy prime rib, baked potato and all the fixings. Had enough to bring home for leftovers for 2 dinners. So that's what I had for Monday too! DH had a beautiful ground sirloin burger patty.

                                                                                  Tuesday was breakfast for dinner. Made some of Cherylptw's award winning sweet potato hash, had some chicken apple sausages and sunny side up eggs.

                                                                                  So tonight is clean out the fridge night. There is still a little of all of those things in there.

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: boyzoma
                                                                                    L.Nightshade RE: boyzoma Feb 22, 2012 06:51 PM

                                                                                    I love breakfast for dinner. I can never convince Mr. NS. I've probably said that before on these threads!

                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                      mariacarmen RE: L.Nightshade Feb 22, 2012 08:30 PM

                                                                                      same here. closest i get is putting a fried egg on some rice or over a breaded steak, or poached eggs in a salade lyonnaise - all good, not complaining - but never a full-on bfast....

                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                        boyzoma RE: mariacarmen Feb 22, 2012 10:17 PM

                                                                                        Wow. That's just so awful for you LN and MC. Sometimes the best thing especially during winter is a good breakfast for dinner. Maybe try something a little more hardier like biscuits and gravy with fixings and work up to other things? Now my DH loves it as long as I mix it up with different meats/eggs/etc.

                                                                                  2. nomadchowwoman RE: roxlet Feb 22, 2012 01:35 PM

                                                                                    Well, not fasting exactly, but am cooking from freezer and fridge, which requires a little discipline at least.

                                                                                    Someone brought a smoked duck breast to my house on Saturday; the planned crostini/ bruschetti never got made so I diced that up, and it, along w/some roast duck that was in the freezer awaiting a pot pie opportunity are fated instead for tonight's gumbo. Also making their way from freezer to pot will be duck stock and andouille. (DH says he will pick up a dozen oysters on his way home as the man always wants oysters in his gumbo.)

                                                                                    So duck gumbo, brown rice, ciabatta (baking now), and salad of whatever's in the crisper are WFD on this dreary Wednesday.

                                                                                    1. w
                                                                                      wyogal RE: roxlet Feb 22, 2012 01:39 PM

                                                                                      We are playing music up at a cross country ski event on the mt., a potluck. So I made a soup of Mexican yellow beans (had never tried them, so started with those), threw in some celery, onion, peppers, hot link sausage, garlic, and a can (yes, just wanted to try it) of kale. Will take it up in a slow cooker, also some mini corn muffins.
                                                                                      There is an awesome lodge (not with rooms, a general open space, fireplace/stove), and we will be inside.

                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: wyogal
                                                                                        JungMann RE: wyogal Feb 22, 2012 05:01 PM

                                                                                        Was the canned kale cooked down Southern style? I feel like I may have had these before and liked them. Never thought about how they might be nice to have on hand to add to a stew.

                                                                                        I also had kale for dinner, but rather than cooking it down, I "massaged" it per some advice I received and dressed it with oil, lemon juice, Romano cheese and pepper. Not quite sure if that really affected the flavor, but at least it helped the kale fit in my salad bowl. For the main course I had soyrizo on hand. Given that chorizo and eggs have a natural affinity, I thought soyrizo carbonara would be a great expression of their friendship. One egg was not enough for the creamy sauce I wanted for the pasta so I enriched it with labneh and Sriracha for a little more heat. Shavings of pepper jack on top to serve.

                                                                                        1. re: JungMann
                                                                                          wyogal RE: JungMann Feb 23, 2012 05:32 AM

                                                                                          Yes, it was cooked down. It smelled awful and turned the whole soup baby sh#@ green. But it tasted much better than it smelled! I've done a soup like this before with fresh kale, and I like that much better.

                                                                                        2. re: wyogal
                                                                                          L.Nightshade RE: wyogal Feb 22, 2012 06:54 PM

                                                                                          I have never heard of Mexican yellow beans (also never knew kale could come in a can!). But your dish sounds great. Somehow, it just sounds like it would work in a big, open lodge. Hope you are having fun!

                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                            wyogal RE: L.Nightshade Feb 23, 2012 05:42 AM

                                                                                            Frijoles Amarillo... They cooked white, didn't stay yellow. But, they were good. And I think I'll stick to fresh kale from now on! People did like the soup, though.
                                                                                            It was a fun evening. Crazy weather, as we were driving down the mountain, it was snowing, then raining, then sleeting, then snowing. And thunder and lightning! It's pretty icy out this morning. Good thing I don't have to go to work until almost noon today!

                                                                                        3. iL Divo RE: roxlet Feb 22, 2012 01:51 PM

                                                                                          I'm gonna take the easy way out and do vegetable pot stickers for me and ones with pork/cabbage/garlic in them for my husband + dipping sauces.
                                                                                          Made a 3 banana bread today and have Brussels au gratin in the mix too.

                                                                                          1. rabaja RE: roxlet Feb 22, 2012 06:51 PM

                                                                                            Tonight I am on my own for dinner for the first night in almost five months...so, what am I making? A chik'n boca burger on a wheat bun with mozzarella, avocado and lettuce. I can't wait.
                                                                                            I know that doesn't qualify as cooking, but I am caramelizing two lbs of yellow onions and baking a pan of bacon as part of my prep for a lucheon tomorrow, so the house smells good.

                                                                                            Actually some good eating here this week: last night we had London Broil tacos with a LB that was too cheap to pass up ($7.49/lb) and from a really good producer up North. I aged it alongside a rib-eye from the same producer for three days, just on a whim, and then marinated it in olive oil, a bit of balsamic, some chile powder, garlic, mexican oregano and salt and pepper.
                                                                                            Did it up on the grill last night and unfortunately over-cooked it just a hair. It was mostly med-rare, but the ends were dry. Mexican brown rice, with bacon and salsa fresca rounded things out.
                                                                                            The night before we had the rib-eye, with sauteed mushrooms, roasted butternut squash and some steamed romanesco. We should be mooing any day now, especially with burgers planned for the weekend.

                                                                                            Friday night was some local petrale sole, with cauliflower and buttered new potatoes, and tomorrow I'm planning rex sole, which I found today at the Bowl, with eggs, for $4.99/lb. How could I pass that up.
                                                                                            And now, I must get to my boca burger. I know you're jealous.

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: rabaja
                                                                                              mariacarmen RE: rabaja Feb 22, 2012 08:32 PM

                                                                                              actually, i am a little green! of all your meals.

                                                                                              1. re: rabaja
                                                                                                onceadaylily RE: rabaja Feb 22, 2012 09:02 PM

                                                                                                You've been cooking up the storm that brings the green clouds, rabaja.

                                                                                                And I still remember you steering me to the chik'n when I mourned my chicken parmesan sandwich craving. It did the trick nicely.

                                                                                                1. re: rabaja
                                                                                                  GretchenS RE: rabaja Feb 23, 2012 07:58 AM

                                                                                                  Some great eats and sounds like you are giving that Wolf quite a workout!

                                                                                                2. mamachef RE: roxlet Feb 22, 2012 07:19 PM

                                                                                                  Dinner as usual here, but a little special tonight. I scored a duck breast and seared it, and finished it with a mixed-berry gastrique (bottled) and sided it with some orzo that I'd made with stock and some pastina, and finished off with currants and pine nuts. Pretty darn good, and the chard and garlic on the side was a great foil for all that richness. I don't often eat duck, but when I do I always wonder why I don't think of it. Happy Spring Holiday, y'all.

                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                    LindaWhit RE: mamachef Feb 22, 2012 08:12 PM

                                                                                                    I absolutely *adore* pan-seared duck breast - and with a berry sauce and orzo pilaf? Sounds great!

                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                      mamachef RE: LindaWhit Feb 23, 2012 01:44 AM

                                                                                                      Linda, it was absolutely delicious. I don't usually take that much trouble for dinner if I'm dining with myself as the guest, and it was a great change from frozen spinach souffle and a sirloin patty, or a baked potato with chili poured over. :) Nothing wrong with those, but it was good to go to a little trouble, and boy was that duck good....mid-rare, perfect pink, with crunchy skin.

                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                        nomadchowwoman RE: mamachef Feb 23, 2012 10:05 AM

                                                                                                        Sounds delicious--and the guest well worth impressing.

                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                          linguafood RE: mamachef Feb 23, 2012 10:15 AM

                                                                                                          Loves me some duck breast. Too bad the kind we get here is rather mild-flavored -- no real duck flavor to speak of. But crispy skin and med-rare meat will still make me swoon...

                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                            mamachef RE: linguafood Feb 23, 2012 10:49 AM

                                                                                                            The reason it was SUCH a score is that I ran into an old friend who's friends with a local purveyor. I mean yes, I could've gone to the store and purchased it, but she gave me a couple (I froze two) that she'd gotten straight from the source, and I felt lucked out.

                                                                                                          2. re: mamachef
                                                                                                            LindaWhit RE: mamachef Feb 23, 2012 10:24 AM

                                                                                                            You should *always* treat yourself as well as you would treat a guest, mamachef.

                                                                                                            If I didn't do that, I wouldn't be on Chowhound. :-)

                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                              mamachef RE: LindaWhit Feb 23, 2012 10:50 AM

                                                                                                              You are M. F. K. Fisher's missing sister, I think. :)
                                                                                                              It's a lovely thought. I try. I miss, but I try. Somehow I don't think my unplanned dinners of tall G&T, a bag of popcorn and a can of sardines with saltines qualify as "guest dinners" unless the guest is baby sister.

                                                                                                              1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                LindaWhit RE: mamachef Feb 23, 2012 10:54 AM

                                                                                                                OK, maybe *always* was a bit of hyperbole on my part. I'm sometimes known for that. ;-)

                                                                                                                But sometimes scrambled eggs and toast is my dinner. Sometimes it's salsa and tortilla chips, chased by Triple Gingersnaps. And sometimes it's a full-on pot roast meal with all the fixings. Depends on the day of the week and my inclination. But given no time constraints and my brain still functioning after work, I *will* try and make a great meal for myself.

                                                                                                      2. BananaBirkLarsen RE: roxlet Feb 22, 2012 07:37 PM

                                                                                                        Tonight will be renovated leftovers from last night. Roast chicken turned into chicken salad sandwiches with feta, onion and dried apricots. On the side, reheated scalloped potatoes and a marinated tomato-cucumber-olive salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

                                                                                                        1. L.Nightshade RE: roxlet Feb 22, 2012 08:41 PM

                                                                                                          Mr. NS made dinner tonight, thankfully, after a long hard day for me. We hung out and talked in the kitchen; I made the salad. He made his ancestral seafood stew: shrimps, scallops, fin fish, sausage, fennel, onions, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, etc. Ladled up and topped with avocado. (OK, don't ask me why it's ancestral, he's Italian and Irish. He calls the stew a "centuries old Irish/Mexican recipe." No basis in reality.) Salad of greens, apples, almonds, with lime vinaigrette. I'm happy as a clam. Or a scallop.

                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                            onceadaylily RE: L.Nightshade Feb 22, 2012 08:58 PM

                                                                                                            That stew sounds wonderful. Would that be all of our fanciful notions be so, eh? Lucky you.

                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                              L.Nightshade RE: onceadaylily Feb 22, 2012 10:00 PM

                                                                                                              Indeed. If it provides inspiration, it's fine with me!

                                                                                                            2. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                              mariacarmen RE: L.Nightshade Feb 22, 2012 10:34 PM

                                                                                                              i love the idea of the cool creamy avocado with those spicy fish flavors.... Mr. NS is THE MAN.

                                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                mamachef RE: L.Nightshade Feb 23, 2012 01:45 AM

                                                                                                                Makes me happy just to read it. What a beautiful Cacciuco!! Lucky you! Yaaay Mr. NS!! ;) (yay you!!)

                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                  L.Nightshade RE: mamachef Feb 23, 2012 11:21 AM

                                                                                                                  Thanks mc and mc! I was a very appreciative diner last night. He even cleaned up the kitchen (a first)!

                                                                                                                2. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                  nomadchowwoman RE: L.Nightshade Feb 23, 2012 10:04 AM

                                                                                                                  That looks wonderful, LN. You are a lucky woman regardless of the stew's (or the man's) lineage!

                                                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                    linguafood RE: L.Nightshade Feb 23, 2012 10:18 AM

                                                                                                                    That pic inspired me to make a seafood stew @casa lingua tonight. I might get chorizo instead of chicken sausage, and see what kind of fish Wegmans got to offer today -- they get their seafood shipped in on Thursdays, so there should be a good selection of 'stuff' -- shrimp & scallops are a given, perhaps some cod, maybe even some crab if I feel like spending!

                                                                                                                    I also still have a seafood demi glace left over from a shrimp bisque I made for Valentine's day, so everything should come together nicely, recipe be damned.

                                                                                                                    Although I'm doubtful about the avocado... haven't seen a good one in ages.

                                                                                                                  2. r
                                                                                                                    RelishPDX RE: roxlet Feb 22, 2012 11:58 PM

                                                                                                                    Finally sat down to dinner just past 11pm tonight. From the Pioneer Woman's site, I made a half recipe of Pastor Ryan's Spicy Orange Garlic Shrimp for the first time as a serving for one. Nice that it cooks SO fast, I was really hungry. Served it with rice and Bourbon Carrots, not the best Bourbon Carrots, but they were an interesting counterpoint and made for an orangey meal.

                                                                                                                    As far as the shrimp go, this is the first time I've gone back for more rice in a long time. Wasn't because of the heat of the dish, wasn't because of the garlic (I used the full two cloves for a half recipe), but there was just something about it that said I would have been happier with it as a small plate shared with company, along with a glass of Chardonnay, rather than as the main. But I ate it all before it got cold, which was the important part.

                                                                                                                    1. tcamp RE: roxlet Feb 23, 2012 08:18 AM

                                                                                                                      Last night, stir-fried ground pork, green beans and garlic over rice. Steamed veggie dumplings (from frozen), edamame, and clementines. Tonight, braised chicken thighs with mushrooms and shallots, cheesy grits, and steamed broccoli.

                                                                                                                      1. Berheenia RE: roxlet Feb 23, 2012 08:20 AM

                                                                                                                        Red glop from the freezer night. Pretty sure it's skinny spinach meatballs so that means spaghetti - broccoli on the side with ranch dressing.

                                                                                                                        1. b
                                                                                                                          bear RE: roxlet Feb 23, 2012 09:16 AM

                                                                                                                          Last night, to celebrate my new Waring Pro Belgian Wafflemaker, we had Thomas Keller's fried chicken and Adam Ried's yeast-raised waffles, along with some collards. That was good eating.

                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: bear
                                                                                                                            mamachef RE: bear Feb 23, 2012 10:06 AM

                                                                                                                            I've totally been wanting to try that. Your dinner sounds wonderful! How industrious you are!

                                                                                                                            1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                              bear RE: mamachef Feb 23, 2012 10:32 AM

                                                                                                                              Being on vacation helps!

                                                                                                                            2. re: bear
                                                                                                                              ChristinaMason RE: bear Feb 24, 2012 09:28 AM

                                                                                                                              awesome! have always wanted to try that.

                                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                bear RE: ChristinaMason Feb 24, 2012 12:03 PM

                                                                                                                                Totally worth the effort. Keller's fried chicken recipe is the only one I use anymore. You have to be careful, though, since there are several recipes online that leave out ingredients or mess with quantities and several that have you frying at too high a temp so that the coating burns. I think the Martha Stewart recipe is pretty accurate, except that I zested the lemons as another site directed.

                                                                                                                                I only brined for about 7 hours, and the chicken was really flavorful. The double dredging really gives a crisp crust.

                                                                                                                                Adam Ried's recipe from the Boston Globe Magazine section for yeasted waffles was also spot on. Really nice flavor and texture. Again, I let them rise for about 7 hours at room temp, and they were great.

                                                                                                                            3. mamachef RE: roxlet Feb 23, 2012 10:06 AM

                                                                                                                              I need breakfast for dinner, and I'm making those hashbrowns that you parboil and then freeze, accompanied by two large fried eggs (medium) and a nice little steak! Yum! I'm so excited!!

                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                bear RE: mamachef Feb 23, 2012 10:32 AM

                                                                                                                                That sounds pretty darned delicious, too.

                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                  LindaWhit RE: mamachef Feb 23, 2012 10:36 AM

                                                                                                                                  See? *That* is treating yourself properly, mamachef. ;-) (Have I said how glad I am to have you back on the WFD threads recently?)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                    mamachef RE: LindaWhit Feb 23, 2012 10:51 AM

                                                                                                                                    How kind of you, LW. Have I mentioned how glad I am to be back and how welcome I feel? :)
                                                                                                                                    Seriously, everything aside, we have a lovely community here and lately it's gotten lovelier.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                      GretchenS RE: mamachef Feb 23, 2012 12:18 PM

                                                                                                                                      What LW said!!!!

                                                                                                                                2. nomadchowwoman RE: roxlet Feb 23, 2012 10:19 AM

                                                                                                                                  While last night's gumbo was excellent IIDSSM, but the brussels sprouts for which I ditched the everything-in-the-crisper salad were OMG fantastic.

                                                                                                                                  Sprouts lovers out there: you may want to try this. I browned and charred 1/2 lb trimmed and halved sprouts in hot duck fat in a CI skillet. They were then tossed into a bowl w/dressing (I had whisked 1 tsp. sriracha, 1 tsp. honey, 1 1/2 tsp. cider vinegar, 1 1/2 T fruity olive oil). I added salt and lots of black pepper. LOVED these. The formerly sprouts-hating husband told me I should have made more.

                                                                                                                                  I can think of all kinds of tweaks and can't wait to try them again.

                                                                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                    linguafood RE: nomadchowwoman Feb 23, 2012 10:23 AM

                                                                                                                                    Love sprouts, ncw! Thx for that recipe. I need to order more duck fat (or make duck sometime soon) to make those.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit RE: nomadchowwoman Feb 23, 2012 10:45 AM

                                                                                                                                      Brussels sprouts. CHECK.
                                                                                                                                      duck fat. CHECK.
                                                                                                                                      sriracha. CHECK.
                                                                                                                                      Rest of ingredients. CHECK CHECK CHECK CHECK CHECK.

                                                                                                                                      This sounds GREAT, ncw! Will definitely have to try it this weekend - thanks!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                        mamachef RE: nomadchowwoman Feb 23, 2012 10:53 AM

                                                                                                                                        Must. Make. Soon.
                                                                                                                                        You might enjoy shredding them and tossing them in a skillet with some of that duck fat, or in butter, or olive oil,or bacon fat and then just giving them a dash of S&P. Sometimes I throw in a tot of cream, but that's if I have it around; no special trips to the store for that one.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                          GretchenS RE: nomadchowwoman Feb 23, 2012 12:19 PM

                                                                                                                                          That sounds FANTASTIC and I have duck fat in my fridge, as it happens....

                                                                                                                                          1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                                                            LindaWhit RE: GretchenS Feb 23, 2012 12:23 PM

                                                                                                                                            Containers of rendered duck fat was one thing I made SURE my mother didn't throw out while packing up the contents of my old fridge for the move to my townhouse. I did get a weird look when she looked at the labels on the container(s), but she just said "keep these, right?" She knows her cooking daughter. She may not understand her sometimes, but she *knows* her. :-)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                              GretchenS RE: LindaWhit Feb 23, 2012 12:30 PM

                                                                                                                                              Good old Mom!!!

                                                                                                                                          2. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                            Berheenia RE: nomadchowwoman Feb 24, 2012 07:41 AM

                                                                                                                                            Thank-you all for the duck fat promos - I just ordered some from Amazon and will be asking lots of questions when it arrives next week. My experience with duck is limited to the local french bistro which serves a nice duck confit and of course a pate. I told my husband it will be just like cooking with bacon fat which we do on a regular basis.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Berheenia
                                                                                                                                              linguafood RE: Berheenia Feb 24, 2012 07:58 AM

                                                                                                                                              It will be.... only much healthier and tastier.

                                                                                                                                              Start off with just scrambling eggs in duck fat. Take it from there - you won't regret it!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Berheenia
                                                                                                                                                nomadchowwoman RE: Berheenia Feb 25, 2012 02:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                So many things you can do with it, Berheenia. And all those things you like cooked in bacon fat are wonderful cooked in duck fat.

                                                                                                                                            2. LewisvilleHounder RE: roxlet Feb 23, 2012 12:38 PM

                                                                                                                                              Since it is lent I have given up all pork products and beer (a real passion of mine).

                                                                                                                                              Tonight I am making a whole roasted Al Pastor chicken tacos (oven roasting for about an hour) then finishing on the grill with pineapple slices. Garnish with sliced avocado, cilantro, perhaps some cabbage and charred jalapeno salsa. The Corn tortillas were bought at a local tortilleria here in Dallas (Tortilleria La Nueva). The leftovers will make Al Pastor enchiladas and the bones tortilla soup. Recipe for the marinade is below:

                                                                                                                                              Al Pastor Adobo Marinade:

                                                                                                                                              4 arbol chiles
                                                                                                                                              3 Guajillo chiles
                                                                                                                                              3 ancho chiles
                                                                                                                                              2 chipotle chiles
                                                                                                                                              6 ounces white vinegar
                                                                                                                                              6 ounces pineapple juice
                                                                                                                                              5 ounces water
                                                                                                                                              1 teaspoon black pepper
                                                                                                                                              1/2 teaspoon sugar
                                                                                                                                              1/4 yellow onion, chopped
                                                                                                                                              2 cloves
                                                                                                                                              1/4 piece cinnamon stick
                                                                                                                                              2 teaspoons salt
                                                                                                                                              4 garlic cloves
                                                                                                                                              2 teaspoons chopped oregano leaves
                                                                                                                                              2 teaspoons ground cumin

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. re: LewisvilleHounder
                                                                                                                                                bear RE: LewisvilleHounder Feb 23, 2012 01:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                That really sounds fantastic, with either chicken or pork.

                                                                                                                                              2. t
                                                                                                                                                TxnInMtl RE: roxlet Feb 23, 2012 03:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                This week I seem to be going a bit heavy on richer dishes. Last night was a lamb kofta with mashed potatoes and a tomato sauce from Sultan's Kitchen with a side of swiss chard in a tahini sauce from Radically Simple. Tonight will be a veal stew courtesy of Marcella Hazan with some smashed sunchokes and salad.

                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                1. re: TxnInMtl
                                                                                                                                                  GretchenS RE: TxnInMtl Feb 24, 2012 06:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                  that lamb/chard meal sounds fantstic!

                                                                                                                                                2. boyzoma RE: roxlet Feb 23, 2012 03:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Tonight we are having Garbage Grinder Sandwiches. A total meal in itself. Hoagie rolls with salami, pepperoni and ham, then add shredded Mozzarella and Cheddar cheeses. Bake till meat is warm and cheese is bubbly but rolls are not hard. Then top with sliced tomato, dill pickles, green pepper and lots of onions. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top, a little salt and pepper. These are so good!

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: boyzoma
                                                                                                                                                    GretchenS RE: boyzoma Feb 24, 2012 06:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                    they sure sound good!

                                                                                                                                                  2. steve h. RE: roxlet Feb 23, 2012 04:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Leftover shrimp and grits.
                                                                                                                                                    The grits will be spruced up with a little more fat and a splash or two of stock. The shrimp will be gently warmed, not cooked, on the back burner. A new (to me) jug wine from the Rhone Valley to wash it all down. Knicks/Heat on the plasma.

                                                                                                                                                    1. m
                                                                                                                                                      megjp RE: roxlet Feb 23, 2012 05:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                      I shredded what was left of my cottage roll and fried it a bit crisp. I put it on some fresh corn tortillas with roasted red peppers, dill pickle slices, and roasted garlic-chili aioli.

                                                                                                                                                      I also mandolined some celeriac and made oven chips out of them, and wilted some baby spinach with loads of lemon and pepper.

                                                                                                                                                      And now, with a New Grist 'beer' half-finished beside me and no socks on, I am a very happy lady who is forgetting about just how tough this week has been. Cheers, all.

                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: megjp
                                                                                                                                                        mariacarmen RE: megjp Feb 24, 2012 09:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                        sorry, maybe i missed it, megjp, but what is a cottage roll? anything on a tortilla intrigues me....

                                                                                                                                                      2. f
                                                                                                                                                        FoodPopulist RE: roxlet Feb 23, 2012 05:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Thanksgiving bread pudding. Sauteed mushrooms, onions, celery, and carrots diced finely; ground turkey browned with parsley, sage and rosemary, but no thyme; old, cheap Italian bread, cubed; dried cranberries; eggs and milk.

                                                                                                                                                        I forgot to grease the pan and I forgot to make gravy, but I have plenty of leftovers.

                                                                                                                                                        For dessert, bread pudding with raisins, bananas, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice.

                                                                                                                                                        The goal was to use up bread, eggs, and milk. I have a lot of milk because a gallon was on sale for $1 at the grocery last week and I don't normally use that much milk in a month. I had old bread that was so dry that cutting it produced a mess of bread crumbs. And eggs are $0.79/dozen this week.

                                                                                                                                                        I wonder if it will be firm enough that I could pan fry two slices of it and put tomato, avocado, and bacon between them as a play on the concept of a California club sandwich.

                                                                                                                                                        1. weezieduzzit RE: roxlet Feb 23, 2012 06:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                          I'm solo for dinner tonight so I made something I can pick at and keep working... lettuce wraps.

                                                                                                                                                          I peeled/ deveined some shrimp, tossed it in big spoonful of sambal oelek and then dusted it with corn starch. A quick shallow fry made it super crispy. I mixed the cooked shrimp with some cooked ribeye slices, raw red and orange bell pepper matchsticks, sauteed portobello slivers and some chopped scallions. A sauce made from a touch of soy and a splash of rice wine vinegar with some grated fresh ginger, garlic and lemon grass. Once it was spooned into the lettuce cups I squeezed a little lime over them. Yum.

                                                                                                                                                          I got enough of everything to make it again for lunch tomorrow, the man likes this one for a light meal.

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                                                                                                            ChristinaMason RE: weezieduzzit Feb 24, 2012 09:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                            wow, that sounds good. surf and turf wraps.

                                                                                                                                                          2. BananaBirkLarsen RE: roxlet Feb 23, 2012 07:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Red curry turkey soup from the freezer tonight. All the recent talk of quick pickling inspired me to pickle up some carrot and make summer rolls as a side. I didn't have much to fill them with, so I just used the carrots, some lettuce and some chopped bean thread noodles. The carrots were really good on their own (I ate a fair number from the bowl as I was rolling the rolls), but their lavour got lost in the overpowering chili-soy dipping sauce I made. Actually, the flavour of the summer rolls in general got lost in the dipping sauce.

                                                                                                                                                            1. mariacarmen RE: roxlet Feb 23, 2012 11:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                              the BF took my suggestion and made this chicken and mushroom dish from this link (which someone posted above, sorry can't remember who right now) - http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/20...

                                                                                                                                                              It was DELICIOUS. simple, yet so flavorful, the mushrooms in a reduced red wine sauce, the chicken so tender and crispy - he used thighs because that's what we had - and he skinned and boned them because the recipe called for b/s breasts, but THEN, genius that he is, he fried the skins and presented them to me as a gift! which I happily wolfed down as dessert, with a little Tapatio. scrumptious. on the side was a couple of fat roasted potato slices, asparagus, and a salad of red leaf lettuce, some smoked cheddar we had laying about, basil and shallots - odd flavor combo that worked so well together. I'm a lucky gal.

                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                gembellina RE: mariacarmen Feb 24, 2012 03:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                you know you've got a keeper when he gives you fried chicken skins as a present!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                  mamachef RE: mariacarmen Feb 24, 2012 06:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  You are a lucky gal! That meal looks nothin' but delicioso.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                    gingershelley RE: mariacarmen Feb 24, 2012 08:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    MC - going to have to borrow that chicken recipe - and use thighs! Sounds terrific, an asperagus just went on sale here for first time this season. Hope it is not that skinny stuff when I get to market.. yours looks like the perfect size. Big enough for flavor, slim enough not to be old and needing peeling!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                      ChristinaMason RE: mariacarmen Feb 24, 2012 10:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      thanks for sharing that link, I'm definitely going to be using a number of those recipes! b/s breasts are a new diet staple :)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                        mariacarmen RE: ChristinaMason Feb 24, 2012 10:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        oh ginger shelley, you're the one! yes, thanks, we tried the wine & mushrooms recipe to great success! (below.)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                          mariacarmen RE: mariacarmen Feb 24, 2012 02:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          ok, now i'm confused, and afraid i'm not giving credit where it's due. not sure who actually initially posted the link here, but thanks for that!

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Chocolatechipkt RE: roxlet Feb 24, 2012 06:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      Last night was baked (amaretto-) honey-mustard chicken breasts (bone-in, to keep them nice and moist), with sweet potatoes and asparagus.

                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                                                                                                                                                                        ChristinaMason RE: Chocolatechipkt Feb 24, 2012 10:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        where does the amaretto come into play, chip?

                                                                                                                                                                      2. s
                                                                                                                                                                        suburban_mom RE: roxlet Feb 24, 2012 06:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        Last night was shaking beef, garlic noodles and stir fried sugar snap peas. It was all really tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: suburban_mom
                                                                                                                                                                          mariacarmen RE: suburban_mom Feb 24, 2012 09:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          shaking beef, be still my heart.... do you have a good recipe for it? I've tried one and it was good, but not GREAT.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                            suburban_mom RE: mariacarmen Feb 24, 2012 04:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            I used the one from Viet World Kitchen. I've only made it myself so I have nothing to compare it to.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Berheenia RE: roxlet Feb 24, 2012 07:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Friday night is cheeseburger and caesar salad (bagged) night at our house .Got to rest up for the weekend.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. h
                                                                                                                                                                            Harters RE: roxlet Feb 24, 2012 08:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            My companion in life has welcomed me back from my London trip (4 days eating or reading about food) with stew for dinner. This is from our "cooking the books" exercise and is from "Jamie's Dinners", Jamie Oliver, 2004. and is titled "Jools Favourite Beef Stew".

                                                                                                                                                                            It's, erm, a stew. Beef, parsnip, carrot, butternut squash, potatoes, onion, sage leaves. Stock, red wine, tomato puree. Lots of oven cooking. All this was done yesterday so it just needs warming up - there's a little sprinkling of a sort of gremolata - lemon zest, garlic, rosemary.

                                                                                                                                                                            Tomorrow, we're hosting a family get together for herself's youngest brother's 50th birthday. These are always a cooking nightmare. One family member doesnt eat red meat - another really only eats red meat cooked plainly (none of yer foreign muck and no veg either). Well, they're all getting bloody Italian and will bloody well like it or go home hungry! The "give a shit" quotient is at a low ebb.

                                                                                                                                                                            Lasagne for the meat eaters (except the FiL who will require something completely bland) and, from "Jamie's Dinners" his tomato macaroni cheese - which just seems very tasty. Sauce is made in the food processor by whizzing tomatoes, garlic, basil, sundried tomatoes, anchovies and then mixing in Parmesan , cream & nutmeg. Oh, and she's making a carrot cake coz its the only cake the brother likes.

                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                              GretchenS RE: Harters Feb 24, 2012 09:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              Welcome back Harters, hope it was a good week in The Smoke.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                                                                                                Harters RE: GretchenS Feb 24, 2012 10:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                Feel free to check out the UK/Ireland board for my eats while "dahn sarf".

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                LindaWhit RE: Harters Feb 24, 2012 12:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Hope the week was fruitful in the City. And I always forget a sprinkle of gremolata over stew.

                                                                                                                                                                                And good luck with the family tomorrow. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                  mariacarmen RE: Harters Feb 24, 2012 02:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  for not giving a shit, that's a pretty thoughtful sounding - and delicious - sounding meal. lucky buggers. i'll be checking out your voyage recap shortly.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. onceadaylily RE: roxlet Feb 24, 2012 09:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  A stressful week culminated in last night's dinner of a bagel (with cream cheese and fried egg) and a bowl of popcorn. The next two dinners are requests made by the boyfriend. Tonight, we're making pizza. His will likely be pepperoni or salami from the deli, with peppers and cheese, and for the other I'm thinking tzatziki, a spicy wilted spinach, sundried tomatoes, olives, and feta. I might make a small batch of hummus to spread on the dough of that latter pizza, and just dip the crust into the tzatziki. If that stops appealing to me over the course of the day, then I'm just going to do a five pepper pizza with roasted tomatoes, and more mozz that is healthy.

                                                                                                                                                                                  And he's requested pasta duxelles for tomorrow. That humble sauce might require more than one market to create though. Lately, my main produce market has had the worst shallots (tiny and less than firm), and the mushroom selection has been hit or miss (only buttons on offer last week). The sauce will be paired with orechiette, and served with a bitter greens salad, garlic toast, and the white wine that I've opened for the sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not really craving either of these two requested meals, but I do feel mollified in that I *must* open a bottle of wine in order to make someone else happy.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, and last week I made that steamed-and-roasted cauliflower, with mayo and mustard that someone posted on here (forgive me, I can't remember who), and we loved it. I served it with riblet and coleslaw sandwiches, and it was perfect. For the mustard we used a spicy-sweet that we like from Rickles Pickles. The texture and the flavor of the cauliflower were very good. I'll make it again. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                  13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                                                    linguafood RE: onceadaylily Feb 24, 2012 09:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Pizza with hummus and tzatziki? Talk about an interesting concept....

                                                                                                                                                                                    How do you put hummus on the dough (before baking, I presume?) and get a crispy crust?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                      onceadaylily RE: linguafood Feb 24, 2012 10:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      On the crust before baking, yes. And it has less moisture than your average marinara. I like my pizza a bit on the chewier, bready side of the spectrum, so no worries on my end.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm not really in the mood for pizza, so I'm going with the 'flatbread with stuff on it' approach. .

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                                                        mamachef RE: onceadaylily Feb 24, 2012 10:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        That is one interesting pizza, lily. I think I'd like the tzatziki. Not sure on the the hummus thought I love it. I like my crust REALLY thin and crispy, and I don't know if I could make it work.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                          linguafood RE: mamachef Feb 24, 2012 10:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I love tzatziki in a good (emphasis on GOOD) gyros pita -- tho hold the fries, please, that's just wrong '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                          Of course, that pita bread tends to be on the floppier side. I like lahmaçun, too, which is also not as crispy as real pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I think the hummus would be overkill for me personally, but I'm a not a very 'bready' person myself, and decidedly picky about my dough & its preps. Just ask my man...

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                                                      mariacarmen RE: onceadaylily Feb 24, 2012 09:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      that tzatziki pizza sounds really, really, REALLY good to me today....

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                        onceadaylily RE: mariacarmen Feb 24, 2012 10:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Dinner is at nine. Martinis at eight.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Or earlier. And now I'm craving a bloody mary. It seems forever since I've had a really good one. Hmm.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                                                          mariacarmen RE: onceadaylily Feb 24, 2012 10:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          i'll be there at 7.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                                                        GretchenS RE: onceadaylily Feb 24, 2012 09:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        I knew there was a cauliflower prep that sounded interesting recently but then I lost track (as I so often seem to do lately, what is up with that?) It was our very own Berheenia who posted it here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8335...

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                                                                                                          onceadaylily RE: GretchenS Feb 24, 2012 10:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks, Gretchen. After two cups of coffee, I'm still lethargic. And lazy. There will be an espresso between markets today, I'm sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                                                                                                            gingershelley RE: GretchenS Feb 24, 2012 05:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            GretchenS (and Berheenia!)... I was going to backtrack and find that cauliflower dish, and you did it for me:) Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                            Think I will take to a potluck I am headed to Sunday; just to bring something interesting and different - which my wicked heart delights in being known for.....

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                              Berheenia RE: gingershelley Feb 25, 2012 04:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Glad everyone loves it- it is an oldie! Google cheese frosted cauliflower,,,
                                                                                                                                                                                              I updated it accidentally when I had mustard panko (from WF) and used it instead of cheese. I like it better with the crunch. I have a habit of dumping cheese on everything that I'm trying to curb.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Berheenia
                                                                                                                                                                                                gingershelley RE: Berheenia Feb 25, 2012 11:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Berheenia, so you use the mustard/mayo mix and then sprinkle with panko rather than cheese?

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Berheenia RE: gingershelley Feb 25, 2012 11:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Exactly - I use Hellmans and any mustard - often yellow but this time dijon was all I had.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've always used parm until the last time I made it and I like the panko much better.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. r
                                                                                                                                                                                          RelishPDX RE: roxlet Feb 24, 2012 09:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Last night I wanted to put my recipe for Tom Ka Gai away, so I thawed what I'd put in the freezer, corrected the seasonings according to my notes, and happily ate both servings over the course of the evening.

                                                                                                                                                                                          While I was making my jug of fresh lemonade for the fridge at about the same time, I recalled seeing a recipe for limeade (Soda Chanh) in an old post on one of Andrea Nguyen's sites a few months ago and hunted it down:


                                                                                                                                                                                          Using this as a guide, I measured two tablespoons of simple syrup into a tall old-fashioned glass (about 16 oz.), added the juice of a whole fresh lime, then a couple of ice cubes, and filled it to the rim with seltzer water from the fridge.

                                                                                                                                                                                          It was extremely refreshing, went well with the spiciness of the soup, plus I liked the big bubbles from seltzer instead of club soda. I felt this is a special occasion enough of a drink that I can offer it to guests who don't imbibe when others are having beer on a Mexican or Asian food night, without them feeling left out. It'll also work well as an alternate to Thai Iced Tea for those who avoid dairy, and guests can sweeten it to their liking.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. mariacarmen RE: roxlet Feb 24, 2012 09:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            tonight we're doing take-out pizza, i think, from the place across the street - lazy, doctored up pepperoni & snausages, although oadl's pizza is making me think i want to try their Greek. Heresy to the BF, tho.... we'll see. We'll make a green salad to go with, tho when we were in Italy we were told THAT was heresy - "con la pizza, se mangia pizza"!

                                                                                                                                                                                            tomorrow, i'm going to try this:
                                                                                                                                                                                            i have a pork loin roast defrosting in the fridge and the fennel in this recipe is really calling to me. i'm thinking an israeli couscous risotto-type side, and maybe some really good wilted greens dish... all this will have to work around a volunteer gig at a local theater, but the prep can happen before and the cooking can happen after.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                              GretchenS RE: mariacarmen Feb 24, 2012 10:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Mmm, what time is dinner tomorrow??? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                                                                                                                mariacarmen RE: GretchenS Feb 24, 2012 10:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                probably 7 - come on over!

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. JungMann RE: roxlet Feb 24, 2012 10:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Welcome to Lent -- starring: Tuna Fish! I have been fasting, so I've been subsisting on a steady diet of oden -- a penitentially simple Japanese dish of fish cakes, eggs, tofu and daikon simmered in broth. Although there's nothing to it, it's still remarkably delicious -- as can be said of so many Japanese recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Today, however, I think I'm due for a small indulgence so I'm making one of my favorite Friday treats: a tuna melt. I haven't had one in ages, but I am quite excited to finally put the low carb white bread I brought back from Chicago to good use. And saving on the carbs will excuse a side of onion rings or, even better, salt and vinegar chips. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                              15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                                                                mariacarmen RE: JungMann Feb 24, 2012 10:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                tuna melt... oooh i wish i had one of those now....

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                  ChristinaMason RE: mariacarmen Feb 24, 2012 10:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love those, too. When we were growing up, they were always the "don't feel like cooking, it's WFD" meal, and, sometimes I wished those happened more often. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit RE: ChristinaMason Feb 24, 2012 12:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ditto on the growing up they were the "don't feel like cooking, it's WFD meal." I sometimes get the prep ready and bring it to work for lunches. We have a small toaster oven, so it makes it easy. Coworkers look and say "Ohhhhh.....tuna melts! I haven't had those in a long time!" LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                                      nomadchowwoman RE: ChristinaMason Feb 25, 2012 02:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hard to believe, but I've never had a tuna melt!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                                        ChristinaMason RE: nomadchowwoman Feb 28, 2012 10:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        time to remedy that, madam.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                                          mariacarmen RE: nomadchowwoman Feb 28, 2012 10:40 AM


                                                                                                                                                                                                          butter yourself up some of your favorite sliced bread, make your tuna salad (whatever you like in a normal tuna sandwich) your fave cheese top and bottom - and don't chintz on the amount of cheese - add a tomato or not, and hie thee to the griddle! Schnell!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                                                                      mamachef RE: JungMann Feb 24, 2012 11:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nothing self-denying about a great Tuna Melt!! Mmmm. I like mine best with American cheese, with the insides nice and warm (a great tip for that is to bring chilled tuna to room temp in the micro, if you have one, before you assemble everything) and I have to have a mug of cream of tomato soup (Campbells of course) made w/ full-fat milk. Oh dearl.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                        JungMann RE: mamachef Feb 24, 2012 12:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Is the inside supposed to be warm? I can't remember. The recipe I have in my head is basically a grilled cheese with muenster or maybe dill havarti that I'll then open up, so to add a scoop of cold tuna fish, lettuce and a sliced tomato. If it's any better warm, I can always cook the tuna inside the grilled cheese and add the vegetables later.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                                                                          mamachef RE: JungMann Feb 24, 2012 12:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          JungMann, there are two schools of thought about that. Some people love it cold and put it on after. I grill the tuna and cheese together, because I do like it warm, but for the other team, they love the hot crispy buttery bread contrasted with the cold salad. I totally get it, but it's not the way I like mine. Love the cheeses. Like I said, I like American because that's how good old mom made it, but I could certainly handle Muenster or Dill Havarti. I had the Havarti on a Reuben of all things, and it was totally delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                            boyzoma RE: mamachef Feb 24, 2012 12:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I love a good grilled tuna. Grill the tuna and cheese separately while the bread is toasting then put it on the bread. Sometimes I'll add some sliced tomatoes. This is making me hungry!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: boyzoma
                                                                                                                                                                                                              mariacarmen RE: boyzoma Feb 24, 2012 02:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              i love it with sliced tomato inside that gets all warm and gooey...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              and i'm in the warm tuna camp with the buttery crispy bread!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                mamachef RE: mariacarmen Feb 24, 2012 08:41 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Berheenia RE: mamachef Feb 25, 2012 04:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Agree- it's one time I like American cheese which I have a constant supply of thanks to Mr Berheenia. I like a toasted English muffin, topped with tuna salad and a slice of white American popped back in the toaster oven to melt. Never bastardize with vegetables- too healthy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Berheenia
                                                                                                                                                                                                            gingershelley RE: Berheenia Feb 25, 2012 11:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Add a little cream cheese with some dill weed mixed in between the muffin and the tuna mix, and prepare to love your melt even more!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                                                                          gingershelley RE: JungMann Feb 24, 2012 06:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Uhhhmmmm! Tuna Melt! With lots of cheddar melted on top, tomatoes on the tuna mix (pre-toast the bread to preclude soggyness), Claussen refridgerator pickles and yes - salt and vinegar chips. I love how you think JM!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        4. ChristinaMason RE: roxlet Feb 24, 2012 10:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Last night was b/s chicken breasts cutlets, brined with some fresh torn sage in the solution, then pounded and lightly dredged in seasoned flour. Those were pan-fried and served with a green salad and what I'll politely call "roasted vegetable medley" (frozen broccoli, brussel sprouts, and artichoke hearts, tossed with a tiny amount of oil and garlic cloves and browned in the oven). I sprinkled the veggies with grated parm. regg. before baking, but it didn't do much to make up for the missing oil. C'est la vie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tonight, we're going to an Austrian Embassy event, where there promises to be plenty of wine and Schnitzel. Exciting. Then Pittsburgh this weekend. I can handle light eating during the week if I get to indulge at least a little on the weekends. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. LindaWhit RE: roxlet Feb 24, 2012 01:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tonight I shall be dining OUT with several friends. One of whom will be introduced to the wonders of Spanish tapas at my favorite restaurant. It will be especially pleasing tonight as we have a dreary rainy gray day today. (But it's better than that OTHER four-letter word!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sangria for all!!! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                              bear RE: LindaWhit Feb 24, 2012 01:06 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                linguafood RE: LindaWhit Feb 24, 2012 01:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Arriba arriba, andalé yippah!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Or something like that. Salúd!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  rabaja RE: LindaWhit Feb 24, 2012 01:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Have one of those deep-fried strawberries for me, would ya?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rabaja
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit RE: rabaja Feb 24, 2012 01:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Still too early in the season for the gigante Fresones, rabaja. Soon. Very. Very. Soon. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And yes, lingua, it's Salúd! I'll be Salúding a LOT! LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      steve h. RE: LindaWhit Feb 24, 2012 02:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cava and grilled octopus...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit RE: steve h. Feb 25, 2012 07:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Unfortunately, one of the diners isn't a fan of seafood *except* fried shrimp - so we did get Saffron-Batter Fried Shrimp w/Mojo Sauce (although she just ate the shrimp and not the mojo "sauce" - too garlicky for her - IS there such a thing? LOL) And we had beef tenderloin with roasted red peppers, lobster crabmeat ravioli with langostino sauce, pork tenderloin with blue sheep cheese and portobello mushrooms, and garlicky chicken with sherry and mustard. So my other friend and I were well sated! LOL I did find out she (the adventurous eater) likes octopus and squid, so next time..... :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          steve h. RE: LindaWhit Feb 25, 2012 02:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Squid a la plancha, braised then grilled octopus, mercy.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Make this happen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            nomadchowwoman RE: LindaWhit Feb 25, 2012 02:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I always drool when hearing about those tapas, LW.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit RE: nomadchowwoman Feb 25, 2012 04:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Put my boyz and the tapas and sangria in front of me? You've got me, 110%, no questions asked. ;-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. rabaja RE: roxlet Feb 24, 2012 01:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sea bass with salsa verde, sauteed asparagus and broccolini with green garlic and a starch...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    we were so good, we only had crudite and butter nut sticks (roasted) last night,so now i want to make a little friday night-flavor worthy side...mashed potatoes? That should cancel out my dance class!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rabaja
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ChristinaMason RE: rabaja Feb 24, 2012 02:42 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rabaja
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        rabaja RE: rabaja Feb 24, 2012 02:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Just remembered I made a last minute batch of hush puppies last night. Not so virtuous, and sadly, not my best effort either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Still want to make a fun side for tonight...bulgur might be good with the salsa verde.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rabaja
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mariacarmen RE: rabaja Feb 24, 2012 02:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          dang, so healthy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          as for the taters, just put a little more wiggle in your step next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            rabaja RE: mariacarmen Feb 24, 2012 03:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And now I'm thinking of cooking up the last of the butter beans in the freezer, with some tomato and spinach added in at the last minute...the taters would probably be appreciated though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As for my wiggle, believe me I try. It just comes back and knocks me down, is the problem...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: rabaja
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            gingershelley RE: rabaja Feb 24, 2012 06:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yum - sea basssssss... salsa verde. I could dance all night, or, er, tomorrow again after so I could have those 'taters as a side to go with. Yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. mkmccp RE: roxlet Feb 24, 2012 02:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Salad lyonnaise, or something like that. Poached eggs, toasted english muffins. Homeade dijon dressing. I put the dijon dressing on the hot toasted muffins, topped with poached eggs, and covered with greens. Fork into poached eggs releases runny yolk and adds tons of unctiousness to the dish. Lenten special.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mkmccp
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              mariacarmen RE: mkmccp Feb 24, 2012 03:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              O.M.G. - deconstructed - or constructed - salad lyonnaise - that sounds awesome! I'd add some kind of porky salty cured meat product, too, of course..... ooh or smoked salmon... you've got my head spinning now...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                mkmccp RE: mariacarmen Feb 25, 2012 03:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                yep as I was eating it I was thinking-" this needs a little bit of lardon", I was "this close" to opening a can of TJ smoked trout filets. Oh well, there is always next Friday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              wyogal RE: roxlet Feb 24, 2012 04:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Pulled pork tacos (cooked in green chili), drizzled with green chili, side of Amarillo beans, lettuce, queso fresca (the white crumbly stuff, not too salty). Had one with a flour tortilla, may have another with a corn tortilla. later. Right now I'm dunking graham crackers in milk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: wyogal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                gingershelley RE: wyogal Feb 24, 2012 06:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Wyogal, I must pull out some of my happily-aquired case of roasted Hatch and make some green chili pork! You are inspiring. Perhaps nudged to the garage freezer by your post of that, and the graham crackers and milk. Have homemade Graham sammies with PB in between, dipped 1/2 in dark chocolate in there. You may have determined my movie snack. Ouch. Be quiet, oh scale!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                suburban_mom RE: roxlet Feb 24, 2012 04:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Red curry shrimp, jasmine rice, broccoli. Quick and easy (once the shrimp finish defrosting). The rice is done and the house smells great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. BananaBirkLarsen RE: roxlet Feb 24, 2012 06:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I made a veggie lasagna, as we were expecting a veggie friend over for dinner tonight. Homemade semolina pasta, tomato sauce with mushrooms and garlic, ricotta with parmesan and spinach, sliced hardboiled eggs (an idea stolen from a number of WFD posters a while back), mozzarella, all layered, as lasagnas tend to be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Only the friend never showed up (I assume she forgot, as we made the plans a while back), so it looks like it's just the two of us who will be eating veggie lasagna tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit RE: BananaBirkLarsen Feb 25, 2012 07:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Aww, sorry your friend never showed up! No phone call to ask where she was?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      BananaBirkLarsen RE: LindaWhit Feb 25, 2012 11:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My boyfriend and I were both really tired last night and I think we were a little relived that we wouldn't be having company (no reflection on her, just the stress of the week etc.) so instead of calling, we took the dog for a walk, ate lasagna and watched a bunch of movies. Kind of horrible not to even call her, I know, but it was actually a really nice evening.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit RE: BananaBirkLarsen Feb 25, 2012 01:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sometimes a gal's gotta do with what's handed to her. And being handed a "free" evening sounds good to me. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. gingershelley RE: roxlet Feb 24, 2012 06:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tonight was going to be a family thing, but change of plans to Sunday, so cleaning out the fridge. Kind of stormy here in SEA, so having doctored up tomato soup out of the freezer with an orange wedge squeezed in, a dab of peel, a splash of worsteshire, and a splash of brandy added. Dab O cream. On warm now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cobbling another cobb as last weeks left me craving more, so eggs chilling now, bacon in the oven, baguette in the warmer drawer and last of the roasted chicken breast being chopped.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Watching 'The Kids are All Right' on the DVR tonight. TV DINNER!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, also mixed up dough (more like sponge) for the infamous no-knead bread I have been following around CH and the internet last weekend. Sitting sponging on the counter, and will put in the warmer drawer when cooled after baugette is warmed. Making that, and Yogurt tomorrow, from the very awesome yogurt thread.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am hoping for a spring day next week, where I can make cuke/yogurt soup!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    More soon:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Rubee RE: roxlet Feb 24, 2012 08:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This week a couple of lunches were Dunlop's ma po tofu because L.Nightshade's pic looked so good and Zuni's omelette with mustard croutons (and Uplands Pleasant Ridge Reserve cheese). Big dinner out tomorrow at Binkley's so dinner tonight was simple - grilled sausages and roasted asparagus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Haven't posted in weeks, so some others: Linguine in porcini cream sauce, Vietnamese rice noodles with spicy chicken wings, fregula salad with salmon and dill-buttermilk dressing, and nasi goreng. Veal chop milanese with polenta, and a treat - cheese ordered from Artisanal in NYC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Rubee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Rubee RE: Rubee Feb 24, 2012 08:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oops. One of those two Uplands cheese pics should be this one: A wedge of Prima Donna cheese, Saint Marcellin, Jambon de Bayonne (French prosciutto), wild boar saucisson sec, foie gras mousse with sauternes and truffle, and Cabecou Feuille (goat cheese with plum brandy and black pepper in chestnut leaves). Took advantage of free shipping from D'Artagnan this month to splurge for the charcuterie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Rubee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mariacarmen RE: Rubee Feb 24, 2012 08:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          are you trying to kill us? with envy? because it's working. I'm turning green with envy. melting into the floor. right now. with envy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          seriously good stuff, Rubee! i can't even pick a favorite. oh that omelet! and the egg on the nasi goreng, the fregula... i'm making israeli couscous tomorrow night, which i understand is somewhat similar, and i'm wondering if i should switch to a creamy dill as opposed to the wild mushroom prep i was going to do... but no salmon, because of the dratted BF. and let's not even talk about your cheese and charcuterie! please, just kill me now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Rubee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            L.Nightshade RE: Rubee Feb 24, 2012 09:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Rubee, you never cease to amaze me. Spectacular!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Rubee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LindaWhit RE: Rubee Feb 25, 2012 07:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh. My.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And WHEN did you say you're moving back to the Boston area and didn't you say you'd become my BFF and cook for me? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Rubee RE: LindaWhit Feb 25, 2012 11:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks ladies! Though I have to say after a couple more dinners out we have planned, I am going on a diet. Oomph.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Rubee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              steve h. RE: Rubee Feb 25, 2012 02:17 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              RelishPDX RE: roxlet Feb 25, 2012 12:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tonight I made MaPo Tofu, inspired by the posts above, and according to the recipe below:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think this one caught my eye the most because of the photo, I had all of the ingredients, down to the specific brand of hot bean sauce called for, and the quantities conveniently broke down into thirds. I commonly find that a recipe for four servings is just about right for me if I prepare 1-1/3 servings. This was my first encounter with this dish, I'd never even been aware of it before the mentions above.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My impression: it's not terribly hot spice-wise, although I didn't use the full amount of peppercorns called for once I sniffed what seemed like a very spicy aroma coming up off of the pan (probably from the chili oil). I don't know if black beans and I will ever be good pals, and as I eat this I'm thinking I'd like it a whole lot more if the spice and richness of flavor came from another source, but not sure what source that'd be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I do like the tofu in it—I ended up buying normal firm tofu instead of using the TetraPak'd stuff aging in the fridge so it'd be more authentic, plus there's now enough tofu left over to do a couple of bowls of miso soup sometime next week, a clear bonus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If anyone has any bright ideas about what could replace the hot bean sauce, I'd be open to hearing them (or would that be heresy?). Also, if anyone has a favorite link for Dan Dan noodles, that's on my list to try some night next week. The recipes for Dan Dan seem far and wide in terms of ingredients, and it's another dish I've never encountered before. (I know, I sound like I've been living in a cave!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tomorrow will be a Festival of Frying as I try out different dipping sauces, batters and veggies for tempura, while I try my hand at creating Hum Baos for the first time. That's got my creative juices flowing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: RelishPDX
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                FoodPopulist RE: RelishPDX Feb 25, 2012 03:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tofu is best when cooked with pork.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: RelishPDX
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rubee RE: RelishPDX Feb 25, 2012 11:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The type of bean sauce is key. I've tried a few types and some of them actually ruined the dish for me (just personal taste). I'll try to find a picture of my favorite to post. Also, the quality of Sichuan peppercorns is important. I've never found any at the Chinese markets that are as good as ordering from Penzey's. My favorite recipe is Fuschia Dunlop's - discussion below - I make it spicier and use lots of Sichuan pepper. My favorite dan dan noodle recipes are also Dunlop's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Penzey's Sichuan peppercorns:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Dan Dan noodles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Rubee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    RelishPDX RE: Rubee Feb 25, 2012 06:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for the links! I did use Penzey's whole peppercorns and ground them myself. I've a bottle that's about 2 years old by now, but it still packs a punch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I ended up only eating about half the plate of MaPo. On reflection, I think part of my problem with it was the amount of grease that I could taste. I've no fear of pork fat, I even use lard sometimes for baking, but there just wasn't any real return on the investment like there is with a tasty rack of ribs, for instance. Live and learn. I've discovered a lot of things I do like by plowing through those that don't end up to my liking as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    For Tempura Night tonight, I made up five different dipping sauces to try out, three from Ming Tsai's Blue Ginger cookbook, one from Average Betty, and the hot mustard dipping sauce from Wolfgang Puck. My mustard powder wasn't the hottest it could be, it turned out, so I added some prepared Chinese hot mustard to it, which seemed to save it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ming has a recipe for Thai Shrimp Toasts in his book—that reminded me I've not had those in eons, so I'm going to make a mini batch of those first while there's fresh ground pork in the house and the kitchen is setup for frying. Seems like a waste not to!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rubee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      mariacarmen RE: Rubee Feb 25, 2012 11:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      rubee, have you ever made your own bean sauce? i just ordered fermented black beans and found a couple recipes to make the sauce, to then make mapo dofu. can't wait til they and the peppercorns get here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: RelishPDX
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      JungMann RE: RelishPDX Feb 26, 2012 04:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Doubanjiang is pretty integral to the flavor of mapo tofu; it's not something you could really swap out and still end up with mapo tofu. I've used that same canned brand of doubanjiang and I was not a fan. I have been experimenting with different Pixian doubanjiangs from the Chinese supermarket and I'm getting towards an ideal flavor when I mix it with fermented black beans for my mapo tofu. Fuschia Dunlop would be a good point of reference if you want tips picking hot bean paste: http://www.fuchsiadunlop.com/sichuan-...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        buttertart RE: JungMann Feb 26, 2012 04:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fuchsia knows everything. Can.not.wait for the new book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. mamachef RE: roxlet Feb 25, 2012 06:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Treating myself as my own honored guest again. I was in SF yesterday with a few girlfriends, and we hit Japantown Centre. I scored a bunch of Asian ingredients, and so I am trying my hand at tempura, which I ate yesterday but it wasn't enough, at all. I'm craving more prawns, more veg: asparagus (1.99/lb? yeeeeeeeefreakin' HAW!) green beans, broccoli, yams, and more rice, made in the steamer I bought to replace the dying one I've been dealing with. (The new one has more bells and whistles than you can shake a stick at, and goodgod, I just want some decent rice! - though I might use the dumpling-steamer feature....) anyway.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tempura and rice. Miso soup. Dipping sauce. Maybe Gyoza to start if I feel ambitious. And a lovely sojourn with a huge plate in front of me while I diddle around with the remote and find horrible, reprehensible TV to watch. (See what you did, Mom and Dad? Raise a kid without a TV and there's a HUGE chance that kid will over-correct when they're on their own. Not that I'd know anything about that personally. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit RE: mamachef Feb 25, 2012 07:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh my that tempura sounds wonderful, mamaC! I've never done fried except one time with fried chicken. And it made *such* a mess on the stove and set off the smoke alarms and ended up smelling up the kitchen that I said never again. Enjoy - as well as the horrible, reprehensible TV watching. :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mamachef RE: LindaWhit Feb 25, 2012 07:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          LindaW, it's you I thought of when I wrote that first line.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Re: the frying? I wouldn't do it if I didnt have a mini-fryolator. I don't deep-fry often AT ALL, but when I do that thing is my BFF. My MIL bought it for me for "Chrismakkah" about twenty years ago, and I'm sure I stared at her like she was insane, because she grinned and said, "you never know."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Then my babies became teens and wanted things like French fries and eggrolls and onion rings and poppers and and and.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You never do know, do you? Thanks Ma!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If you think that fried chicken was a mess, just you whomp you up a batch of Zuni chicken. In 1-2 days you'll find out the true meaning of mess. Have oven cleaner to hand.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Can't wait for dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LindaWhit RE: mamachef Feb 25, 2012 07:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Definitely need a mini fryolator, mamaC. Trying to fry chicken in a deep skillet just doesn't work. At least for me it didn't. :-) But smart MIL. :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. onceadaylily RE: roxlet Feb 25, 2012 09:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I forgot to buy a baguette yesterday, so I've had to add making bread to my (overly) ambitious to-do list so that I can make the garlic toasts that I've been craving. Orecchiette duxelles to go with. I was looking at a recipe that called for mushroom broth and walnuts, but have decided to stick with what I know: mince the cremini, shallots and garlic until they canna be minced anymore, and cook the mixture in butter, deglaze with white wine, toss in the thyme (just thyme, because I also forgot to buy parsley). I'm saving the walnuts for the salad: radicchio, spinach, and walnuts with a red wine vinaigrette. The boy will want feta with his salad, but I think my recent obsession with feta is waning. I might add a touch of cream to the mushrooms, but will let the mixture tell me if that's want it wants. It took a few days for the dish to appeal, but I think I'll be very content at the table tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm also making my first batch of rice milk today, as lately I've been craving yogurt, puddings, ice cream, and, yes, rice milk. I don't know why. But ridiculously cheap to make, that latter one. I've been reading quite a few recipes for this, and they all have very mixed reviews, and so now I'm curious. Some of those reviewers were pretty snippy. Who knew rice milk inspired such passion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mamachef RE: onceadaylily Feb 25, 2012 10:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That's one very nice dinner, ma'am. So you have to bake some bread (can't get to the store today?), make pasta, and make rice milk. (I'd like to know about that actually.) That IS an ambitious full day, but I know you have it in you. Get down on that list!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hugs, always. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            onceadaylily RE: mamachef Feb 25, 2012 11:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Aw, thanks, lady. :) And today is the first day in eleven days that I don't *have* to leave the house to fulfill some set of responsibilities. I tell you, I felt like I had people all over me. This quiet day is heaven. As long as we have a meal, a bottle of wine, and basic toiletries, I'm not going anywhere.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'll report back on the rice milk. The consensus seemed to be that better results were had with cooking the rice for an extended period, rather than just soaking it. Some of the reviewers seemed disappointed that they weren't getting a Rice Dream copycat, but I actually want something different, and definitely thicker.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            mariacarmen RE: onceadaylily Feb 25, 2012 11:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            your duxelles sound divine, lily.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            wyogal RE: roxlet Feb 25, 2012 10:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Using last night's stuff to make pulled pork chimichangas smothered with green chili. Sides of rice and beans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. linguafood RE: roxlet Feb 25, 2012 11:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sichuan food last night courtesy of a conference here (I apparently am the only one who can order the right dishes :-D), followed by a meh poker game -- as in breaking even more or less.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              No cooking tonight, either, as we're invited to a dinner party thrown by good friends of ours who always manage to feed quite the crowd - usually 10-20 folks. I've heard rumors there may be Lebanese food. Whichever it is, it will be great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm hosting a smallish AA red carpet event tomorrow and am still pondering finger foods & snacks....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LindaWhit RE: linguafood Feb 25, 2012 01:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Being able to order the right dishes makes you a VIP, lingua. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  linguafood RE: LindaWhit Feb 25, 2012 01:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Among the blind, the one-eyed woman is queen '-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. L.Nightshade RE: roxlet Feb 25, 2012 11:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Even though I worked (on my day off) a long and rough day yesterday, I was determined to have some fun in the kitchen. I already had chicken livers soaking in Marsala. So I did a quick shopping, and a not-so-quick, but enjoyable, preparation, and this was dinner:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Roasted red beets, yellow beets, and turnips with gorgonzola shallot sauce and toasted walnuts.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pork tenderloin "stuffed" with chicken liver pate, wrapped in prosciutto, and baked in puff pastry (frozen, I admit it). And yes, the pastry has a heart on it. Because I'm still feeling the February schmaltz.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Cremini mushrooms sautéed with spinach, yellow peppers, red onion, and lemon zest.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The pastry didn't brown in the expected time, so the pork was not quite pink like we prefer it. Still very tasty. Next time (and next time has already been requested) I think I'll try a shorter bake at a higher temp to brown the pastry, hopefully keep the pork a little pinker.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  L.Nightshade RE: L.Nightshade Feb 25, 2012 11:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mamachef and all you banh mi experts: I made extra chicken liver pate. I'm thinking of using it for the banh mi tomorrow. Sound OK? It does have a marsala flavor to it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    mamachef RE: L.Nightshade Feb 25, 2012 11:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Absolutely. Get to it. You will not regret it.....Enjoy!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      mariacarmen RE: L.Nightshade Feb 25, 2012 11:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LN, i've made banh mi out of any kind of pork i've had on hand. i've also made "banh mi" for my work lunches using - are you ready? - rye toast, liverwurst, basil, mayo (oops, sorry), sambal olek, and jalapenos. seriously non-authentic, but seriously good. you almost can't go wrong!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        L.Nightshade RE: mariacarmen Feb 25, 2012 11:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Happy to hear that! I've got a piece of pork marinating in garlic, chiles, and brown sugar. Plan to cook it in the morning, put it on the banh mi in the evening. Along with the pate, some shredded chicken, the requisite pickled veg, etc. (per mamachef). Thinking I'll make a little mayo using part jalapeno oil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mariacarmen RE: L.Nightshade Feb 25, 2012 11:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          that sounds PERFECT.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      mariacarmen RE: L.Nightshade Feb 25, 2012 11:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      you're amazing. you whipped this up on your working "day off"! fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. LindaWhit RE: roxlet Feb 25, 2012 01:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It was wickedly windy today, but it seems to have died down a good bit. The GOG was being thrown all over the road today, but she kept her feet on the road, for the most part. Dodging tree branches made for a sometimes twisty-turny drive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I wanted nomadchowwoman's Brussels sprouts after she talked about them a few days ago (here's the permalink above: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8348... ). I decided on a Tangerine & Ginger roasted pork tenderloin, and I *think* a rice pilaf. We'll see. I'll be watching "The Artist" on my laptop after dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        nomadchowwoman RE: LindaWhit Feb 25, 2012 03:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm so jealous--and have the same question as LN: how is it possible . . . Never mind ; )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Enjoy your dinner AND your movie. Hope you like those sprouts as much as we do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          LindaWhit RE: nomadchowwoman Feb 25, 2012 07:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ncw, the sprouts were PERFECT - thanks for a great recipe!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. nomadchowwoman RE: roxlet Feb 25, 2012 03:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Still cooking (mostly) from freezer and fridge. Leeks in crisper plus some cooler weather translated into a pot of potato-leek soup (oh, how I love that stuff) yesterday. For dinner, we started w/a cup of that and then had salmon (broke down and bought some yesterday--it looked so lovely and was on special), which turned out really well: sprinkled w/brown sugar and grilled, then drizzled w/orange infused OO and scattered with smoked sea salt over that. Alongside, we had another riff on the brussels sprouts we loved so much a few nights ago--just subbed sherry vinegar for the cider. Once again, sprouts nirvana (an oxymoron to many, I realize).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tonight,before going out to a music club, we'll be eating lasagne leftover from Thursday. I hope it tastes better the second time around. Although the bolognese sauce turned out fantastic, I think I overdid it w/the bechamel; the finished dish was too creamy (a phrase rarely uttered on my part). Maybe a particularly acidic dressing for the salad greens will help.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. nomadchowwoman RE: roxlet Feb 25, 2012 03:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Last night's dinner visuals:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LindaWhit RE: nomadchowwoman Feb 25, 2012 04:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Are those Brussels sprouts the ones I'm making? At least now I know the "char" they need. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And the salmon picture in the middle looks heavenly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. steve h. RE: roxlet Feb 25, 2012 04:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Black bean soup. A frisee salad with lardon and a poached egg on top will be on the side. Soup and salad will be served in the dining room. Santana will be on the box. Deb is cooking, I'm on KP detail. Edited to add: Wine was La Crema, a California pinot noir.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              mariacarmen RE: steve h. Feb 25, 2012 11:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              perfect - you hit all the major food groups - french, mexican and californian.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              love la crema...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                steve h. RE: mariacarmen Feb 26, 2012 12:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The icing on the meal was the seven layer chocolate cake for dessert :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                La Crema is a staple in our house.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ChristinaMason RE: steve h. Feb 28, 2012 10:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  <La Crema is a staple in our house.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Big fan of that one. Trader Joe's has it for the cheapest ($16.99) I've seen anywhere (used to be $12.99 at Target before they realized their mistake).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    steve h. RE: ChristinaMason Feb 28, 2012 01:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's a great price. I pay $2 more per bottle even after my 10% discount for buying a case. And then there's tax.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I remember buying a Qupe Chardonnay for less than $10 at the neighborhood grocery store in Monterey (Munras Avenue) back in the day. Mercy...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. BananaBirkLarsen RE: roxlet Feb 25, 2012 05:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              After a great deal of discussion (more than it deserved) my boyfriend and I have decided on taco salad and margaritas for dinner. We got into a rather heated argument first about what flavour of simple syrup would be an appropriate substitute for triple sec in the margaritas (we don't want to shell out the cash for the bad triple sec we usually buy and my homemade orangecello replacement is still only in the planning stages) and then about the correct order to layer the taco salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We finally decided that he will do the taco salad in whatever order he wants and I will be in charge of the margaritas and their appropriate components. I've decided on lemon margaritas (the last time I bought limes, they were almost completely dry) with a choice of either ginger or lavender simple syrup. He's doing taco salad with both ground beef chili and pinto beans, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, sour cream, grilled tortilla strips (which he will probably ask me to make) pepper jack and salsa verde.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                mariacarmen RE: BananaBirkLarsen Feb 25, 2012 11:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                wow, i'm glad you worked it all out! sounds great!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ChristinaMason RE: BananaBirkLarsen Feb 28, 2012 10:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  great-sounding cocktails. presume everyone was happy in the end?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. weezieduzzit RE: roxlet Feb 25, 2012 05:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A light pre-dinner of spicy shrimp and ribeye lettuce wraps again since we're headed out tonight to a party with food and they are excellent cooks and amazing hosts so we're looking forward to it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm seeing a lot of these in the future, they really hit the spot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    mariacarmen RE: weezieduzzit Feb 25, 2012 11:29 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    RelishPDX RE: roxlet Feb 25, 2012 11:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Weird night in the kitchen. Started out roasting beef and pork neck bones for the espagnole destined for a future demi-glace. Tossed those when the pan was giving off a fishy smell. Just bought those on Friday. Oh well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Moved on to Ming Tsai's Shrimp Toasts from his Blue Ginger cookbook:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    These were good, but rather bland. Thai Toasts was the first Thai dish I ever ate, and recall being knocked back by how tasty they were. I'm going to have to go out to lunch and order these again to see what's missing in the filling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I set out sweet chili sauce and Wolfgang Puck's Hot Chinese Mustard Sauce that has liquid from pickled ginger in it. They helped to do a save on the flavor front:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I ate these with a bowl of Hot n Sour soup from the freezer stash, topped with fresh enoki mushrooms. That soup just never fails to satisfy, especially on a chilly night like tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    After that a palate-cleanser was in order. What better than a Hemingway, since there were Oroblancos in the house? 2 shots of fresh grapefruit juice, shots of light rum, fresh lime juice, and simple syrup, half shot of grenadine for color, plus seltzer for bubbles, in a tall highball glass over ice. Perfect!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Then decided tonight's tempura could wait for Sunday lunch. The strawberries I bought on Friday didn't macerate overnight, guess they're still to early in the season. So I had those with breakfast. Regardless, I'd made a half batch of sweet biscuits from the original Silver Palate cookbook, so I just cut up a bunch of strawberries, whipped some cream, and will plop that over a cut shortcake and call it a night—just as soon as I can find the danged vanilla!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. mariacarmen RE: roxlet Feb 25, 2012 11:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      garlic spiced pork roast was a hit, pretty much. very fennel-y, and the only flaw was that I used a much smaller roast than called for in the recipe, and we almost didn't adjust for cooking time. i had the BF put it in the oven as i was out, with instructions to take it out in an hour - he checked it at 45 mins. and it was already done. it was supposed to cook for another 1/2 hour at a lower temp - woulda been shoe leather if the boy hadn't his wits about him. just barely pink, wished it'd been pinker, but still mostly juicy. i also didn't adjust the spicing for the smaller size roast, but that wasn't that much of a problem. maybe a little too much fennel - calls for fennel seed AND ground fennel - and maybe a touch too much chili pepper flakes - not because they were hot, but just overwhelmed a bit. but i'd definitely make this again. http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/ga...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      paired that with an israeli couscous risotto with wild mushrooms (maitakes and some other tiny little brown button shrooms, not enokis, but cute like those) and a dollop of garlic/herb cream cheese stirred in at the end. for part of the cooking liquid i used a pinot grigio that was a bit too fruity for the risotto, to me, but still - this was a really good dish, and so easy. i'm so in love with israeli couscous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      and finally, a salad of beets, supremed orange sections, fresh fennel (to pick up the fennel in the pork), red onion, orange juice vinaigrette, and s&p. loved this. and actually, the orange juice dressing went well with the fruitiness of the wine in the risotto. so, there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i'm sparing you the pics because they were not great (even for me!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit RE: mariacarmen Feb 26, 2012 09:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Love Israeli couscous as wel, mc, and I like the idea of using it as a "risotto" with the garlic-herb cheese swirled in at the end. Your dinner sounds very good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          L.Nightshade RE: LindaWhit Feb 26, 2012 11:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sounds lovely! What makes the couscous dish a "risotto"? Because it has a more liquidy or creamy consistency that regular couscous? Or because you cook it using a risotto method, like slowly adding liquid? I love Israeli couscous, would like to try something like this some time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            mariacarmen RE: L.Nightshade Feb 26, 2012 06:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            yep, the risotto method and it comes out creamy like "regular" risotto. just much faster - only 20 minutes of adding liquid. i followed this basic recipe: http://www.mistress-of-spices.com/201... mine came out much creamier than hers looks in that pic - maybe she just waited too long for the picture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            i want to try this one next, but with israeli couscous - just need to adjust the liquid amount a bit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            mariacarmen RE: LindaWhit Feb 26, 2012 06:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            thanks Linda!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Harters RE: roxlet Feb 26, 2012 03:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Faggots for dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          No, no, no. Stop giggling. Different sort.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          These are like big meatballs made of pigs liver, heart , etc. They're offally good. Traditional food in the Midlands and North West of England. We bought these at a farm shop, made from their own piggies. Traditonal accompaniments are mashed spuds, peas and a thick onion gravy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          By the by, in the north west, we call them "savoury ducks" - but they never have duck in them. You can get them frozen in the supermarket. The biggest supplier is Brains Faggots - but they never have brains in them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            mariacarmen RE: Harters Feb 26, 2012 10:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            what a puzzle you English are! misnaming your foods to fool others.... of course, we do the same - Rocky Mountain Oysters, springs to mind...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            how do you prep them - sear and bake?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Harters RE: mariacarmen Feb 26, 2012 10:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ones you buy just need warming through in the gravy. I guess if you were making from scratch, then you'd fry them to brown first.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ah, yes, the Oysters. Not something I've ever eaten.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                mariacarmen RE: Harters Feb 26, 2012 06:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Harters, can you point me to the posting about your trip dahn sarf? can't seem to find it. thx.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Harters RE: mariacarmen Feb 27, 2012 02:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Four separate reviews, mc:




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    mariacarmen RE: Harters Feb 27, 2012 10:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I did! it sounds like you ate fairly well. hungry now....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      GretchenS RE: Harters Feb 27, 2012 01:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The F&C report had me drooling into my keyboard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Berheenia RE: Harters Feb 27, 2012 11:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I was just getting used to Spotted Dick - a co-worker keeps a can on her desk to titillate the office.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                TxnInMtl RE: roxlet Feb 26, 2012 06:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Last night, the BF made beef tacos with plenty of chilies and margaritas to wash it down. I ended up making corn tortillas to go with it, because I had been at bit overly ambitious with the last freezer clean out and tossed a pack of freezer burned tortillas because I thought we had more ... oops!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tonight I have a more ambitious dinner planned for the Oscars: gourgeres, a beet salad, and lamb shanks with almond-chocolate picata (from Wolfert's Slow Mediterranean Kitchen). The lamb was a bit of a splurge, so I'm hoping it turns out as good as it sounds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: TxnInMtl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  mariacarmen RE: TxnInMtl Feb 26, 2012 10:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  lamb with almond chocolate picada sounds amazing!. i just looked up the recipe - damn, that IS ambitious - and did you start it yesterday? sounds fantastic. please do report back!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    TxnInMtl RE: mariacarmen Feb 26, 2012 12:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I started the marinade early in the afternoon yesterday. The lamb just came out of its long cook in the oven. It smells amazing and is falling off the bone. I'll be sure to report back after the final phase is done, but so far so good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      TxnInMtl RE: mariacarmen Feb 27, 2012 09:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Reporting back. If you're in the mood to spend a bit of time cooking this dish, the results are worth it. It turned out moist and falling off the bone tender. The sauce is wonderful, although next time (which likely won't be for a very long time!), I might double the almonds and perhaps the cocoa. They both add depth to the sauce but aren't prominent and I wanted just a little bit more almond flavor. I was a bit worried that it looked like the meat had dried out some from cooling not in the braising liquid, but it was fine after the final 30 minutes of cooking. My only quibble with the recipe is I wish she had included weights (or even volume measurements) for the almonds and bread as I had pre-sliced almonds and breadcrumbs that the BF had previously ground up. Overall, while the recipe does take a fair amount of time and planning, the actual work involved isn't much more than most braises and it's a great dish for a cold, snowy weekend when you don't want to leave the house!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TxnInMtl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        mariacarmen RE: TxnInMtl Feb 27, 2012 10:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        thanks for this!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: TxnInMtl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      nomadchowwoman RE: TxnInMtl Feb 27, 2012 02:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That sounds heavenly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. w
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      wyogal RE: roxlet Feb 26, 2012 06:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's been a pizza week as the kids said last night. We had chimichangas with the pulled pork, but told them we'll be having home made pizza tonight. We had frozen pizza earlier in the week, then had delivery Thursday, now tonight will be the real deal.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have my sourdough starter out, fed it, will wait for it to get bubbly, then make some crusts. I like to prebake them. Then later, will brown the Italian sausage, and prep the rest of the ingredients. We like the mini pepperoni. Maybe some onion. Shredded Italian cheese blen was on sale, so picked up some bags of that. These will be pretty plain (sausage/pepperoni, cheese, sauce). Tonight I'll top the crusts and put them directly on the oven rack on in a hot oven.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      and watch the Academy Awards.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. gingershelley RE: roxlet Feb 26, 2012 08:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Last night was oven-poached sockeye salmon on special- with remoulade, sauteed spinach with garlic, and - tada! Slices of my first no-knead bread loaf! Turned out great:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        See pic below. So happy with it, mixed up another batch of dough-gloop to bake tomorrow to take to a family event and potluck along with a nice salad....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          weezieduzzit RE: gingershelley Feb 26, 2012 08:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Looks delicious!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            gingershelley RE: weezieduzzit Feb 26, 2012 11:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It was weezie, better once I knocked all of that excess flour off when it cooled....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The one I am making today I did with bread flour (king arthur), and will see if that is even better. Here's hoping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            L.Nightshade RE: gingershelley Feb 26, 2012 11:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It looks beautiful! Is this the NYT no-knead recipe? I love the look of fresh-baked bread with the floury dust.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              gingershelley RE: L.Nightshade Feb 26, 2012 01:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thank you so much! I got my 'actual recipe watching Laura Calder's French Cooking At Home show... but she did it so quick, kind of an aside on a bread show (which REALLY made it look easy), so I used her ratio's to start, but faltered a bit when doing the whole floury-towel part, so looked up and got the NY Times recipe and printed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My only complaint was it is a little flat, and not a high-rising 'boule' shape I was after. Wishing I had a smaller oven-and-recipe-compiant dish to make it not spread so much. Will have to thrift store shop for a smaller le crueset or such. Never wanted a small one before, but now have a reason to seek it out!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Funny, yesterday, I started another loaf, spurred on by my success (!), and used King Arthur bread flour, and found I needed the higher water ration of the NY recipe; 3 tbsp. more water to get the same loose, shaggy texture I got on mixing yesterday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Today's loaf is proofing now, and about to go in the oven to go with me to a family memorial service and potluck. It's shape and texture actually look better than yesterday's. Will report results along with whatever actual other food I am about to figure out to bring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Will post to AA - What's for dinner on all that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for the kudo's, Nightshade; appreciated!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. linguafood RE: roxlet Feb 26, 2012 09:25 AM

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


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Show Hidden Posts