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What's for dinner -- AA edition! #130 [old]

linguafood Feb 26, 2012 09:20 AM

No, not the 12-step program, dummy. The Academy Awards are upon us tonight - and perhaps some of you are planning a little Oscars party?

Well, I am. I decided on a whim to host a red carpet viewing / bitching about the horrendous fashion choices of the beautiful and famous 1%.

Expecting about 10 folks total I invited on a whim while still planning the munchies. I am likely going to serve the good old standby known to us Germans as canapés = baguette rounds w/a variety of toppings like roast beef/pickle slice/horseradish cream, brie/walnut/grape, and a third I haven't figured out yet. Perhaps smoked salmon or shrimp with a caper remoulade.

Someone is bringing chicken meatballs, someone else is bringing ?.

There will be cocktails, and lots of cackling. Looking forward to it....

  1. roxlet Mar 5, 2012 01:38 PM

    We're up to over 300 posts, so let's pick up the conversation here:

    1. h
      Harters Mar 5, 2012 09:08 AM

      Upcoming......a very restrained salad at Harters Hall. The recipe called for some thin slices of beef fillet to be quickly seared and served hot but we have leftover rib so it's going to be cold.

      So, wedges of red onion are roasted in olive oil and thyme and are then sprinkled with balsamic. Some salad leaves go on the plate are get a good slosh of a dressing made form mor eoil, balsamic and Dijon mustard. Onions and beef go on top. Then there's a scattering of blue cheese ( we have Blacksticks which comes ftom the next county and is, IMO, the most enjoyable of British blue cheeses - creamy, tangy, salty).

      The household authorities inform me that, whilst I have only minutes of work to prepare this, the said authorities will have devoted considerable time and effort to making fresh bread to go with it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Harters
        linguafood Mar 5, 2012 09:15 AM

        That salad sounds great. We need to get back on our salad days after a long weekend of big city eatings....

      2. mariacarmen Mar 4, 2012 08:50 PM

        MY SICHUAN PEPPERCORNS AND FERMENTED BLACK BEANS CAME IN! so i finally made mapo dofu, following L. Nightshade's lead and using firm tofu instead of silken. only thing is, i would have liked ground peppercorn in the sauce itself. the recipe i used only called for the toasted peppercorns to be lightly crushed and served alongside, to taste.

        i got all ambitious to make my own chili bean sauce, not realizing the recipe called for chili bean PASTE. had some of that in a jar, so i ended up just using that. just as well, maybe.... because dumbass me? for some reason, in making the chili bean sauce that i didn't even end up using, i accidentally used the sichuan peppercorns INSTEAD of the fermented black beans. i don't know what it's called, but it's neither chili bean paste nor sauce. good thing i had the jarred stuff on hand. ay-ay-ay....

        dyslexia notwithstanding, we loved this dish. along with the jasmine rice i made wok-seared green beans (steamed, flash fried in peanut oil, with a little sesame oil, mirin, brown sugar and dark soy.) i can't wait to eat the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

        10 Replies
        1. re: mariacarmen
          linguafood Mar 5, 2012 08:56 AM

          I dont think I've ever had mapo with silken tofu. The firm one is soft compared to the extra firm, and it turns out so pillowy and delicate embedded in the Sichuan peppercorn-studded sauce.

          We actually order the veggie version of it at our weekly jour fixe (b/c of a few misguided vegetarians in our midst :-)), and it is just as delightful as the pork version.

          1. re: linguafood
            buttertart Mar 5, 2012 10:22 AM

            Mapo doufu and tai bai chicken (omg good) at ours last night, seriously needed some Chinese. Fuchsia D LOP recipes, but of course.

            1. re: buttertart
              mariacarmen Mar 5, 2012 11:11 AM

              being lazy at the moment, can you think of a recipe using fermented black beans and pork tenderloin, off the top of your head? that's what i have at home, plus lots of veggies... something not too time consuming, as i'll be doing it right after work with a starving BF in tow?

              ETA: ooh i just found this:


              I think i have ALL these things at home!

              1. re: mariacarmen
                GretchenS Mar 5, 2012 01:52 PM

                That pork, asparagus, black bean recipe looks like a winner, mc. If you make it please report back about it!

                1. re: GretchenS
                  mariacarmen Mar 5, 2012 02:03 PM

                  will do!

            2. re: linguafood
              mariacarmen Mar 5, 2012 11:08 AM

              I had it once with soft tofu (is there a difference between soft and silken?) at a highly touted restaurant near-by ("modern" chinese) and i liked it, but it did seem to melt too much into the sauce. i liked the bite of this tofu. not sure if it was firm or extra firm because i got it from the local meximart which sells it in a big unmarked tub full of water, from which you pull out individual pieces with tongs. but it was GOOD.

              BT, i will admit to being still totally afraid to try out a fuchsia recipe for no good reason except that i think i'm not a good enough cook! it's especially silly because i didn't even look for her recipe first. NEXT time for sure. i have a pound of peppercorns to get through!

              1. re: mariacarmen
                buttertart Mar 5, 2012 02:28 PM

                Fuchsia's recipes are quite simple, really. I had to laugh when I saw the idiotic recipe for "Sichuan pork" in the current CI with forty-leven steps and a million ingredients. There is no way in hell it remotely approaches a Fuchsia recipe in tastiness.

                1. re: buttertart
                  mariacarmen Mar 5, 2012 02:36 PM

                  i've subsequently looked up the Fuchsia recipe for mapo doufu and it is really simple. i will try it next time.

                  1. re: mariacarmen
                    buttertart Mar 5, 2012 02:56 PM

                    :) you do that. Then you'll know what it tastes like where it comes from. (Must confess I always cut the oi in her recipes, though.)

                2. re: mariacarmen
                  linguafood Mar 5, 2012 04:30 PM

                  Silken is used in salad dressings, I believe. The extra firm is the one you can grill b/c it's much more dense. Firm is the one I use for mapo. Not sure what soft would be for? Hmmm.

            3. r
              RelishPDX Mar 4, 2012 06:27 PM

              Tonight I'm noshing my way through dinner. Earlier I had some soup. Now I'm eating my way through the pan of Turmeric Chicken that I put into the oven for a low and slow roasting this afternoon. 4 wings, a drumstick, and a big breast that I left the skin and bones on, but chopped in half. These were pieces I reserved from boning out two chickens the other day.

              Run, do not walk, but RUN to the store for chicken, garlic, cilantro, turmeric, etc., 'cause you will want to make this:


              After a 24-hour marinade, I put the chicken pieces onto a small roasting pan with the oven preheated to 450. Once the pan went into the oven, I turned it down to 250. 2-1/2 hours later, I turned the wings and legs, then pulled the wings after another 30 minutes.

              Inhaled the wings. Pulled the drumstick. Inhaled that. Now I'm consoling myself with a bowl of reheated jasmine rice while I wait for the breast pieces to finish. I just turned up the oven to 350, 'cause I can't wait. It's that good.

              Oh wow, Andrea Nguyen just came on Splendid Table to promo her new book on tofu:


              ETA: Looks were deceiving on the breast pieces. They probably could have been pulled at the same time as the drumstick, but the juices didn't seem to look clear. Those last 15 minutes at 350 pushed 'em just over the edge of done, not dry as a bone, but not perfect either. Still edible though, and what I don't finish will make a marvelous chicken salad for lunches, my plan for some of this anyway, since I'm starting to feel stuffed. If I ever face the electric chair, I want the skin from the breasts for my last meal.

              6 Replies
              1. re: RelishPDX
                JungMann Mar 4, 2012 07:12 PM

                That recipe bears very close resemblance to the yellow barbecued chicken I know as "inasal" http://blog.junbelen.com/2011/05/24/h... . The annatto seed adds the color in this case, along with a slightly earthy flavor. I'd be interested to see how turmeric compares. Sounds like the marinated skin in both cases is a chef's delight.

                1. re: RelishPDX
                  mariacarmen Mar 4, 2012 08:58 PM

                  hey, i just MADE that turmeric chicken! i think i posted about it in the last thread - only the site you're taking it from looks different then the one i remember, but the ingredients are the same! i LOVED that recipe, and served the chicken thighs (after charring them under the broiler) with sweet thai chili sauce. that's a seriously good receipe, Relish!

                  1. re: mariacarmen
                    RelishPDX Mar 4, 2012 10:58 PM

                    Oh, I'm familiar with chicken inasal from following marketmanila.com. I was wondering what a bit of lemongrass might do to the turmeric chicken and should try that. This dish is definitely going into my rotation of recipes.

                    My favorite Thai cart here in Portland has yellow satay, and now I finally know what the yellow ingredient is. It's served with a dipping sauce made from Thai plum sauce with a 'secret' ingredient added, and this chicken would lend itself to a good dipping sauce, I agree.

                    I think I picked up the link to this recipe from that recent thread from someone hating turmeric. I can see plenty more turmeric in my cooking now that I know what it is and what it tastes like. I only ever thought it was a coloring agent, like annatto.

                    I'm going to try it with thighs next time. The low and slow cooking method I used this time really would work best on chicken parts that have some fat on them.

                    1. re: RelishPDX
                      mariacarmen Mar 5, 2012 07:56 AM

                      yeah, before that recipe i'd only ever used turmeric in curries.

                  2. re: RelishPDX
                    RelishPDX Mar 5, 2012 01:50 PM

                    Lunchtime update: Leftover breast meat has made a seriously good chicken salad sandwich with some green onion and celery chopped into it.

                    I may have to go get a package of the bone-in chicken breasts that are on sale this week for 99¢ per pound to hold in the freezer for the next time I make this recipe, even though it wasn't my preferred part right from the oven.

                    1. re: RelishPDX
                      ChristinaMason Mar 5, 2012 06:49 PM

                      Thanks for sharing the recipe! Must try.

                    2. m
                      MAH Mar 4, 2012 06:03 PM

                      Last night was broiled swordfish with red miso glaze, roasted asparagus and brussel sprouts with pancetta (which didn't really go but needed to be used). Tonight was slow cooked pork shoulder made into tacos with corn tortillas, salsa, quac, shredded cabbage. For dessert, the little one and I made Valrohna chocolate puddings (recipe from Epicurious). Delicious, intensely rich, but more of a pots de creme. Used superb chocolate and vanilla bean, not much sugar and all milk (vs. some cream). a nice treat.

                      Tomorrow i'm going to make the lamb sausage I picked up yesterday with an accompaniment of some sort involving olives and feta.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: MAH
                        ChristinaMason Mar 5, 2012 06:47 PM

                        That all sounds really good! Esp. the pots de creme.

                      2. BananaBirkLarsen Mar 4, 2012 04:54 PM

                        It's so warm out today that we're pretending it's summer and doing hot dogs and macaroni salad for dinner. Hot dogs will be topped with diced tomato, red onion, pickled jalapenos, mustard, ketchup, sweet relish. Macaroni salad is fairly standard, with a vinegary dressing and chopped bell pepper and red onion mixed in. I might add a bit of crumbled feta if the mood strikes me, but at the moment I'm feeling like something a bit lighter. And maybe some homemade sparkling lemonade to drink.

                        1. Chocolatechipkt Mar 4, 2012 04:23 PM

                          Maple-dijon chicken with cream biscuits and roasted red peppers

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                            LindaWhit Mar 4, 2012 04:43 PM

                            Mustard and maple. Two favorite flavors. :-) Enjoy!

                          2. Barbara76137 Mar 4, 2012 01:14 PM

                            Had a wonderful lunch of shrimp aguachile today which I washed down with a cold beer. I think dinner will be grilled salmon with a yogurt/dill sauce, wild rice, and either green beans or asparagus. It is good to be back home in my own kitchen after being gone for a week. Yesterday I went shopping and so my refrigerator is stuffed!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Barbara76137
                              steve h. Mar 4, 2012 02:02 PM

                              Spinach turnover with ham and mushrooms. This Is a Julia Child recipe with a strong nod to Simone Beck (probably Simcha's recipe meticulously recorded by Julia). Sauce Bouillée with the spinach, a creamier and cheesier version of the sauce for drizzling over the (puff pastry) turnover. A California pinot noir to wash things down. Deb is doing the heavy lifting, I'm on KP duty. John Mayall's "Chicago Line" on the box.

                              1. re: steve h.
                                steve h. Mar 4, 2012 06:52 PM

                                It was mighty tasty.

                            2. gingershelley Mar 4, 2012 12:55 PM

                              I must say the converted pork roast-cum-chili verde was a big success! Tasted just like I had started with fresh cubed pork, but the already cooked pork just broke down fast in the veggie base, and I had what tasted like a deep, smoky green chili stew in less than an hour.

                              Leftovers will be eaten again tonight, as I still have some of the fresh tortillas from the nearby mexi super market that makes thier own (SO yummy!), and more avocado and salsa, etc.

                              Rare not to cook on a Sunday.... I may have to rustle up something else, just for fun; another no-knead bread loaf, or this tasty looking lemon pudding (sort of a reversed-up lemon curd) from Tartine Bakery via Food 52; http://www.food52.com/blog/2980_tarti....

                              This looks just divine to me, as I love all things lemony!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: gingershelley
                                nomadchowwoman Mar 7, 2012 08:44 PM

                                Oh yeah, that lemon pudding/curd/whatever looks great, doesn't it. Did you make it?

                              2. ChristinaMason Mar 4, 2012 09:53 AM

                                Friends invited us for dinner (vegetarian lasagna and baguette) last night, and I brought appetizers: zucchini carpaccio (thinly sliced zukes, lemon juice, olive oil, aleppo pepper, fresh chopped mint, and lemon zest) and Smitten Kitchen's caeasar salad deviled eggs (an idea borrowed from nomadchowwoman). I served the deviled eggs on romaine lettuce rafts, which were cute if a little hard to eat. My only change was to add some anchovy and ground chili to the filling. Another friend brought 3-layer carrot cake for dessert. A lovely meal!

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: ChristinaMason
                                  JungMann Mar 4, 2012 06:08 PM

                                  Do you think the caesar salad deviled eggs are company worthy? Every Easter we go through oodles and boodles of hard boiled red eggs as part of a pre-meal game and I am wracking my mind for creative ideas to use up the eggs after we've cracked the shells.

                                  1. re: JungMann
                                    Berheenia Mar 5, 2012 05:42 AM

                                    My company loves deviled eggs. I have yet to try the caesar salad version though ... maybe this year's Boston Marathon party.

                                    1. re: JungMann
                                      ChristinaMason Mar 5, 2012 06:44 PM

                                      Sure! They were good. But then, I have no compunction serving regular deviled eggs to company, either. Or eggs spiked with wasabi, scallions, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil, topped with light and dark sesame seeds.

                                      1. re: ChristinaMason
                                        JungMann Mar 5, 2012 07:30 PM

                                        How do you the latter? I'm thinking about something quick and easy. Normally we crack the eggs during the cocktail hour and then have the deviled egg fixin's for everyone to make their own after they lose (or win). My other thought for this year would be a quick egg biryani to take care of the starch and which would only take 20 minutes to finish in the oven while we snack on hors d'oeuvres.

                                        1. re: JungMann
                                          ChristinaMason Mar 6, 2012 06:58 PM

                                          Can't say I've ever followed a recipe; I only made them once, just flavoring to taste. The basic idea was to mash the yolk with mayo, wasabi, chopped scallion, a splash of rice wine vinegar (to make up for the lack of pickle relish), a few drops of toasted sesame oil, and maybe a touch of sriracha. You could add a little grated ginger if you fancy. Sprinkle the tops with sesame seeds, and you're good.

                                  2. h
                                    Harters Mar 4, 2012 07:16 AM

                                    Tonight's starter comes from our current "cooking the books" - Rive Cafe Cookbook 2", Rose Gray & Ruth Rogers (1997). Pappardelle with cavolo nero & lentils.

                                    Pancetta's fried, along with some onion and celery. Then rosemary & garlic goes in. Then, after a bit, some wine. Next up is cooked lentils (which we had lurking in the freezer), then chopped cavolo and some stock. It heats together and gets bunged into the pasta.

                                    Cabbage and lentils, I hear you ask. Yes, indeed. A truly farty starter at Casa Harters.

                                    To be followed by chicken breast fried in garlic, thyme, oil and red wine vinegar. There'll be some salad leaf as well.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Harters
                                      mariacarmen Mar 4, 2012 09:03 PM

                                      farty starter - love it. the combo sounds delicious, nonetheless.

                                    2. LindaWhit Mar 4, 2012 05:36 AM

                                      I've taken out a pound of ground beef, about a third of a pound of ground pork, and 2 hot Italian sausages. That will become either meat sauce (with lots of chopped onions, mushrooms and red bell pepper added in) *or* a meatloaf. I haven't yet decided.

                                      If meat sauce it will go on top of spaghetti (all covered with cheese, I lost my poor meatball, when somebody sneezed!) A side salad, and some hot dinner rolls will make the rest of the meal. If meatloaf, probably uber-creamy mashed potatoes and peas as that's my standby sides for such a main. And *if* a meatloaf, I'll probably mix it up with an egg, breadcrumbs, various herbs, and pull out a small container of Plum Ketchup to top the meatloaf for baking. The sweetness of the plum ketchup will go well with the spicy sausage.

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                        Berheenia Mar 4, 2012 05:58 AM

                                        You're up bright and early on a Sunday and making me hungry! I vote for the meatloaf and mashed potatoes!

                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                          boyzoma Mar 4, 2012 06:28 AM

                                          I'm all for the spaghetti - probably because that is what we are having too! It's hubby's sauce that has ground sirloin and italian sausage, red/green/yellow peppers, onion, mushrooms, olives, and the kitchen sink of seasonings! It is just so good. Also some garlic bread with shredded parmesan cheese on top. Probably a bottle of Shiraz to go with it.

                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                            LindaWhit Mar 4, 2012 07:42 AM

                                            OK, that's one vote meatloaf, one vote spaghetti sauce. Anyone want to throw in a tiebreaker vote? :-)

                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                              Harters Mar 4, 2012 08:29 AM

                                              Meatloaf - sounds perfect with those ingredients (and leftovers for sandwich lunch)

                                              1. re: Harters
                                                LindaWhit Mar 4, 2012 08:36 AM

                                                Yes, that's what I was thinking as well, Harters. I don't take spaghetti and sauce to work for lunch (the potential for messiness is too great), but meatloaf sandwiches is easy-peasy for work lunches. And I have a bag of Fritos at work that needs to be eaten.

                                                Meatloaf it is. :-)

                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                  Berheenia Mar 4, 2012 12:43 PM

                                                  Good choice! We are having chipped beef on toast with peas to atone for the brunch buffet we just waddled out of.

                                          2. r
                                            RelishPDX Mar 3, 2012 08:44 PM

                                            Tonight I wanted to use up some of the baby bok choy in the chiller—I'm constantly amazed with how long bok choy lasts when it's bought really fresh. This bag of it is from Feb 17th (15 days ago!), and there still aren't any spots on the stems. Having cashews plus a Jayne Mansfield on hand, I googled 'cashew chicken bok choy' and was led to this recipe:


                                            Hmm, CSA inspired. "Crispy" Braised Bok Choy. Music to my ears. I've also never velveted a meat for a dish before, so I'd learn a new technique for my repertoire of kitchen skills, plus I was sure to have leftovers. Sounded good. Nice pairing, I thought, since the bok choy can finish on another burner while the chicken dish is prepared. (My range has one big burner and three smaller ones.


                                            Verdict: Stunning in many ways. I flipped the bok choy over onto the plate, exposing the G, B & D side. Taste-wise, if the garlic and ginger was toned down a bit, it would have hit one out of the ballpark. I don't like the seasoning on the vegetables to out-do the seasoning on the main course, especially when they're similar (garlic and ginger in both). Otherwise, this is the BEST tasting bok choy to leave my kitchen. Ever.

                                            About the chicken, first, WHERE has this velveting technique been all of my life? Seriously excellent taste and texture beyond any other chicken I've stir-fried. Ever.

                                            Two changes I'd make—I'd add the onion later, as I like onion in Cashew Chicken to be al dente. Second, I'd use roasted cashews. The recipe really wasn't that clear on this ingredient, so I half-toasted the raw cashews from my pantry ahead of time. Another smart move. The cashews were still a bit raw-tasting when the chicken was done, but OMG, this isn't your corner Chinese place Cashew Chicken by a long shot. I thought the mirin worked great in the sauce, a new ingredient for me tonight. (I'm giving away my naiveté for Asian home cooking, aren't I?) :)

                                            But, have to admit, if I served this to company, I'd spend the rest of the night apologizing for the seemingly uncooked cashews.

                                            Overall though, a really successful day in the kitchen. Started out refining a recipe for Blue Cheese Dressing, combining tastes from three different recipes I've liked, then set up a bag of Turmeric Chicken to marinate for Sunday, then seasoned a whole chicken for the Sticky Chicken recipe that's popular here for roasting on Monday or Tuesday. Still need to start a pork loin roast in marinade for more Char Siu before bedtime.

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: RelishPDX
                                              LindaWhit Mar 4, 2012 05:31 AM

                                              I learned about velveting way WAY back in high school Home Ec when we made Moo Goo Gai Pan, although I never knew that's what it was called. So simple to do.

                                              And I've joined a CSA with a coworker this coming season, so I'm definitely going to be looking for bok choy recipes and this one sounds wonderful - garlic and ginger - two of my favorite flavors!

                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                RelishPDX Mar 4, 2012 03:36 PM

                                                When I tasted the final result, I recognized that I've had beef prepared this way for Tomato Beef chow mein in the past, but didn't know what was different about it.

                                                I'll have to experiment with velveting a bit, as even the leftovers I had for lunch were just as tasty and moist as they were last night. I'd love it if I could get the same results with beef too.

                                                1. re: RelishPDX
                                                  gingershelley Mar 4, 2012 04:33 PM

                                                  Relish - did you do the baking soda step, or skip straight to the cornstarch? Curious, as I am familiar with velveting with cornstarch, but do not know what the soda step is supposed to add to the final.

                                                  Any insight would be appreciated:)

                                                  1. re: gingershelley
                                                    RelishPDX Mar 4, 2012 05:32 PM

                                                    I did do the baking soda step. I've done plain cornstarch and cornstarch/egg white preps on chicken before stir-frying in the past, but the result was nothing like this. With the baking soda, the chicken pieces ended up with a somewhat smooth appearance, yet the sauce clung to them just fine.

                                                    I was truly blown away with the results. I stood there saying, "wow, professional-looking results from MY kitchen? How did THAT happen?" All for the price of a teaspoon of baking soda and 15 minutes of time.

                                                    1. re: RelishPDX
                                                      gingershelley Mar 5, 2012 10:45 AM

                                                      Well, I shall have to try it then - I am all for professional-looking (and tasting!) results from my kitchen:) Sounds awesome!

                                              2. re: RelishPDX
                                                gingershelley Mar 4, 2012 12:48 PM

                                                Wow, Relish - checked out that recipe and it does look simple and delish!

                                                I am kind of a novice at cooking asian food at home too. I go through stages where I eat a bunch of it, then it seems when I am in the mood, I realize I am out of an ingredient I need. Wish I had more cupboard space to keep a better asian pantry and I would make more.
                                                But will be making this; thanks for sharing. Love me some Bok Choy too!

                                              3. L.Nightshade Mar 3, 2012 08:13 PM

                                                From the sublime to the simple...
                                                Sandwiches on the grill pan under a brick. Sliced ham, smoked gouda, pear, and dijon mustard, on onion rolls. DVD then bed. Nice rainy night.

                                                1. Chocolatechipkt Mar 3, 2012 07:02 PM

                                                  Bulgogi ... went out to eat tonight. Yum!

                                                  1. BananaBirkLarsen Mar 3, 2012 06:00 PM

                                                    Last night was a delicious Basque restaurant meal and a night at the theatre (it's fringe festival season around these parts). First course: clam chowder and garlic toast. Second course: thinly sliced, marinated beef tongue and green salad. Third course: rice pilaf and beef-and-carrot stew. Fourth course: potato salad studded with shrimp and lamb chops. Neither of us could eat much of the potato salad and lamb chops by the time they arrived (we had lamb sandwiches and potato salad for lunch today), but it was all so good we ate way more than we should have. Plus I had two negronis and most of my boyfriend's second Kettle One-and-grapefruit. And then we split an enormous bottle of Sierra Nevada at the theatre venue. Needless to say, walking the five blocks home was much harder than it should've been.

                                                    We're having something of a pizza and movies party tonight, with the friend who was supposed to come over last weekend. I'm doing individual pizzas for each of us. For me: salami, artichoke, goat cheese and perhaps a pineapple chunk or two. For my boyfriend: the same as me, plus olives and a little heavier on the pineapple. For the friend: ranch dressing (in place of the tomato), salami, pineapple and olives (she likes this combination so much she eats it even now that she's a vegetarian). Very cheap white and slightly more expensive red to drink. Not sure what the movies will be just yet, be we've got a ton to choose from.

                                                    1. steve h. Mar 3, 2012 04:11 PM

                                                      Pea soup with ham. The house smells good. Beer for me, house white for Deb. The Godfather will be on the panel.

                                                      1. mariacarmen Mar 3, 2012 04:05 PM

                                                        defrosting a pork tenderloin for the oldster. not sure what i'll do with it yet, but Linda's baked potato sounds pretty good....

                                                        the oldster requested these for lunch today: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salte%C3...

                                                        me and the boy have been saying we're going to really learn how to make these for years - they're not easy. we actually tried, once, in France, of all places! they were a pale facsimile of the real deal. lucky i have a nearby source to buy 'em by the dozen.

                                                        8 Replies
                                                        1. re: mariacarmen
                                                          L.Nightshade Mar 3, 2012 04:09 PM

                                                          I love those! Of course I love just about every savory goody packed into a hand-held pastry device. So envious!

                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                            mariacarmen Mar 3, 2012 08:14 PM

                                                            where have you had them, LN, here in SF?

                                                            1. re: mariacarmen
                                                              L.Nightshade Mar 3, 2012 08:22 PM

                                                              Definitely in the Bay Area, I can't remember the exact circumstance. Someone brought them and a lively discussion ensued about Bolivian salteñas vs. Argentine empanadas. At a tango dance party, I believe.

                                                          2. re: mariacarmen
                                                            mariacarmen Mar 3, 2012 08:39 PM

                                                            so the oldster wanted to go out for spaghetti & meatballs for dinner, so we went. unfortunately it was a crappy place, waste of $ and calories. i'm making the pork tenderloin now so he can have it for dinners this week. made a pan sauce of butter/olive oil, caramelized onions and diced up apple (with a little sugar), made a little roux, then added chicken broth, milk, and a bay leaf. will add medallions (which were lightly seared in the butter/olive oil) of pork in at the end.

                                                            1. re: mariacarmen
                                                              buttertart Mar 4, 2012 08:01 AM

                                                              Does he like prunes? They're extremely good with pork tenderloin and a bit of cream.

                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                Harters Mar 4, 2012 08:32 AM

                                                                Assuming that American tenderloin is British fillet - I can never remember (the sort-of long salami sausage shaped piece of piggy), then prunes go great with it. I open up the fillet almost all the way along (like a book) and line it with prunes & sliced garlic. Then tie it back together again and roast. 'Tis lovely!

                                                                1. re: Harters
                                                                  buttertart Mar 4, 2012 01:53 PM

                                                                  Yes it is fillet. A very nice piece of meat.

                                                            2. re: mariacarmen
                                                              JungMann Mar 4, 2012 06:06 PM

                                                              I love me some empanadas, but those saltenas sound to be an improvement on an already perfect snack. Even with the large Hispanic community, it's pretty tough finding good empanadas in NYC (much to my bemusement), I hope I have better luck hunting saltenas the next time I'm in the Bolivian neighborhood in Queens!

                                                            3. LindaWhit Mar 3, 2012 12:48 PM

                                                              Errand-running, and general tasks around the house (finally have my tools stored away in the pantry closet using a magnetic strip that was easily installed on the 2x4 that holds up the shelf in there! Nice easy place to just grab a hammer or screwdriver vs. having to run downstairs to the garage.)

                                                              Took out some burgundy sirloin tips (pre-marinated from my local butcher) to defrost. They'll be grilled on the grill pan and finished in the oven. Baked potato with sour cream, and steamed/grilled asparagus alongside. If I don't want the asparagus, I have plenty of salad makings and have maple-balsamic vinaigrette to drizzle on top. Choice of movies on the DVD tonight - "Inception", "The Help", or "Midnight in Paris". I'll close my eyes and pick one when I'm ready. :-)

                                                              1. gingershelley Mar 3, 2012 12:02 PM

                                                                Last night was some quick-marinaded defrosted big shel-on shrimps, in a cilantro-lime-garlic mix, then quickly sauteed and served with asperagus and some rice. Orange & red onion salad on the side.

                                                                Tonight I am going to have at that slow-cooker pork roast I have hanging around I wasn't happy with. Going to slice of the fat, and cut it in cubes, and re-pupose into a makeshift chili verde with some of my roasted Hatch chilies that are in the second freezer. Onion, carrots, and a couple yukon golds into the stew with garlic, cumin, etc.

                                                                Refried beans, sharp cheddar, tortillas, lettuce: check! Chili Verde tacos for dinner. Yummers!

                                                                1. L.Nightshade Mar 3, 2012 10:52 AM

                                                                  Another boaring dinner at Casa Nightshade…
                                                                  We had guests last night; food was accompanied by great wine and conversation. As every dinner should be!
                                                                  For standing nibbles (as we were still cooking when said guests arrived) we had olives, Marcona almonds, and asparagus with gorgonzola-shallot dipping sauce.
                                                                  First course was a green apple risotto, topped with a slice of seared foie gras, and drizzled with caramelized balsamic.
                                                                  The main course was estofat of wild boar with almonds and chocolate picada, from Paula Wolfert's clay pot book. I made the picada a bit too thick, so we were lacking in soppable juices, but the taste was great. Alongside the boar was a sauté of kale and radicchio.
                                                                  And the big surprise: Mr. Nightshade baked a pie for dessert! Blackberry sour cream in a delicious short crust! Who knew?

                                                                  13 Replies
                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                    gingershelley Mar 3, 2012 11:59 AM

                                                                    Ooh! Nightshade! What a yummy sounding dinner; love the idea of the apple risotto with foie - going to have to make that for the Frenchman.

                                                                    And I have been craving blueberries, was thinking muffins, but pie might be the way to go. Can you share more about that pie? Like the idea of the creamy tang with the berries...

                                                                    1. re: gingershelley
                                                                      L.Nightshade Mar 3, 2012 12:20 PM

                                                                      Thanks gingershelly!
                                                                      Mr. NS said the pie was very easy! He made a shortcrust pastry (it seemed deliciously short and crumbly to me, more like a sweetcrust pastry, but he says not). The uncooked pie shell is filled with 3 cups of fresh blackberries (I'm sure blueberries would work), sprinkled with a Tbsp of lemon juice. Over the berries goes a blend of 1 cup sour cream, 1 Tbsp flour, and 1/2 cup sugar. A bit of nutmeg is grated on top.
                                                                      The pie cooks in a preheated 425º oven for 10 minutes. Then the oven is turned down to 325º for 40 minutes.
                                                                      Yummy, I think is the appropriate word here.

                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                        gingershelley Mar 4, 2012 12:37 PM

                                                                        Thanks so much for sharing; that sounds easy as PIE! Hahaha...

                                                                        May have to make this next weekend for a party. It sounds like it would be kind of runny with only 1 tbsp. of flour, but I trust from the looks of it, it was just great.

                                                                        Will report back on making it with blueberries!

                                                                        1. re: gingershelley
                                                                          L.Nightshade Mar 4, 2012 02:50 PM

                                                                          I look forward to hearing how it works for you. I had doubts about the mixture too, but it came out fine.

                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                            gingershelley Mar 4, 2012 04:31 PM

                                                                            glad to hear, bought blueberries today at the small neighborhood green market, will report back!
                                                                            Meantime, other blueberries are going on yoghurt for breakfast, and yes, I may make some of those darned muffins that have been calling to me - bran and all!

                                                                    2. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                      LindaWhit Mar 3, 2012 12:44 PM

                                                                      I *was* going to say "BORING? How can you call that boring?" And then I got to your description of the main. :-)

                                                                      Everything looks wonderful - I might even try that foie gras! :-) How did you incorporate the green apple into the risotto? Grate it?

                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                        L.Nightshade Mar 3, 2012 12:49 PM

                                                                        Thanks Linda! The apple was peeled and diced. It went in about halfway through cooking. It's a Scott Conant recipe that I've been dying to try for ages!

                                                                      2. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                        mariacarmen Mar 3, 2012 01:17 PM

                                                                        oh my! come boar me anytime! LN, that risotto looks amazing - i've never heard of putting fruit in one - but it sounds perfect with the foie - was it sweetish, or tangy?

                                                                        and could you discern the cocoa/almond flavor? the meat looks so tender!

                                                                        Mr. NS always surprises!

                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                          L.Nightshade Mar 3, 2012 02:41 PM

                                                                          The cocoa and almond flavors were quite pronounced. I made it a bit too thick (adding a few extra nuts and extra cocoa powder, for some reason). I loved the taste with the boar, and it would be great on other meats as well. One of our guests commented that it smelled like a mole sauce. Which, of course, it did!

                                                                        2. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                          mariacarmen Mar 3, 2012 01:19 PM

                                                                          wow - come over and boar me anytime!

                                                                          i've never heard of putting fruit in risotto! but it sounds perfect with the foie. was it sweet-ish, or tangy? the meat looks absolutely delicious.

                                                                          and Mr. NS always surprises!

                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                            L.Nightshade Mar 3, 2012 02:39 PM

                                                                            I don't know which post to answer!
                                                                            The apples were granny smith, a tad tart, and worked very well with the parmesan and foie. I almost want to describe the risotto like wine: malic, fruity, but not sweet.

                                                                          2. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                            bear Mar 3, 2012 01:49 PM

                                                                            Wow. Drool. Somehow my mac and cheese and side of kale chips aren't sounding so luscious anymore.

                                                                            1. re: bear
                                                                              L.Nightshade Mar 3, 2012 02:36 PM

                                                                              I could go for some kale chips right now!
                                                                              Thanks bear! We'll be taking it easy tonight with grilled ham sandwiches!

                                                                          3. h
                                                                            Harters Mar 3, 2012 01:54 AM

                                                                            I doubt we could come up with a "Saturday Special" more rooted in northern England than this one.

                                                                            Starting with Morecambe Bay potted shrimps - bought, of course. They'll need nothing more than a grind of pepper, squeeze of lemon and some of Mrs H's sodabread.

                                                                            Then it's on to some roasted beef rib. We 're trying out a new mail order supplier. This farm is in the north of Lancashire - the county to the north of us. Free range Aberdeen Angus cattle, hung for a minimum 21 days (which is better than supermarket but, probably, not nearly long enough for us). There'll be roast potatoes and roast carrots. Steamed greens. Yorkshire salad. Gravy. And, possibly, Yorkshire pudding.

                                                                            A farmhouse Cheshire cheese for "afters". More sodabread and an Egremont Russet apple alongside.

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Harters
                                                                              LindaWhit Mar 3, 2012 05:59 AM

                                                                              Sounds wonderful - hope the beef is as good as it sounds. But a query - Yorkshire salad? What makes it Yorkshire? :-)

                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                Harters Mar 3, 2012 06:34 AM

                                                                                No definite idea about the origin, LInda. It's a traditional accompaniment to roast beef in the north of England. Just thinly sliced onion and cucumber marinated in malt vinegar.

                                                                                If I had to guess, then I reckon it may be to do with eating it with the well known Yorkshire pudding. Traditionally, that was eaten before the beef as a separate course (intended to fill you up), so perhaps the onion/cucumber thing was intended to be a bit of taste/texture contrast.

                                                                                1. re: Harters
                                                                                  LindaWhit Mar 3, 2012 06:36 AM

                                                                                  Makes sense, thanks!

                                                                            2. r
                                                                              RelishPDX Mar 2, 2012 11:23 PM

                                                                              Breakfast! Ah yes, breakfast for dinner. Such a comfort at times.

                                                                              Tangy buttermilk pancakes from scratch using the Darigold recipe—I won't use another.


                                                                              I'd clarified a pound of unsalted butter last night, so I used the dregs left on the bottom of the pan I'd saved instead of the melted butter the recipe calls for. Result: three nice fluffy 10" pancakes, very light, not a hint of heaviness, each one kept warm in the oven as the next one was making bubbles.

                                                                              Prepped four Johnsonville breakfast link sausages to go with it, sauteed long, low and slow, so the casings had that ephemeral dark, golden brown and delicious look and feel to them. Eat 'em before it's gone one must. Added an egg scrambled in the pancake pan as the last step, and squeezed a few oranges for fresh OJ.

                                                                              Topped with Mrs. Butterworth's. :) I like to pour it on as I eat, not let the pancakes sit there in syrup throughout the meal. Don't know why I do that, actually. Breakfast at breakfast time gets maple syrup, but breakfast at dinner time gets good ol' Mrs. B.

                                                                              Freshly washed sheets are even on the bed to welcome me to slumber once I'm ready. Couldn't be more pleased with this evening in terms of nourishment.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: RelishPDX
                                                                                LindaWhit Mar 3, 2012 05:58 AM

                                                                                Your entire dinner sounds heavenly (except for that darn Mrs. B's!) And freshly washed sheets to boot. :-)

                                                                              2. nomadchowwoman Mar 2, 2012 10:56 PM

                                                                                Tonight it was fried fish (as per DH request), a couple of Gulf types--black drum and sea bream--with tartar sauce, potatoes roasted in always delicious duck fat, two salads (a simple baby romaine and tomato and then a toss of beet-asparagus-red onion).

                                                                                Only other real cooking this week was a Mustard's "mongolian" pork chop (pounded, marinated, grilled)--good flavors, but [sigh] as usual the pork was a little tough. That was served with an asparagus-beet-orange salad and red rice mixed w/scallions, pine nuts, and orange-chili oil.

                                                                                OT, but Bruce Springsteen (on Jimmy Fallon) is making me cry. In a good way.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                  mariacarmen Mar 3, 2012 10:05 AM

                                                                                  orange chili oil! do tell!

                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                    nomadchowwoman Mar 7, 2012 08:31 PM

                                                                                    Good mix of heated oil, orange zest, dried chili/chile (which is it?) flakes, etc. but a PITB recipe, mc: it's from the late Barbara Tropp's China Moon cookbook; most of the recipes call for pre-made oils, pastes, etc. I made the orange-chili oil for a recipe (that called for a Tblsp. or two of the oil), which was delicious, but I had probably 2 cup of oil left. And, in it's "cool, dark" storage spot, I forget it's there. When I'm reminded of it, I try to use it.

                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                      mariacarmen Mar 8, 2012 07:47 AM

                                                                                      thanks, NCW! copied your post.

                                                                                2. s
                                                                                  suburban_mom Mar 2, 2012 06:33 PM

                                                                                  Tonight was about yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, parsley and mint.

                                                                                  Chicken thighs marinated in yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, dried thyme and olive oil. Broiled.

                                                                                  Onions sauteed until soft with Zatar then diced fresh tomatoes mixed in and more Zatar.

                                                                                  Quinoa salad - quoina, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, feta, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, mint (converted 2 of my quinoa haters)

                                                                                  Yogurt "sauce" for the chicken - yogurt, lemon juice, parsley, mint


                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: suburban_mom
                                                                                    mariacarmen Mar 2, 2012 11:16 PM

                                                                                    i've been wanting to try the yogurt marinade everyone does with chicken.... soon.... and i'm already a quinoa lover - yours sounds delish.

                                                                                  2. LindaWhit Mar 2, 2012 05:28 PM

                                                                                    I had a craving for spaghetti and meat sauce, and had what I thought was a small tub of sauce in the freezer. Nope. It was chili. So the easy and quick replacement was some Mandarin Orange Chicken from BJs, on top of rice and peas.

                                                                                    Not overly inventive, but it worked. I'll cook (*really* cook!) tomorrow, said Scarlett. :-)

                                                                                    1. steve h. Mar 2, 2012 03:43 PM

                                                                                      Corned beef, canned peas (Le Sueur very young (small) sweet peas) and boiled potatoes.
                                                                                      This is a selfish meal in the sense that the ample leftovers will provide me with some seriously good lunches next week. The beef takes about three hours and change to simmer but no real work. Easy peasy.

                                                                                      1. buttertart Mar 2, 2012 02:25 PM

                                                                                        Had a little dinner party for my SIL and her colleague/friend (hereinafter respectively T and Y) last night. Started with drinks known as Susans around the farm for T and me (1 measure gin, 2 measures soda, 1 measure tonic, 1/2 measure Aperol, Irish for M and Y. Aperol a big hit. Got talking about my trainee from Mulhouse and broke out the last of the foie with toasts. Mixed lettuces/frisee with so-called Roquefort and peeled, cubed Bosc pears (I love those). The cheese had no foil on it and wasn't the right color cheese or mold, bet it's Amish blue sold as Roquefort). Then scallops seared with browned butter, lemon zest and juice, and a bit of black vinegar, sugar snaps with browned shallots (my 1new 4" wok really works well, can stirfry ! like crazee), and baked saffron rice (orange CI big book recipe w saffron added, makes gorgeous rice).
                                                                                        For the dessert, which was the "Chocolate Deception" from Medrich's "Bittersweet", chosen because I thought it would be relatively light, I filleted and froze 3 Temple oranges. Had trouble getting the "cake" out of the pan. Put the pan in hot water, got it on the plate, v gloopy. Would be good baked in ramequins but it looked like a big cow pie on a plate. Made blobby portions but tasted good with the orange sections. Don't bother with this recipe, pots de creme are much less work and much better, this was a waste of good choc and Valrhona cocoa. "Deception" in the French sense, I was very disappointing.
                                                                                        Gruener Veltliner and an ok Alsatian pinot gris with. It was lots of fun despite the crappy dessert (especially annoying to me because Y is a baker...).

                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: buttertart
                                                                                          mariacarmen Mar 2, 2012 05:35 PM

                                                                                          oooh sorry about dessert, but the rest of your party sounds fun fun fun! love Veltliner, and that cocktail has me intrigued. i like bitter (like my heart.)

                                                                                          and yes, to the way above - you should save your sheckles and see if you can get a rezzie for your trip here! i, of course, would not join you there, as i've spent my high end dining food wad for the next year or two....

                                                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                                                            nomadchowwoman Mar 2, 2012 10:43 PM

                                                                                            The whole dinner--even the troublesome dessert--sounds pretty fabulous.

                                                                                            1. re: buttertart
                                                                                              cstout Mar 4, 2012 07:48 AM

                                                                                              was wondering about your new 4" wok, did you mean 14in wok instead? Am in the market for a wok, what brand is yours?

                                                                                              1. re: cstout
                                                                                                buttertart Mar 4, 2012 08:00 AM

                                                                                                Oops, 14". Scanpan. I am a recent convert to their stuff, which is nonstick, but is absolutely wonderful to cook in. Best heat retention/distribution of any cookware I've ever known. I can sear things in it and my pain in the a-- smoke alarms don't go off!

                                                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                  cstout Mar 4, 2012 09:26 AM

                                                                                                  Thanks for the info...will lookup Scanpan now...

                                                                                                2. re: cstout
                                                                                                  LindaWhit Mar 4, 2012 08:04 AM

                                                                                                  It's a wok for The Borrowers - the little people who live under the stairs. :-)

                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                    buttertart Mar 4, 2012 08:06 AM

                                                                                                    Tiny portions for ze tiny people.

                                                                                              2. h
                                                                                                Harters Mar 2, 2012 10:30 AM

                                                                                                Lunch in the city today - a cafe serving Vietnamese food (bit of a rarity in the UK). Stocked up on east asian stuff from the big Chinese supermarket opposite (so expect oriental WFDs at Harters Hall in the coming period)

                                                                                                Dinner - fish, chips, peas.

                                                                                                1. b
                                                                                                  Berheenia Mar 2, 2012 03:31 AM

                                                                                                  Last night we made tuna casseroles for a luncheon today and a small one for our dinner. Got the recipe from Cooks Country Magazine and have been wanting to try it and it is a keeper as they say. I wrote more about it in a tuna casserole thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/835602

                                                                                                  1. r
                                                                                                    RelishPDX Mar 2, 2012 12:13 AM

                                                                                                    After spending last night and all day today doing sleep tests, I came home and put together the batch of Hot-n-Sour soup that I'd prepped everything for on Wednesday afternoon. During one of the breaks between naps today (LOL, that sounds odd), an idea struck me—I wondered if I could "hide" some of the duck stock that's collecting in the freezer in this soup, I certainly seem to be making gallons of Hot-n-Sour lately.

                                                                                                    Well what do you know, I did about a 6:1 ratio of chicken stock to duck stock, and it gave the soup a "what is that?" richness it didn't have before. I'm sold on it! Bonus: more duck stock coming out of the kitchen means more duck fat for what I'm collecting to make a duck leg confit. A win-win in my book.

                                                                                                    Chicken tostadas were also in the plan for dinner, but by the time I was done with the soup, it was too late to search for a marinade for the chicken. So once again, two bowls of soup makes for dinner tonight.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: RelishPDX
                                                                                                      nomadchowwoman Mar 2, 2012 10:41 PM

                                                                                                      I found that subbing duck stock for chicken--all or part--never disappoints.

                                                                                                    2. mariacarmen Mar 1, 2012 10:33 PM

                                                                                                      dinner out last night (most mindblowing meal ever, here's link if you're interested: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7943...


                                                                                                      tonight the BF cooked HIS heart out and made a wonderful (tho slightly overcooked yet still tender steak - we have the worst luck with steaks!) rib-eye, with a mushroom bacon topping, roasted potatoes with caramelized onions and parsley, and fat asparagus with a mustard horseradish sauce. I thought after last night's dinner I would never need to eat again, but i was dead wrong.

                                                                                                      oh for ffffffff.... this picture keeps rotating on its side! i don't know how to fix it here (it's right-side up on my computer.)

                                                                                                      and sometime this weekend... MAPO TOFU! my POUND (yes, A POUND. i am ridiculous) of sichuan peppercorns arrived, along with my almost as much fermented black beans.... can't wait!

                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                        Harters Mar 2, 2012 02:12 AM

                                                                                                        Spectacular meal out, MC. Absolutely freaking spectacular.

                                                                                                        1. re: Harters
                                                                                                          mariacarmen Mar 2, 2012 07:07 AM

                                                                                                          really was, Mr. H.
                                                                                                          (I added a few photos.)

                                                                                                        2. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                          LindaWhit Mar 2, 2012 09:45 AM

                                                                                                          Simply amazing, mc! That dinner out was beyond spectacular! I am *so* not worthy of a meal like that!

                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                            mariacarmen Mar 2, 2012 10:00 AM

                                                                                                            you kidding me?? after all your TC wrap-ups, everyone on that thread should pitch in and fly you here for dinner there!

                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                              LindaWhit Mar 2, 2012 10:14 AM

                                                                                                              OK, that works for me. ;-) ::::hitting the Staples Easy Button::::

                                                                                                              (mcf *did* say that bribes were going to be attempted!)

                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                buttertart Mar 2, 2012 02:15 PM

                                                                                                                Now I know what to save up for, for the upcoming! Wow. That pear. (The best pear dessert I ever had was at Chesa, a wonderful Swiss place that used to be in the Peninsula Hotel in HK -- a pear sculpted out of pear sorbet, with a little belt around its middle attached to a little cup -- both made of white chocolate -- that was filled with poire Williams eau de vie. It was wonderful. Yours is truly swoon-worthy.)

                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                  mariacarmen Mar 2, 2012 05:22 PM

                                                                                                                  wow, that sounds amazing too....
                                                                                                                  what a wonderful talent to have, no? to be so creative, and to be able to put it to use for such pleasure?

                                                                                                            2. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                              GretchenS Mar 2, 2012 11:06 AM

                                                                                                              Wow, that was some spectacular meal out, mc! So glad that the huge splurge worked out, it is so crushing when it doesn't. And dinner the next night doesn't look too shabby either.

                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                BananaBirkLarsen Mar 2, 2012 11:17 AM

                                                                                                                I have to agree with everyone else -- that dinner out looks amazing! We're doing the dining out thing ourselves tonight and I can only hope it will be half as good.

                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                  steve h. Mar 2, 2012 03:11 PM

                                                                                                                  That was a great report, mc.
                                                                                                                  Operation Dinner Out (apologies to Robert Redford and Brad Pitt in "Spy Game") was a grand slam home run.

                                                                                                                2. BananaBirkLarsen Mar 1, 2012 08:21 PM

                                                                                                                  I finally made it to the store today, so we're having trip tip, rubbed with salt, pepper and powdered New Mexico chilies, then seared in a skillet (finished in the oven, if they need it). Some mixed "wild rice" I bought from the bulk section at Winco a while back (looks like there's some standard long grain white in there, as well as some other grains -- bulgar maybe?) That is being steamed up with some stock. And then some matchstick zucchini and summer squash, briefly sauteed in butter and tossed with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

                                                                                                                  For dessert, this poppy seed lemon cake from Smitten Kitchen ( http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/01/pop... ) with fresh strawberries. I guess I'm pretending it's summer.

                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                                                                                                    bear Mar 2, 2012 03:38 AM

                                                                                                                    Ooh, that cake recipe is fascinating. Two sticks of butter and eight egg yolks. How was it?

                                                                                                                    I just made Dorie Greenspan's lemon poppy muffins, and must have over-mixed them and been too skimpy on the lemon zest because they were pretty dense and generic. I usually have good luck with her recipes, so I'm guessing it was my technique that was at fault. I'm looking for something a little more luscious.

                                                                                                                    1. re: bear
                                                                                                                      BananaBirkLarsen Mar 2, 2012 10:43 AM

                                                                                                                      Fresh out of the oven, it was amazing. A few hours later for dessert, it was a little dense (I'm guessing due to the lack of leavening) and a touch dry (that part was probably my fault). But the flavour was excellent -- buttery and rich, without being too sweet. I might try it again some time, but add a bit of baking powder to help it rise.

                                                                                                                  2. Chocolatechipkt Mar 1, 2012 07:01 PM

                                                                                                                    Chicken piccatta rolls -- cutlets rolled up with a mixture of capers, lemon zest, parmesan, and breadcrumbs, quickly browned and then finished in the oven. Served with sweet potatoes and asparagus.

                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                                                                                                                      weezieduzzit Mar 1, 2012 08:13 PM

                                                                                                                      Sounds wonderful!

                                                                                                                      1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                                                                                                                        ChristinaMason Mar 1, 2012 08:48 PM

                                                                                                                        I like the sound of that! Do you dredge the rolls in any flour or anything?

                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                          Chocolatechipkt Mar 1, 2012 09:22 PM

                                                                                                                          I loosely followed this recipe: http://m.finecooking.com/recipes/lemo.... Probably dredging the rolls would have made browning them a little easier, but I didn't think of that (and had no space, as others were cooking around me). I already had the cutlets defrosted when I picked this recipe (which calls for breasts), so I just approximated the filling and cooking times.

                                                                                                                      2. h
                                                                                                                        Harters Mar 1, 2012 06:47 AM

                                                                                                                        Herself is off out with cronies tonight - they'll be having pizza.

                                                                                                                        Which leaves me with two lamb loin chops. Now, having eaten lunch (or, to be more precise, grossly over-eaten) at the all-you-can-shovel-in Chinese buffet in the town centre, I have a distinct lack of interest in dinner. Yes, I will be peckish later on. But, no, I can't be arsed to make anything interesting. The chops will go under the grill. yesterday's leftover brocolli and carrot will go in the microwave. And, if a carb is needed, there a tin of spelt in the cupboard.

                                                                                                                        1. L.Nightshade Feb 29, 2012 08:30 PM

                                                                                                                          One of the pleasures of this town is a local deli that makes it's own sausages, cures it's own meats. I picked up some "Spanish style" sausages, and cooked them up tonight. First browned, then finished in white wine. Caramelized pears went deliciously well with the sausage, as did polenta cooked with chicken broth and paprika. A crunchy salad of greens and beets with a gorgonzola dressing accompanied. A lot of reward for a very quick meal.

                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                            sedimental Feb 29, 2012 08:40 PM

                                                                                                                            Where did ya get those sausages, nightshade? We live in the same town :)

                                                                                                                            1. re: sedimental
                                                                                                                              L.Nightshade Feb 29, 2012 08:43 PM

                                                                                                                              Wow, a hamster! Sausages are from Old World Deli. Lovely people, great foods.

                                                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                sedimental Feb 29, 2012 09:02 PM

                                                                                                                                A hamster and proud of it!

                                                                                                                                I am totally stealing your idea for the pears and polenta sides...as I have sausages defrosting right now for tomorrow's dinner!

                                                                                                                                1. re: sedimental
                                                                                                                                  L.Nightshade Feb 29, 2012 09:48 PM

                                                                                                                                  The pear and sausage combination is a Claudia Roden idea. It was so successful, I had to make sure I had a bite of each on every forkful!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                    gingershelley Mar 1, 2012 10:43 AM

                                                                                                                                    Nightshade, going to borrow this combo myself. Sounds terrific with some sausages from Han's Deli....

                                                                                                                            2. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                              mariacarmen Mar 1, 2012 10:49 PM

                                                                                                                              2nd time in a day someone's impressed me with pears! that looks like a really comforting, yummy meal.

                                                                                                                            3. weezieduzzit Feb 29, 2012 07:16 PM

                                                                                                                              I'm more than willingly finishing up last nights French Onion soup. Its even better today than it was last night. :)

                                                                                                                              1. r
                                                                                                                                RelishPDX Feb 29, 2012 06:47 PM

                                                                                                                                "Hoisin-explosion Shrimp" tonight from an old Time-Life series of cookbooks (don't laugh!). It was actually good. I'll play with it a bit to tone down the sweetness, since I'll make it again, but it had a balance of sweet, salty, sour, and spicy, without the hoisin sauce predominating. Served it with the suggested "Home-style Spicy Eggplant". I've had much better eggplant from this same series, that I'll go back to, but at least I got to use Chinkiang vinegar for the first time.

                                                                                                                                1. JungMann Feb 29, 2012 06:41 PM

                                                                                                                                  I think chicken adobo is pretty well-known on this board, but adobo is an all-purpose cooking method in the Philippines, used as avidly with vegetables as with meat. So for dinner I used the leftover braising liquid from an earlier chicken adobo and used it to lightly braise kale. With crispy fried garlic and a dipping sauce made from lime juice, Sriracha, bagoong, cilantro and fish sauce, it was a perfect fridge cleanser. For dessert homemade chocolate cream sodas.

                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                    onceadaylily Feb 29, 2012 07:46 PM

                                                                                                                                    Your meal appeals to me, JM--especially with the fried garlic. I'm tucking that pairing away for future reference.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                      JungMann Feb 29, 2012 08:03 PM

                                                                                                                                      The fried garlic is the best part of adobo. After braising it gets impossibly soft in the center and caramelized on the outside. As a word of forewarning, this is the first vegetable adobo I actually liked. I'd like to say that the bitter greens were just a better pairing for adobo than okra or water spinach, but I think the chicken added depth to the braising liquid that I never achieved when making purely vegetarian adobo.

                                                                                                                                  2. gingershelley Feb 29, 2012 06:30 PM

                                                                                                                                    After being out all day when it was alternately snowing, sleeting, raining, blowing, I have turned away from my fatty failed slow-cooker failed Boston Butt of last night;

                                                                                                                                    My cheatin' heart is using my go-too-when-not-homemade TJ's bolognese sauce (really good, folks if you can't get it done and CRAVE bolognese... really!). Start with some crimini's sauteed with garlic and a shallot, put in the sauce while the pasta boils, add a small glug of red wine, reduce, and mix with the spaghetti. Soul satisfying for sure on a wet night, with some garlic toast made from last of the no-knead bread.

                                                                                                                                    Happy finish to LEAP DAY!

                                                                                                                                    1. BananaBirkLarsen Feb 29, 2012 06:14 PM

                                                                                                                                      I've been craving pierogies ever since a very kind CHer posted their secret recipe in another thread yesterday. I had everything on hand except for the cheese, so I tweaked the filling a bit to make potato, onion and smoked paprika pierogies instead of the potato and cheese described in the recipe. They're chilling in the freezer right now and I have high hopes for them. I plan on boiling them, then pan frying in some olive oil (out of butter too...) and sprinkling with some coarse salt. Sadly, I used up the last of my sour cream in the recipe itself, so I don't have anything to top them with. If it wasn't raining so hard, and I wasn't so lazy, I'd go to the store (but it is, and I am).

                                                                                                                                      The pierogies will be served with some chicken leg quarters, dusted with flour and pan browned, then baked with a garlic-cider vinegar-brown sugar-smoked paprika rub. And a really basic salad, using the only two vegetable in the house: lettuce and tomatoes. I'm thinking a grapefruit vinaigrette to cut through all that rich potato and smokey paprika.

                                                                                                                                      I've been putting it off all week, but I really need to do some grocery shopping.

                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                                                                                                                        gingershelley Feb 29, 2012 06:26 PM

                                                                                                                                        BBL, yum...peirogies! Can you share how they turn out, and post what thread you got the recipe from. THAT sounds like something to make at home before the weather turns nicer and my heart turns away from comfort food.

                                                                                                                                        Again... YUM... Ppppeeerrooooggggiiieees:)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                          BananaBirkLarsen Feb 29, 2012 08:20 PM

                                                                                                                                          The recipe was posted by SamA67 in this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/821121 and the pierogies are sooo worth the effort. These were by far the best pierogies I've ever made, in spite of completely improvising the filling (for the record, potato-onion-smoked paprika works really well with these, but I can't wait to try the cheese version posted too). Actually, the whole dinner turned out really great. I will definitely be making the chicken again as well. It turned out nice and crispy on the outside and really super juicy on the inside.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                                                                                                                            ChristinaMason Feb 29, 2012 08:29 PM

                                                                                                                                            thank you!!

                                                                                                                                        2. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                                                                                                                          ChristinaMason Feb 29, 2012 08:09 PM

                                                                                                                                          Where'dja find the pierogie recipe?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                                                                                                                            auburnselkie Mar 5, 2012 09:54 AM

                                                                                                                                            Ooh - it's going to get much colder here tomorrow and I am so doing this! Thank you for the inspiration!

                                                                                                                                          2. t
                                                                                                                                            TxnInMtl Feb 29, 2012 04:33 PM

                                                                                                                                            I got a copy of Real Thai for Christmas and have been letting it just sit on the bookshelf. Tonight, I finally got to get some use out of it with the red beef curry recipe. Even better, I used up the squash from our CSA box that's been sitting on the counter taunting me for the past couple of weeks. I meant to make the curry paste in the book, but haven't found the time this week, so it was store-bought instead. I may have also oversalted the curry and the meat ended up a little tough. Not the best way to start out a new cookbook, but it was a quick recipe and definitely isn't bad. The BF is working late, so I guess I'll see what he thinks when he finally makes it home.

                                                                                                                                            1. gingershelley Feb 29, 2012 09:53 AM

                                                                                                                                              I must say, my Boston Butt in the crock pot was not a rousing success; I think I should stick to low-n-slow oven roasting for that cut. Pan juices too greasy to enjoy without chilling and taking off the fat, and the top of the roast still had it's fat cap on that did not render properly even tho I stuck the cooked roast in the oven for an hour at the end with the lid off. So just took some of the meat from the bottom and had it on buns with a little doctored bottled bbq sauce and a little fennel salad.

                                                                                                                                              tonight - LEAP DAY(!) - I will clean up the juices, trim up that fat cap, and put it back in the oven again to crisp up and try again, with the potato pancackes I was going to make last night. Sigh. I guess it's ok to sometimes have a fail....

                                                                                                                                              1. w
                                                                                                                                                wyogal Feb 29, 2012 08:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                Leftovers, ribs from last night, beans from several days ago, and some kind of veggie.

                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: wyogal
                                                                                                                                                  MaryContrary Feb 29, 2012 08:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                  Here, too, WyoGal. I'm thinking I'll turn the rest of the cream of shrimp soup I made several days ago into an Alfredo pasta dish and serve with garlic bread/toast and a salad. I found romaine hearts on sale 3/99 cents. Should be really good, but I envy you your leftover ribs.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MaryContrary
                                                                                                                                                    wyogal Feb 29, 2012 03:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                    :) Your cream soup idea sounds good, too!

                                                                                                                                                2. h
                                                                                                                                                  Harters Feb 29, 2012 07:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                  I guess I'm making a giant sausage roll for dinner.

                                                                                                                                                  I'll be mixing some sausage meat (I've got a nice peppery Cumberland sausage) with some finely chopped onion, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, choped sage, finely diced eating apple, & wholegrain mustard. This gunk goes towards one end of a sheet of puff pastry. The pastry is then rolled to enclose the gunk, egg washed and baked fro 40 minutes or so.

                                                                                                                                                  There's carrots to be used up. I think I'll slice them very thinly using the veg peeler and "braise" them in butter and a splash of water for a few minutes. It may need a tin of butter beans as well.

                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                    ChristinaMason Feb 29, 2012 07:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                    That sausage roll sounds excellent! I like the apple addition.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                      Harters Feb 29, 2012 08:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                      The pig/apple/pastry combo crops up quite regularly in British cooking. As in this traditional fidget pie, from almost my part of the world : http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/shr...

                                                                                                                                                  2. b
                                                                                                                                                    Berheenia Feb 29, 2012 05:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Last night I remembered I had a ham steak so that was sauteed in butter and bathed in OJ with garlic and paprika. There is half left to be repurposed as ham salad or part of a mac and cheese. Last weekend I bought some cheddar made with raw milk and it made the most delicious cheese sauce to go over broccoli - plate licking good stuff. There was enough leftover rice and roasted squash and spinach to make the meal vaguely healthy. I just read this in the horoscope- hope the mods are in tune withe the moon today!
                                                                                                                                                    Today: February 29, 2012
                                                                                                                                                    Waxing moon in Gemini. This is your extra day. The day you didn’t expect. The day you can squeeze amusing experiences into. The day you can leap into possibility, and follow your instincts. If you spend this day whining, or with tiresome personalities, or saying something you’ve already said, you’re blowing it.

                                                                                                                                                    1. mamachef Feb 29, 2012 05:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                      In neither the "AA: or even the "A" category, tonight's dinner was a mishmash of carefully selected ingredients: round steak, zucchini, celery, bean sprouts, broccoli and etcetera, stir-fried with a dash of soy and some mirin. Side of sauteed garlic noodles. Plenty good, and plenty left. (Busily envisioning a steaming bowlful, topped with a medium fried egg, for breakfast.)

                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit Feb 29, 2012 05:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Ok, the breakfast with a topping of a fried egg sounds heavenly!

                                                                                                                                                      2. r
                                                                                                                                                        RelishPDX Feb 28, 2012 11:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Sometimes the fridge and pantry plan the dinner. A zucchini that didn't make it into the deep fryer for tempura. Mushrooms that shouldn't go another day or two. A sack of potatoes calling out to be used up. And freshly boned chicken breasts from a fryer cut up for stock that could either be used or frozen.

                                                                                                                                                        Add a bottle of Marsala to the mix, and we've got Chicken Marsala with fluffy mashed potatoes and sauteed zucchini, a comforting menu for a stormy night. Gotta admit though, my taste buds started yelling, "Hey, where's all the spice you got me used to? Gimme some SPICE!" I'm going to have to make last night's Black Pepper Shrimp again real soon.

                                                                                                                                                        The other breast went into the freezer, the rest of the chicken is happily getting a suntan in the oven, and in between, mushrooms, lily bulbs, and bamboo shoots got prepped for another glorious pot of Thai Hot-n-Sour soup to go into the freezer as soon as the chicken stock is ready. I was really happy with how the last batch froze and reheated, even with egg and tofu in it.

                                                                                                                                                        I was going to make Tom Yum Goong soup for the first time instead, but I've already gone through all 4 limes I bought on Friday, and didn't want to venture out.

                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: RelishPDX
                                                                                                                                                          LindaWhit Feb 29, 2012 05:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Grinning at the "suntanned" chicken. :-)

                                                                                                                                                        2. l
                                                                                                                                                          LisaPA Feb 28, 2012 08:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                          "Mexican" grilled cheese and tomato soup. I made a quesadilla with really sharp cheddar. To go with, I made pantry tomato soup - a garlic clove sauteed in olive oil, 1 can diced tomatoes, a few Tbsp of tomato paste, a cup of veggie broth, salt, a dash of onion powder, dash of smoked paprika and a spoonful of adobo sauce. To make it creamy, I used half a can of evaporated milk (shh, don't tell) and then whizzed it with the immersion blender.

                                                                                                                                                          The quesadilla wedges were perfect to dip in mugs of soup, which was pretty darn good, considering I was too tired to go to the store. After dinner I went back in the kitchen and made the same thing, switching out the tomatoes with a bag of frozen cauliflower and the rest of the veggie broth and evaporated milk.

                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LisaPA
                                                                                                                                                            ZoeZ Feb 28, 2012 10:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Made fresh turkey breast sandwiches with avocado and Julian bakery bread followed by smelly french cheese on finnish crackers while we watched Gods and Monsters - its cold and rainy in LA

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ZoeZ
                                                                                                                                                              mariacarmen Mar 1, 2012 10:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                              smelly french cheese & Gods & Monsters? Perfect combo!

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: LisaPA
                                                                                                                                                              cstout Feb 29, 2012 07:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                              LisaPA, Loved the way you doctored up the canned tomato soup...sure sounds good. I am going to do this for my lunch & make some homemade tortillas for my quesadillas.

                                                                                                                                                              You really must try homesick texan's flour tortillas that call for warm milk, that is the key to making good tortillas. The recipe is absolutely easy to do & will knock your socks off. So many things to stick into a warm puffy, speckly, tortilla. No equipment needed, just a rolling pin. Try the recipe as is & then try to sub in a little wheat flour if that is your thing...I have not done this, so I can't tell you how it will turn out. Your family will love you making these.
                                                                                                                                                              Just thought I would throw this in...your quesadillas will take on a new level if you make that recipe.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cstout
                                                                                                                                                                LisaPA Feb 29, 2012 08:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Just to clarify, it wasn't canned tomato soup - I hate that stuff. It was a can of diced tomatoes that I turned into soup.

                                                                                                                                                                I've not yet made my own tortillas, but I have made my own pita, so it can't be much harder than that!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LisaPA
                                                                                                                                                                  cstout Feb 29, 2012 09:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  LisaPA, oh diced tomatoes...thank you for pointing that out, hope you make some tortillas soon...I have not made pita, will look into that.

                                                                                                                                                            3. weezieduzzit Feb 28, 2012 07:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                              French onion soup with home made beef stock (about 48 hours in the crock pot so it's super rich.) At the last minute I decided to add a jar of onion marmalade I made some time back instead of adding vinegar at the end. It was a good call- it's outstanding! A tiny bit of sweetness, good thyme flavor and a little acidity from the balsamic in the marmalade. No crouton for me, though. :( I'm completely off bread right now and feeling MUCH better. Veggies on the side.... always have to have the green things.....

                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                                                                                                                RelishPDX Feb 28, 2012 11:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Oh wow, that does sound good. Onion marmalade, eh? I've got to look that one up. Sounds like something that's right up my alley.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: RelishPDX
                                                                                                                                                                  weezieduzzit Feb 29, 2012 08:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Its from a blog called My Husband Cooks. I've taken to making a couple of different batches of it and tweaking them so I have different tastes for different applications- this batch had much less sugar than the recipe. The by-the-recipe-batch was our favorite for grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches.... seriously yummy.

                                                                                                                                                              2. s
                                                                                                                                                                suburban_mom Feb 28, 2012 05:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                We didn't watch the Academy Awards but had a nice baked ziti with spicy sausage and pork ragu. Last night was tacos with boxed shells and canned refried beans (the kids were so happy).

                                                                                                                                                                Tonight, potato soup made in my new (gasp) crockpot and beer bread. Blue Moon beer seems to make the best beer bread. Soup garnishes included shredded sharp cheddar cheese, green onions, and bacon. Good for a night when it is snowing, sleeting and raining.

                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: suburban_mom
                                                                                                                                                                  ChristinaMason Feb 28, 2012 06:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  As usual, sounds great! Is your beer bread yeasted?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: suburban_mom
                                                                                                                                                                    TxnInMtl Feb 29, 2012 04:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    That sounds like the perfect snowy/sleeting/cold raining night food. It's also been too long since I had some Blue Moon!

                                                                                                                                                                  2. GretchenS Feb 28, 2012 05:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    For some reason I tried the Kale and Mushroom Stroganoff on CHOW, despite less than rave reviews. I like every single ingredient in there but it was totally meh, even when I amped up the paprika considerably and added some half-sharp as well. I kept thinking it would make a decent sauce on a really great grilled steak. And I am quite happy to eat non-meat meals, it wasn't that. Whatever, waste of good kale, creminis and sour cream. And calories. And furthermore, I will probably need to eat something else because I'm not SATISFIED. :)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. steve h. Feb 28, 2012 04:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Mussels with a saffron tomato sauce. The recipe is courtesy of Jacques Pepin. There will be a baguette on the side. A French rose to wash things down. NCIS will be on the plasma. It's a standup meal.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. linguafood Feb 28, 2012 02:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Even tho I have a massive eating w/end ahead of me, and I should thus be subsisting on water and dust, I'm making the good ole house-fave of .... yep. Piccata di pollo with a side salad, hoping that's light enough. Another Sichuan indulgence tomorrow and then off zum Großen Apfel.

                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                          buttertart Feb 28, 2012 04:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Life is too short for water and dust, sweetcakes. Herzliches Willkommen!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                            biondanonima Feb 28, 2012 07:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Hm, looks like we're trading places - I'm heading to Berlin next week! In any case, I agree with buttertart - life is too short for prepenting!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: biondanonima
                                                                                                                                                                              ChristinaMason Feb 29, 2012 05:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              Oh, Berlin! If you'd like dining rec's, hit me (or maybe linguafood?) up!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: biondanonima
                                                                                                                                                                                linguafood Feb 29, 2012 08:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                What CM said - please don't hesitate to ask for recs on the Yurrp board!!

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                JungMann Feb 29, 2012 08:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                Gute Reise to my fair city!

                                                                                                                                                                              3. ChristinaMason Feb 28, 2012 02:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Tonight'll be mapo tofu (inspired by many other Hounds this past week), but I'll be using ground turkey instead of pork. I'll serve it with either riced cauliflower or broccoli slaw saute, one.

                                                                                                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                  Berheenia Feb 28, 2012 03:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  I have to figure a way to persuade my husband to try mapo tofu. hmm
                                                                                                                                                                                  It sounds so good and lately we are getting lots of free tofu at the food pantry - I want to have a simple recipe using tofu for the clients to try - we do offer ground turkey. This may be the answer. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Berheenia
                                                                                                                                                                                    ChristinaMason Feb 28, 2012 05:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I followed a recipe posted by buttertart, which I think may have been a Dunlop paraphrase. Here are her words:

                                                                                                                                                                                    "1 lb firm tofu cut in 1 in cubes and left to steep in hot salted water, 1 tsp Sichuan pepper roasted and crushed, 6 oz ground pork or beef, 2 1/2 tb chili bean sauce, 1 tb rinsed fermented black beans, chopped,1 cup chicken stock (I cheated with Knorr broth powder), 2 tsp soy sauce, 3 small leeks or a bunch of scallions, thinly sliced at steep diagonal and washed well (especially if they're leeks), 4 tb cornstarch in 6 tb cold water.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Cook the meat over high heat until browned. Add the chili bean sauce, the black beans, stir well, let cook a min or so. Drain and add the tofu, stir gently to combine, trying not to break up the tofu too much. Pour in the stock and simmer for a few mins. Put in the leek/onion, stir up, thicken with the cornstarch slurry (you won't need it all, stop when the sauce coats things nicely but isn't gloopy). Top with the Sichuan pepper. Serve. If you're as handy with kuaizi (chopsticks) as my man is, eat it with chopsticks. I like to eat it with a Chinese porcelain soup spoon.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Can add cayenne/Chinese chili powder with the chili bean sauce (I added 1/2 tsp of one I got in a cellophane packet labeled "Chinese crunch chili" - sort of beige-y colored and hot as the hinges of Hades)."

                                                                                                                                                                                    I love the idea of promoting this recipe in the food pantry, but to be honest, the chili bean paste, black bean paste, and szechuan peppercorns are not the easiest to source, esp. on a budget! Perhaps you could develop something similar using other sauce components? Or are you able to provide small amounts of pre-mixed condiments, say, in small plastic salad dressing containers?

                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, and if you can get the ingredients for this dish? It's absolutely delicious. I even added sauteed mushrooms and sliced zukes, and it didn't suffer. Very good.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                      biondanonima Feb 28, 2012 07:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      I love love LOVE Mapo tofu and make it frequently - my husband, who is not the biggest fan of tofu, also loves it. largely because there is a good amount of meat (I usually use a pound of ground beef/pork to a pound of tofu) and because the tofu soaks in the spicy sauce long enough that it just tastes like the sauce. My recipe is more or less the same as ChristinaMason's, but I never bother simmering the tofu in water first, and I tend to use a lot more meat and heat. I love it with crisp-tender steamed broccoli.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: biondanonima
                                                                                                                                                                                        sedimental Feb 28, 2012 07:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        I just made Mapo tofu tonight ( but I pre pressed and marinated the tofu) and added shirataki tofu noodles to the mix with some extra chicken stock...wow terrific. I made enough for lunches for the rest of the week. So spicy and comforting in the middle of a work day.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sedimental
                                                                                                                                                                                          GretchenS Feb 28, 2012 07:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I LOVE the idea of adding shirataki tofu noodles, I can see that that would take mapo tofu right over the top -- fantastic idea, going to do that next time I make it, fer sure!!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sedimental
                                                                                                                                                                                            L.Nightshade Feb 28, 2012 07:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Wow, this really is Mapo tofu season! I wish I had made enough for a week of leftovers. Good plan!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                              mariacarmen Feb 29, 2012 11:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              where oh where is my delivery of sichuan peppercorns and fermented black beans????

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                          Berheenia Feb 29, 2012 05:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm going for it when my partner in crime returns to the pantry- she had a surgery. I can request people donate Asian condiments and specify a few in our newsletter (or buy them ourselves), Thanks! I'll report back later! Now on to hubby....

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Berheenia
                                                                                                                                                                                            ChristinaMason Feb 29, 2012 06:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Make it, and buy some rice from Chinese takeout. Leave the boxes out and tell him you picked up some carryout and they must have switched your orders, but you might as well try it. Done! ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                              mariacarmen Feb 29, 2012 11:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              sneaky.... i like it.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. onceadaylily Feb 28, 2012 12:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      I thought I was going to have to work tonight, but was given a reprieve. I do love it when I am gifted with time. But since I do have long days the next two days my cooking night is back on the schedule, with a few easy things to throw together. Tonight is the aforementioned white bean, cauliflower, swiss chard, and carrot soup, with shallots, and tarragon, either toasted garlic bread or garlic croutons to go with.

                                                                                                                                                                                      For tomorrow night, I'm making a batch of spicy petite crimson lentils (we have both bread and tortillas, whatever he wants to use), the seared sesame green beans he loves ever so much, and another batch of the mustardy roasted cauliflower. I'll also make a batch of cheese polenta (with smoked cheddar) for thursday, toss some spinach and tomatoes into a pan to mix in that night, and fry a few eggs to go on top of the whole shebang.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Someone around here had that recipe for an oh-so-easy oven-baked polenta that earned a fair amount of praise. I might dig that up and give it a try tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                                                        mariacarmen Feb 28, 2012 01:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        can you list (or relist) the recipe for the seared sesame green beans, lily, please? sounds like it would be simple and good.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                          onceadaylily Feb 28, 2012 01:21 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                          It is both. I also add rice vinegar, use mirin instead of sugar, and sometimes will add garlic to the pan just before the beans. And I used to add a splash of fish sauce, before my body betrayed me so.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                                                            mariacarmen Feb 28, 2012 02:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            sad about the fish sauce....

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                                                          onceadaylily Feb 29, 2012 07:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I just wanted to report back that I am in love with this polenta. This method freed up the needed space on top of the stove, and really required no more than a quick stir every fifteen minutes or so to smooth out any lumps. And it came out so well. I found that it took more time than stove-top method, but the ease of the method balanced it out for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Here's the thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/454690

                                                                                                                                                                                        3. w
                                                                                                                                                                                          wyogal Feb 28, 2012 11:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I have a big rack-o-ribs frozen out on the counter. Will season lightly and roast in the oven. Not sure what else. Was to have violin lessons to teach, but it's crappy out, snowy, icy. So I cancelled, also have a cold. If I cancel, they don't pay, if they cancel, they pay (wait, isn't that another thread....). So, thought I'd let them off the hook and cancel first. And I don't really want to pass this cold along.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. gingershelley Feb 28, 2012 11:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Happy National Pancake day to all WFD Ch'ers!

                                                                                                                                                                                            There will be grated potato pancakes with my main tonight:)

                                                                                                                                                                                            Today is much nicer weather than predicted (yeah!), but I am still going to cook my boston butt pork roast in the slow cooker since I had planned that, to go with potato pancakes. Cooking in my slow cooker with an interesting sounding recipe that uses ground mustard, ginger, worchestire sauce, brown sugar, and cranberries, plus garlic, onion, etc. Putting that in soon, and should be ready by 6-7 pm. Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. b
                                                                                                                                                                                              Berheenia Feb 28, 2012 08:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Spent the weekend cooking for the new parents- there are now 3 sets plus a long ago planned event making lunch for a group. I've gotten so I can make this casserole in my sleep. A box of Near East Rice pilaf is cooked with some Italian seasoning. A large green pepper and a bunch of scallions are chopped up and sauteed with 2 cups of cooked chicken cubes in a tiny bit of oil and mixed in to the rice with a cup of chopped tomatoes, Sounds boring but it is a true comfort food. Recipe on the back of the box. Also whipped up some mac and cheese using the recipe on the back of the box. I added sliced sauteed beef Kielbasa to jazz it up and froze these for later, Hubby had some painful gum work done so is living on soup and overcooked pasta. I picked up a rotisserie chicken at Costco and it is a wonderful thing. Sliced for dinner with some roasted butternut squash and chopped up for the next rice casserole I see a chicken carcass in my future. For excitement I made the so called Weeknight Bolognese from America's Test Kitchen last night. It takes a lot longer than I like for a weeknight but it is so good and it makes plenty to freeze. I have cauliflower, potatoes and a head of fennel to roast but am a little sick of pasta and chicken. I'm going to lurk around for the rest of the week for some ideas.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. h
                                                                                                                                                                                                Harters Feb 28, 2012 08:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                After a few meh meals, I reckon even I can't screw this one up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                A couple of wedged red onions get a gentle fry along with cumin, ground coriander and harissa. Then some chunks of chicken go in, followed by some butternut squash. A few minutes later a tin of tomatoes goes in along with a little water. Lid on and it potters along for 20 minutes or so. Then some lemon zest and juice goes in, along with halved cherry tomatoes and couscous. Pan comes off the heat and sits there for 10 minute sor so, while the couscous does its thang.

                                                                                                                                                                                                A rarity at Casa Harters - we're having a sweet. Apple crumble & custard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                  ChristinaMason Feb 28, 2012 12:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  <Apple crumble & custard>

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pardon me while I Rachel Ray you, but: yummmmmmmmmm

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. r
                                                                                                                                                                                                  RelishPDX Feb 27, 2012 09:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tonight, Shrimp in Black Pepper Sauce, using a recipe I'd bookmarked for crab legs. Man oh man, this is HOT! And that's even with cutting the chili paste and black pepper down by about half. But boy, is it ever tasty.


                                                                                                                                                                                                  On the other side of the rice I had some baby bok choy braised with oyster sauce, so I was able to control the heat a bit by lightly dipping the shrimp in the braising liquid. One thing I'd change for the next time is to put way more green onion in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I added a tablespoon of Lingham's hot sauce to see if I could taste anything going on in the background that's different than usual, and I'm tasting a bit of vinegar that goes nicely with the other flavors, even though there's no vinegar in the dish other than in the Lingham's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  This is a keeper. Wish I had my camera set up, but it came out looking pretty much like the photo on the blog, just with shrimp instead of crab legs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. mariacarmen Feb 27, 2012 08:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    oops, and the pics.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                      GretchenS Feb 28, 2012 07:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      It sure *looks* good. I did laugh at the aghast line. Only a Chowhound....

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                        L.Nightshade Feb 28, 2012 03:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Agree with Gretchen, it certainly looks wonderful! Do you think it was the particular pate you used? Or you just didn't like pate in the sandwich?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                          mariacarmen Feb 28, 2012 03:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          i liked the paté by itself, it was delicious - pork and chicken and truffles - but it just sort of took away from some of the flavors of everything else. it sounds odd, i know... i do know that it is standard in banh mi.... maybe it was the truffles. it's just that everything else is so fresh and crispy and zingy, and then you have that bite of hot meat, and it just all goes so well together... and then the paté just kind of added too much richness. i can't believe i'm even saying this. next i'll be telling you i'm over bacon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                            L.Nightshade Feb 28, 2012 04:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Did you just say "too much richness"? What have you done with the real mariacarmen?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                              mariacarmen Feb 28, 2012 04:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              i'm a pod person! help me! help me!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                GretchenS Feb 28, 2012 05:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Give us our mc back, pod person!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  mariacarmen Feb 28, 2012 06:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  muuuuahhahahahahahahahaa.... she's mine! off to start her new life at the wheatgrass emporium!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    GretchenS Feb 28, 2012 07:16 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. mariacarmen Feb 27, 2012 08:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Banh mi was a mitigated success. I used Costco bulgogi - not recommended - i doctored it up some but still, even Trader Joe's is better; granted, i should have made my own meat. at least it was cut very thin so it grilled up nicely, with little caramelized crunchy bits. The sandwiches further consisted of: paté, kiwie mayo, pickled carrots, red onion and daikon, chili garlic sauce, nam pla with ginger and habanero, thin slices of jalapeno and cucumber, slivered green onion, cilantro and basil. I have a nearby meximart that sells fresh daily vietnamese bakery rolls - light & crispy when toasted up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        i have to say, and no one is more aghast at this than i, the paté was my least favorite thing on the sandwich. I felt it kind of muddled the flavors of everything else, when i usually think of banh mis as having very clean, fresh flavors.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        alongside i made a red cabbage salad with scallions, dressed in sesame oil, dark soy, and a little rice vinegar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        sorry for the fuzzy pic.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. w
                                                                                                                                                                                                          wyogal Feb 27, 2012 05:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          While performing for some 1st graders today, I did a couple of songs concerning food, and asked them what I should make for supper. I got lots of "ma-n-cheese!' "fried chicken!" "Pizza!" and one little boy said, "Stew!" ha! So that's what I did. I browned some meat in bacon grease, added flour to it so it would thicken once in the cooker, (small dice stew meat), cut up some potatoes, carrots, threw in a package of beefy onion soup, a single Knorr reduced beef stock pkg, a bay leaf, and a bit of tomato sauce (home made from crushed tomatoes, onion, garlic) that was in the fridge.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Husband has parent-teacher conferences tonight, so will be home later. Easy supper. serve yourself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: wyogal
                                                                                                                                                                                                            gingershelley Feb 27, 2012 06:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sounds yum - the stew, and the time with the kiddies!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wyogal, I want to hear more about the songs perfomed for 1st graders about food?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            That sounds like something we need to hear about!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                              wyogal Feb 27, 2012 06:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I just had a bowl, and it is really good! Nothing fancy. It's going to snow again tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                mariacarmen Feb 27, 2012 08:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                me too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. roxlet Feb 27, 2012 03:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tonight will be veal marsala with a bodacious amount of mushrooms, and probably rice on the side with broccoli. I gave the guys a choice between Marsala and Milanese, and Marsala was the winner tonight. It's one of my favorite things (made right, of course), and I am extremely happy to have a wonderful chicken stock reducing on the stove for use in the sauce. Last time I reduced this stock, it practically turned into a demi glace since the stock was made with pounds and pounds of chicken wing tips. It made the sauce particularly unctuous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                gingershelley Feb 27, 2012 04:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Your inspiring me roxlet; I made stock Saturday; perhaps some chicken Marsala - with double mushrooms, of course - will be on the menu tomorrow:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  nomadchowwoman Feb 27, 2012 05:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Do you use a particular recipe--or just know how to make it? My husband absolutely loves it, but the few times I've tried to make it, I wasn't crazy about it myself--and I don't think he was crazy about mine either..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    roxlet Feb 27, 2012 06:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Here is the recipe I use. It's from an old Gourmet issue, but it's on epicurious:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As it says, it's for chicken Marsala, but I make it with both chicken and veal. I like this recipe because the addition of the cream makes the sauce more substantial. I have tried other versions, but this one is the one that rings all the bells for everyone -- myself included!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. steve h. Feb 27, 2012 03:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Crispy chicken thighs. The recipe came from Thomas Keller's ad hoc at home. The lemon, olives and fennel give it a bit of a punch. Cheesy grits will be on the side. House red to wash it down. Daytona 500 will be on the plasma, weather permitting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. nomadchowwoman Feb 27, 2012 03:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A very small gathering--three of us--for AA and Oscartizers (thank you, Buttertart) last night. I was wearing vintage Gap.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    On the menu: smoked salmon, pump, & accoutrements; asparagus w/sesame mayo; my take on Venetian tremazzini; mushroom toasts; scallion-turkey meatballs (more like little pyramids!) w/soy glaze. A rose bubbly leftover from the holidays.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      linguafood Feb 27, 2012 03:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mmmmasparagus. I almost made some with a lemon zest mayo. Love asparagus!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Great spread, ncw.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        gingershelley Feb 27, 2012 04:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NCW, your invited to my next party too, as long as you bring on some tremazzini; Looks delish - all of it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Asperagus is on the menu 3-4 times this week I think; in my local Kroger store for$1.39 a lb. I know it's not local, but it is looking spring-ish outside, and this just makes it feel like it's here already!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          nomadchowwoman Feb 27, 2012 05:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          OK, I'm coming. Tremazzini are the easiest thing to make. Some of mine were really just ham sandwiches--thin-sliced ham, onion, mayo. Cut off the crusts and it's an "hors d'oeuvre."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm right there with the out-of-season asparagus--esp. at that price. (Well, it's always out of season here, anyway.) Can't eat brussels sprouts every night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            gingershelley Feb 27, 2012 06:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Please, NMC, A little Ham-and Cheese sammie, is a whole nother dish when called a Tremazzini, I am sure. I like a 'cut off the crust and wowie - horses douvers!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wouldn't it be fun to plan a 'virtual' cocktail party with a bunch of CH'er's?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ER, slightly out of step Mod's, and all of you here on WFD: couldn't we plan a 'cocktail party", or a 'progressive dinner (due to different time differentials) on SKYPE with a 'meetup' type phone number and SKYPE connect we all could get in on?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I would love to have dinner with so many of you.... an idea....!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        mariacarmen Feb 27, 2012 04:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "vintage Gap" - love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        all of it sounds luscious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          GretchenS Feb 28, 2012 07:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wow, those look delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ChristinaMason Feb 28, 2012 12:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mind sharing your meatball recipe? (Mine always come out triangular, too).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              nomadchowwoman Mar 2, 2012 11:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              From the Canal House gals, CM--here's the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/02/din...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This was my third time making these, and this time I wasn't as crazy about them; they seemed both a little dry (I used the fattier ground turkey alternative but very possibly over- cooked them) and not salty enough (maybe the use low-sodium soy sauce I used?). Don't get me wrong--we ate all of them; they just weren't as spectacular as I remembered.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              One other note: 1/2 recipe of sauce is more than enough glaze for the yield from 1 lb. of turkey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ChristinaMason Mar 3, 2012 12:45 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            RelishPDX Feb 27, 2012 02:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Finally rustled up some tempura last night, but stopped after frying up the mushrooms and cod. I'd experimented with glazing carrots earlier so I wasn't ravenously hungry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The fish turned out impressively moist, firm, and flaky all at once. Cod comes out of my kitchen much better these days since I picked up Gordon Ramsay's trick of salting it first to release some of the water. I'm really going to have to work on more cod recipes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tested a couple more of the dipping sauces I made the other night, and I'm still liking Wolfgang Puck's mustard sauce the most so far of the five. The last one yet untried is Ming Tsai's Citrus-Mint sauce. In the end though I fuddy-duddied out by getting up for the tartar sauce to finish eating up the fish with more lemon, since none of the sauces were really that spectacular.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            For my glazed carrots experiment, I'd found a quick and easy method for the skillet from an old cookbook that took just 10 minutes from cutting board to plate. That's a record-setting pace for carrots from raw to completely sauced and served in my kitchen. The recipe basically calls for cutting the carrots into coins, then boiling them down with chicken stock, a smashed clove of garlic, and oyster sauce. I tried it again at lunch today with miso and orange zest instead of the garlic and oyster sauce, which came out okay, but has lots of room for improvement. I'm going to try hoisin next.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Has anyone else tried soy sauce 'glaze'? I picked up a bottle of it the other day, mushroom-flavored style. I tried it on plain white rice last night with the carrots, and it's my new favorite alongside tamari. I'm thinking this will work marvelously on fried rice, and it has half the salt of regular soy sauce to boot!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. linguafood Feb 27, 2012 02:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Forgot the (fuzzy) pics...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                L.Nightshade Feb 27, 2012 02:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Wow! Great looking spread. I want like buttons for each photo!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  linguafood Feb 27, 2012 02:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks, Linda. The camera is not the best (ipod), and I wish it were more focused. But ya get the picture :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  mariacarmen Feb 27, 2012 03:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  beautiful! and drooly! i mean, i am, now....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    gingershelley Feb 27, 2012 04:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yum! Your invited to my next cocktail party...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      nomadchowwoman Feb 27, 2012 04:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Very pretty, lingua.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        GretchenS Feb 28, 2012 07:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Those look both gorgeous and delicious, I want them all RIGHT NOW.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          linguafood Feb 28, 2012 08:24 AM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thank you all for your kind words.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. linguafood Feb 27, 2012 02:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Last night's AA event was a success -- despite the lack of *really* exciting gowns (faves were Clooney's "girlfriend", Ms. Cruz, and that amazing Armani thing on one of the Bridesmaids actresses I've never heard of) & the expectedly boring actual show. The only thing worth watching was the Christopher Guest thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I made a pitcher with vodka, pomegranate liqueur, lime & soda that tasted like a tart adult lemonade but packed quite the punch....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The aforementioned brie & roastbeef canapés were among the supporting actors, whereas the shrimp/avocado/wasabi-crème fraîche/black caviar phyllo cups and the boursin/smoked salmon/red pearl onion ring/caper rounds were definitely the winners of the night; the chicken balls w/hoisin my friend brought were also well-received.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tonight will be Malaysian at a local joint -- have a hankering for roti canai, achat, fried rice or chow keuh teow. Followed by last night's recording of the Walking Dead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Booze break today. Oh yeah.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          gingershelley Feb 27, 2012 02:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Aah, Linguafood; your aptz sound delish! Agree on the dirth of dresses that stood out last night. Loved Clooney's gal's, and the bridesmaid gals' if it is the black one shoulder number. Liked Angie's dress, but got annoyed that it looked like she spent a week practicing sticking her leg out of the slit for pictures. Meh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And a fellow Walking Dead lover! So glad to find one on here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Will be watching that tonight as well, but with a small rare steak and a spinach salad with some orange, red onion, feta and mustard viniagrette.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            linguafood Feb 27, 2012 02:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I was actually referring to the brown/red/gold thing that the lady with the excessive bangs was wearing. Angie bores me in anything she wears, plus it's *frightening* to consider with any of these actors that the camera adds 10 lbs. Fucked up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Anywhos. Glad to find another braaaaiiiinnnnnns lover here myself :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Steak might have to be on the menu tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              gingershelley Feb 27, 2012 04:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh! I liked that copper-gold dress too! I am a redhead, so was thinking how great (if I lost 30 pounds) I would look in something like that... well, and if I had a stylist, hairdresser, make-up artist, etc. on hand:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yum, BRAAAAIIIIINNNNNNS! Tho I hate to think what they are eating on that show (in theory), no CH action in a zombie apocalypse!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                jenscats5 Feb 28, 2012 09:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Count me in as a fellow Walking Dead lover!! I'm actually behind since the season restarted, so am thinking of making something tasty (chili?) this weekend to get caught up on the show + The Talking Dead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ChristinaMason Feb 28, 2012 12:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            your canapes sound fantastic, particularly the shrimp!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              linguafood Feb 28, 2012 01:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              the wasabi-mayo was on a whim. i had originally mixed together cocktail sauce and mayo, thinking that might be a good idea. it was not. it was also way too runny a mixture, so a little dot on each thing would have been difficult.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              in general, i was kind of underwhelmed - in the sense that, were those served to me, i wouldn't necessarily ask for the recipe. but they were pretty and tasty and edible, so what the hey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. GretchenS Feb 27, 2012 01:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            For last night's dinner I channeled mariacarmen and L.Nightshade from the last thread and made a salad of ina's quick pickled carrots and daikon (these are amazingly delicious) tossed with red cabbage, mango, scallion, a good squeeze of lime juice, a titch of avocado oil and a generous sprinkling of my new favorite, maras pepper. This accompanied a crispy roasted duck leg and was the perfect foil to the meaty greasy goodness. Sadly the mango was a lousy one and ended up getting picked around. Otherwise a very successful meal. I don't remember who on this board turned me on to maras pepper but I cannot thank whoever it was enough!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tonight will be a beef and kale qeema from by beloved Ismail Merchant cookbook, which I made a good-sized batch of yesterday, knowing I would work late several days this week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              mariacarmen Feb 27, 2012 02:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              nice work on that dinner! too bad about the mango...i have carrots and onions pickling in my fridge as we speak!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                mebby Feb 28, 2012 09:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Love maras pepper! Last time I was in my local spice store, they' said I was the fourth person that morning to come in to buy a big bag of it, so apparently we're not alone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                BTW, your whole meal sounds delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mebby
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  GretchenS Feb 28, 2012 01:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The funny thing is, I really meant to get urfa pepper at the Turkish store but they were out and I didn't want to leave empty-handed and remembered someone here touting maras so I got that and now I wouldn't trade it for anything!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  JungMann Feb 28, 2012 10:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'd like to hear about the qeema. I've never used leafy greens with minced meat before.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    GretchenS Feb 28, 2012 12:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    OK, I am so busted. Ismail Mechant's version has minced beef and potatoes. I always loved it so when I was being good about the low carb thing I just substituted kale for the potatoes, and lo and behold, I like it better that way and have made it that way ever since. I do an equally disgraceful sub of Rotel for the tomatoes and green chili because that is what I had on hand one time, and again, I liked it so much I do it that way all the time know. Come to think of it, I have changed a couple of other things too -- loads more ginger, a sprinkle of garam masala at the end -- so it's really my recipe now, not his at all, he just gave me the starting point. But I still love his book, it is my most tattered and splattered.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      JungMann Feb 28, 2012 01:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hey your own creativity is still an inspiration for me to try the combination. I also leave potatoes and chickpeas out of my picadillo to avoid the carbs -- although truth be told I prefer qeema since, unlike picadillo, it goes well with low carb pitas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ChristinaMason Feb 28, 2012 02:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I would love a full paraphrase of this recipe incorporating your changes, if you ever have the time and inclination. I'm somewhat low-carbing it and love unusual recipes!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          GretchenS Feb 28, 2012 05:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ismail Merchant's list of ingredients:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1/4 c vegetable oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 medium-sized onions, peeled and chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 pounds chopped lean beef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 large potatoes, peeled and cut inot bite-sized pieces
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 inch piece of fresh ginger root, grated
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1/4 cup plain yogurt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 large green chile, seeded (optional) and chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1/2 teaspon salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My ingredients and what I do with them:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 onion, chopped and sauteed in oil with a 1 inch piece of cinnamon stick until starting to brown around the edges, then removed to a bowl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 lb lean ground beef, sauteed with a pinch of salt until fairly well-browned
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Put the onion back into the pan and add about 1/2 a large bunch of kale, ribs removed and chopped into pieces, 1 inch piece of ginger, chopped fairly fine, a couple of large spoonfuls of yogurt and a can of Rotel. Simmer covered for about 30 to 40 minutes, stirring from time to time. At that point I taste and sometimes add a dash of cayenne and nearly always a good hit of garam masala. It is very tasty served over quinoa if you are avoiding rice. It occurred to me that it would probably freeze pretty well and I will probably (in the interest of science) freeze a portion of this batch and see if I'm right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ChristinaMason Feb 28, 2012 05:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks, I appreciate it!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I wonder if the yogurt would break during freezing? I'm surprised it doesn't break when you simmer it---do you always use full-fat?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              GretchenS Feb 28, 2012 05:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I use whatever I have on hand, this time 2%. Really it just dissolves into everything else and is kind of indistinguishable. It's not an especially attractive dish -- kind of brown gloop as Harters would say, flecked with green kale -- but tasty on a cold night and cheap and easy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ChristinaMason Feb 28, 2012 06:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                as long as it looks better than pureed eggplant pasta sauce, I'm game ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  GretchenS Feb 28, 2012 07:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, definitely it does. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    MaryContrary Feb 27, 2012 12:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Homemade tamales (no, not by me, don't want to clean up the mess), toasted cheesy flour tortillas for crunch and a mixed salad with lots of avocado.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. boyzoma Feb 27, 2012 11:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Last night's dinner while watching the AA's was a braised pot roast in the Dutch Oven. The first three hours were simmered in the oven with beef broth, carrots, celery, onion, and a bunch of herbs. Then the broth was strained and the mirepoix tossed. Then added some carrots and potatoes in the last hour of roasting. Oh, man, it was pull apart tender. No knife required! Tonight will be some of Saturday night's leftover chicken fajitas with all the trimmings. Tomorrow night will be french dip using some of the hoagie rolls from the other night and the leftover roast beef. Yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. BananaBirkLarsen Feb 27, 2012 09:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I took a chicken out of the freezer for tonight. The rich onion soup (which we didn't eat until nearly 11pm last night) did not agree with my boyfriend's most delicate digestive system, so he has asked for something more bland tonight. I'm thinking I'll break down the chicken and marinate the breasts in lemon juice and garlic, then "grill" them with asparagus on the broiler. Served over the fresh fettuccine I made yesterday, with a drizzle of olive oil, a splash of balsamic and some crumbled feta.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. junescook Feb 27, 2012 09:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm getting the smoker ready for a big chicken. Yesterday I started it by giving it a good dosing of dry rub. Today I'll be using apple cider in the water pan and as a sprayed on baste as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Harters Feb 27, 2012 05:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Recipe for tonight from the Harters cookbook of the week - Naked Chef, Jamie Oliver, 1999. Which reminds me just how long he's been around now. Taglierini with scallops, white wine, chilli & parsley. Oh, this looks so easy peasy and should be start to finish in well less than 5 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Taglierini gets 3 minutes boil. Scallops, garlic & chilli get the frying pan treatment until one side only of the scallops is seared. A glass of white wine goes in and reduces a bit. This gets bunged into the pasta, along with chopped parsley & 50g or so of butter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Simples. This is the first of Oliver's books and, to my mind, very much the best. We did a couple of recipes last week from "Jamie's Dinners" (a stew and a version of macaroni cheese). Neither were good and, following our rules for this exercise, that book is now on its way to the charity shop.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Harters Feb 27, 2012 12:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Damn. This turned out to be one of the most underwhelming things of recent times. In spite of all the nice tasty things in it, it was just boring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I guess we'll keep the book (although a final decision has yet to be reached by the household court of appeal). However, making its way to the charity shop without anything ever being cooked from it is Chinese Food Made Easy, Chiang-he Huang, 2008.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. mariacarmen Feb 26, 2012 10:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              the oldster's having more eating problems, so i made a potato onion soup for him - basically just boiled some fingerlings in chicken broth, added a small onion cut in quarters, 3 garlic cloves, a bay leaf, and let that all simmer until soft, removed the bay leaf, blended it all, back to the pot, and added frozen peas. tasted for seasoning, and as it had too much flavor, i added about a half cup of milk to bland it up some. then i added very tender chopped up pot roast (care of trader joe's), and voila! PAP!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              at home, the boy had leftover pork, i ate too much take-out fried chicken for lunch (bleah) so i wasn't hungry for dinner. tomorrow night i'm going to copy L.Nightshade - but of course I'm going to cheat. sister bought some Costco Bulgogi that i want to try out. I do have access to vietnamese style bread, and i'll pickle some veg, etc. thanks for the inspiration, LN!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                L.Nightshade Feb 26, 2012 10:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hope your dad is doing OK. Is it taste issues or digestive issues? Also hopes he appreciates his dear daughter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bulgogi from Coscto? We keep vacillating on joining, I wonder if that kind of offering is just bay area Costco. When we did a guest walk-through here, there didn't seem to be much of "our type" of food, except for meats, assuming they are OK.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  mariacarmen Feb 26, 2012 11:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  it's not digestive, but i won't go into it here. people are eating! but thanks for asking, Linda. He's actually eating well again (has an appetite, thanks to better living through pharmaceuticals) but he's having technical difficulties.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've read on CH again and again that Costco has really good meat - i don't end up usually buying the good stuff, tho, because it's just too much (quantity), but both my dad and sister have cards so we'll sometimes buy stuff and split it up. But you're right, it's not mostly "foodie" fare. Though they do have a really good cheese section here, and when it's crab season, we get really great deals on dungenness. I also bought two new quilts there, nice quality, $25 apiece, which I thought was a great price. so it's worth it every now and then. but I wouldn't join as just a couple, unless you have others to split food with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. L.Nightshade Feb 26, 2012 08:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                BANH MI! (maybe, sort of)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                OK, so I couldn't get decent bread. I got a baguette that was far too rustic and chewy. Even tried the Vietnamese restaurant, they said "go to Seattle." Not today, thank you.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I followed mamachef's list of ingredients and directions, with a few changes. So she gets all the accolades, and none of the apologies. The toasted, chewy bread was brushed with the soy/nam pla/oil combination, then smeared with homemade chicken liver pate, and topped with a combination of quickly pickled chile peppers (jalapeno, serrano, Thai bird), some pickled red onion, and cilantro. Over that went slices of garlic-brined pork, bacon, and shredded chicken breast. Atop that went pickled carrot and daikon. Lettuce topped it off, and a weird sauce went on the top half of the bread.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I had tried to make mayonnaise, but "room temperature" in my house right now is not much warmer than the fridge, so it broke badly. I had a teaspoon of store bought mayo left in a miniature jar I've had for (I hate to say how long) a while. Extended it with some sweet chile paste. Weird, as I said, but it worked somehow.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Anyway… not complete silence at the table, but words like "fantastic," "incredible," "delicious," sounded through the chomps and murmurs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                (BTW, rescued the broken mayo after dinner with an egg yolk warmed over the pilot light. Now just need to find another use for it. More banh mi, perhaps?)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  mariacarmen Feb 26, 2012 09:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Linda, that looks and sounds SO GOOD. i've never made one with that many meats before - i can just imagine all the flavors and textures going on! Great outcome - not even for a first time - just a great outcome. i'm going to either have to go grab one for lunch tomorrow or make us some tomorrow night. depends on how long i can wait.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    L.Nightshade Feb 26, 2012 09:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It was pretty fun, and much appreciated by Mr. NS. The meat layering concept (all thin slices and/or small pieces) came from mamachef. She knows her stuff. Very "party in you mouth" variety of flavors. Pickles were our usual standby from ina pc, plus I pickled a mix of chiles this time. With good bread, this could be stellar!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    L.Nightshade Feb 26, 2012 09:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Just realized that this is my 100th post to WFD. Not counting responses, questions, remarks, and not counting my COTM, just posts describing my meals, and just WFD. Hooray!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      gingershelley Feb 27, 2012 08:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LN; I can pick up some Bahn Mi rolls at my local Hung Long (I never get tired of saying it's name:) asian grocery store, and overnight them up there from SEA, if you should need it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Let me know!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        L.Nightshade Feb 27, 2012 10:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well, that is just the sweetest thing ever. The more practical idea, is that I just make a trip to Seattle! Need to get into Uwajimaya one of these days anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        nomadchowwoman Feb 27, 2012 02:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Love me some bahn mi--and we get some good ones out in the sizeable Vietnamese community in NOEast, but I doubt I have ever had one as good as yours sounds and looks. Pickled chiles sound brilliant on that sandwich.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          L.Nightshade Feb 27, 2012 02:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks ncw! Mamachef suggested plain or pickled jalapenos, so I just did a quick pickle of a chile mix.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ChristinaMason Feb 28, 2012 12:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I know the bread problem of which you speak. It sounds unChowish, but if you can get them, the par-baked baguettes that crappy grocery store bakeries sell are great for making bahn mi at home. Just finish them off in a very hot oven (I splash the sides of the oven with water to create steam for extra crispness; you could also mist the bread). Crispy on the outside, pillowy/airy on the inside. None of that "artisan" sourdough-like tang. Try 'em!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            BananaBirkLarsen Feb 28, 2012 12:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've used the par-baked baguettes too with success (I got mine 2/$0.50 from Dollar Tree!) I've also been meaning to give this recipe a try: http://www.vietworldkitchen.com/blog/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              L.Nightshade Feb 28, 2012 03:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks, Christina! That's the first bread suggestion that I might actually be able to find around here. I've definitely got a crappy grocery store bakery near by!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Chocolatechipkt Feb 26, 2012 06:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Baked cheese tortellini with Italian-style chicken sausage, spinach, ricotta and marinara.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            No AAs here ... haven't seen most of the movies that are nominated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. BananaBirkLarsen Feb 26, 2012 05:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm doing French onion soup tonight, based on that Ruhlman recipe that uses water instead of stock. Except that I'm using turkey stock instead of water. And a combination of very cheap vodka and red wine vinegar instead of sherry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We'll be eating late 'cause I haven't even started caramelizing the onions yet (I spent the whole day making pasta and cleaning the kitchen). But onion soup is usually worth the wait, and we're both still pasta-ed out from the lasagna 2 nights ago and don't feel like eating the fettuccine or cannelloni I made today. I'll probably make a salad to eat on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Later, I'll put the rest of the 1.75 liter bottle of very cheap vodka to its intended use -- my first attempt at vanilla extract, using the 1/2 pound of vanilla beans I got in the mail yesterday!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                bear Feb 27, 2012 12:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oooh, I was just talking about that water-based recipe to my veggie son. How'd it turn out?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bear
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  BananaBirkLarsen Feb 27, 2012 12:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It was really really good. Super rich and complex (perhaps too rich, but that would be cured by actually using water instead of turkey stock). The bread I had on hand wasn't ideal -- it completely turned to much in the short time it took to broil the cheese -- but over all I was impressed, especially considering the small number of ingredients (and the fact that I didn't even have all of the flavoring agents called for).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ChristinaMason Feb 28, 2012 12:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for highlighting this. Must try very soon!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. buttertart Feb 26, 2012 04:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Having gone through all of the stuff I've crammed into my cupboards this morning and sequestered the baking ingredients in their own comfy cupboard (one Liam the cat apparently thought had been emptied so he could finally get into it) and the savory stuff in another, I found some interesting and unusual foodstuffs that had been lying around for forbloodyever, including a tin of snails with shells.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I shall do this! I shall make escargots à la bourgignonne for an Oscartizer. Then we'll have the beef paprikas I made last Sunday, with garlic toast made from a Carol Field rye bread, and a (sigh) salad, probably the watercress I got today during a very trying visit to Chinatown (one of our favorite restaurants is closing for good today -- we hadn't known and are very glad we ended up there, quite by chance).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've been an Oscar fanatic since I was a little kid. My mother thought it was really weird since I had never seen the movies that were up for awards. That's still largely the case, but oh the clothes. And George.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LindaWhit Feb 27, 2012 06:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I hope your Oscartizer came out well! (Love that word! LOL) And yes - the clothes. And George. And now Jean Dujardin. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    buttertart Feb 28, 2012 04:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah, putain he's a cutie!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, I made the snails! And they were very good. Put a little pastis in the butter, with garlic and shallot. Putting them in their shells was a bit disturbing (they look kinda like vulvae attached to full stomachs) but I was able to rise above and enjoy them. (Not always the case when I get grossed out preparing something.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      mariacarmen Feb 28, 2012 06:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      YUM. better you than me in the prep, i would be squeamish. but i'd eat em. oh yes i would.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. steve h. Feb 26, 2012 04:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mac 'n cheese and ham. The ham is a "porkette", a boneless, smoked pork shoulder butt from Freirich that has been steaming/braising in the oven for some time now. The mac 'n cheese recipe is courtesy of Thomas Keller. Spinach on the side. Beer for me, house white for Deb. Another dining room meal. Howling Wolf on the box.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. JungMann Feb 26, 2012 04:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The roommates are not home, so I am taking advantage of a few hours of privacy to run around the house stinking it up with Asian food. Kimchi to my heart's delight. Fermented shrimp paste until I kvell!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Inspired by someone's recommendation on a previous thread I thought I might try making a low fat version of my favorite lamb curry. When frying my onions and spices, I made sure to be as sparing as possible with the oil so as to avoid the "basketball in the stomach syndrome" linguafood mentioned, which is admittedly ironic for a curry whose Hindi name means bubbling fat. And yet even with my mindfulness I still ended up with a proper Pakistani curry with a good half-inch of oil floating atop the dish. D'oh! I may need to find a low-fat Indo-Pak cookbook to provide a guide rather than fatty intuitions. On the side I have baingan bharta and a kale salad with a fermented shrimp and cilanrto chutney vinaigrette. No Oscars for me. Dessert is a bottle of Riesling and a long German movie with no one asking me to translate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      linguafood Feb 26, 2012 10:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And which German movie might that be?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        JungMann Feb 27, 2012 08:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Flame & Citron. Turned out to be Danish movie made in Germany. Mostly in Danish with a few scenes in German -- was thoroughly enjoyable in either tongue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. LindaWhit Feb 26, 2012 03:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm got a couple of Frankenchicken bone-in/skin-on chicken chests and one chicken leg quarter to roast. I've mixed up some freshly minced garlic and rosemary, lemon zest, lemon juice, and olive oil with some salt and pepper. It'll be rubbed all over the chicken for oven-roasted. Alongside will roasted Yukon Gold potatoes and steamed asparagus - on sale for $1.79/lb. It's obviously not local, but I love it too much to wait.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Some of the chicken will be used for lunch sandwiches for work. Just need to pick up some potato chips to go alongside tomorrow morning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. iluvcookies Feb 26, 2012 02:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        On tonight's "Rooting-for-Gary-Oldman" menu:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mixed baby greens with gorgonzola

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Chicken Piccata

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Rice Pilaf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Roasted Cauliflower

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sauvingnon Blanc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Speculoos butter and chocolate

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: iluvcookies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ChristinaMason Feb 28, 2012 12:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          a nice menu, if I say so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. geminigirl Feb 26, 2012 01:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Turkey tetrazzini, good winter weekend comfort food and an easy leftover for one night this week. And for dessert, ridiculous over the top double stuffed Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies.....they are chilling now and will get baked after dinner so we can eat them warm from the oven, then the rest come with me to work tomorrow!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            rizzo0904 Feb 26, 2012 01:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Forgot it was AA night...I'll watch a bit, but gotta get up at 515 for work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I took the easy way out tonight and got some already marinated steak and chicken at the butcher. I'm also making baked garlicy rice and steamed broccoli.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. roxlet Feb 26, 2012 12:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It is impossible for my husband to buy a small piece of meat, so we have a sizable prime rib that came off the one we had for Christmas. Since it's not getting any better sitting in the freezer, it will be cooked tonight on the smoker after being rubbed with herbs de Provence. Served with roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes, dinner will be a lovely reminder of Christmas gone by.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                gingershelley Feb 26, 2012 01:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                OMG Roxlet, I want smoked prime rib!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sounds delish. Much more fun than my (slightly dreary) family event later today, with potluck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sigh. Taping red carpet outfit action while there. Bright side is, I am bringing my second (in the oven now) loaf of no-knead bread, and a lovely butternut squash/new potato/ kale salad with a curried dressing. Some apple, nuts, and chutney folded in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hope the memorial service is at least happy, and can leave at a reasonable hour. Prayers up from all you Chowhounds that your evening starts better than mine:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. mamachef Feb 26, 2012 12:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                What a good time, lingua!!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tempura, take 2: Having worked my way happily through a huge portion of the best fried rice I've ever ever ever made ever ever in my whole life, ever, not to mention a quarter pan of biodanomina's walnut/date/orange buttercream bars PLUS a bunch of candy I got in the big sittay on Fri. (INDIVIDUALLY chocolate-covered nuts, anyone? Even macadamias? I tellya, I was in a chocolate-smeared heaven...) dinner ended up being tomato soup. Belch.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So dinner tonight will be the tempura, with miso soup and maybe rice. MAYBE. I'm kinda......rice-d out just now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  cstout Feb 27, 2012 07:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  best fried rice...have you posted it anywhere...please let us in on that...I am always in the mood for fried rice. I just had some doctored up ramen noodles for breakfast & I would love to have fried rice for lunch. Thank you

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. onceadaylily Feb 26, 2012 11:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No AA watching here, unless the boyfriend opts for it tonight. Otherwise, we'll face our dangerously full DVR. Tonight's planned dinner was a cauliflower soup with white beans and Swiss chard, using onion, shallots, garlic, thyme, and a little tarragon. I've been craving it for days, but today turned out to be ridiculously sunny, and not overly cold. It doesn't quite feel like soup weather.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If I opt not to make the soup, then we'll be having curry: sweet potatoes, massaman curry, coconut milk, onions, garlic, green peppers, lots of cilantro, and lime for those who want it (I do!). I'll toss the sweet potatoes in a bit of oil, aleppo pepper, and chile powder, roast them, and toss them into the curry at the end. Noodles for me, but I'll make rice if he'd rather have that for himself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Speaking of rice, complete failure with the rice milk. Even as I followed the instructions, I was thinking the simmer time was *off*. But I gave the hippie chick the benefit of the doubt. I mean, she's a hippie chick. Who better, right? Latinos, that's who. Next time I'll just make a batch of horchata, with vanilla instead of cinnamon. On the upside, if I want to take up scrap-booking as a hobby, I now have paste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    gingershelley Feb 26, 2012 01:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yum! Paste! So many uses; caulking, scrapbooking, putting my heel back on my shoe...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sorry for the fail onceaday, but - on the bright side, I am sure you will figure out what went wrong and make a new batch that has not such a hippie recipe. They seem to work for yogurt, so sorry about the rice milk debacle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We are all sure you are a great cook, so it is not you, but just a learning curve?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      onceadaylily Feb 27, 2012 07:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Haha! My kitchen sink *is* overdue for a new caulking job.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I should have listened to my instincts as I went along. The simmer time was too long, and I did realize when I should have taken it off the heat. But I had that voice in my head, "She said THREE hours. Just do what you're told, for once." When the boyfriend walked in, he exclaimed over how beautiful the bread looked, and then he leaned over to look into the pitcher of paste, and looked puzzled. I told him it had been a hit or miss kind of day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So you had success with your yogurt-making? The CH yogurt thread really does have lots of excellent tips and methods. It's been tempting me for years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        gingershelley Feb 27, 2012 08:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well, I was supposed to make yogurt over the weekend (bought organic 6-culture small yogurt for starter, and a gallon of organic milk), but it sits in the fridge this morning still.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I will probably start it tomorrow, and will report back. Everything I know about making yogurt is from the CH thread - oh, and then there was an article in Feb. F&W about doing it as well - tho they do alot of stirring that sounds like most CH'ers would say is bad....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    jeanmarieok Feb 26, 2012 09:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Gougeres, and I have country pate with homemade fig jam all ready, too....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jeanmarieok
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      mariacarmen Feb 26, 2012 10:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      oh yum, that combination sounds perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      KateBChi Feb 26, 2012 09:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh yes! Had planned on doing a dinner but decided to do all appetizers. It's a little more work but a lot more fun. Fried goat cheese with onion confit; miniature yukon gold potato poppers with bacon, cheddar & sour cream; artichoke & gruyere on puff pastry rounds, crab cakes with red pepper coulis and Asian tuna tartare. Someone is bringing a dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: KateBChi
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        linguafood Feb 26, 2012 09:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That sounds awesome. I may have to make tiny baked potatoes topped with crème fraîche and caviar or something.....

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          lingua, i recently had these salt boiled little potatoes served with a salsa verde or chimichurri-type of thing that was to DIE FOR. the potatoes were awesome on their own. i think the prep is pretty easy, tho i haven't tried them myself yet.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          both your and KateBChi's menus sound delicious! i'd be sitting at the table with my back to the tellie, polishing off all the food.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            gingershelley Feb 26, 2012 11:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Linguafood and MC, I like boiled little potatoes served with Spanish Romesco sauce.... that just dissapears at cocktail parties. A few toasty baguette slices, olives and perhaps veggie spears on the side too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Happy AA day!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              mariacarmen Feb 26, 2012 05:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              yum, that sounds great too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ChristinaMason Feb 28, 2012 11:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              <these salt boiled little potatoes served with a salsa verde or chimichurri-type of thing >

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              They sound like this! http://www.weareneverfull.com/work-yo...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I made them a few years ago with the red sauce....really good (but SUPER garlicky, yowza)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                mariacarmen Feb 28, 2012 12:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                yes! exactly. i thought the green sauce was awesome with them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. weezieduzzit Feb 26, 2012 09:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Whew! I thought there wasn't going to be any wine......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            linguafood Feb 26, 2012 09:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Not at any party at my house, trust me. There is beer, wine, assorted spirits, and any combination to quench your thirst.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              L.Nightshade Feb 26, 2012 11:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I doubt if we'll watch the AAs, as I believe we've only seen one of the movies. But I wish I could be there to have a drink and hear your fashion commentary. I'm sure they will be both potent and pungent.

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