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Mar 5, 2012 01:37 PM

What's for Dinner #131 [old]

With weather in the 65 degree range, it's seeming more like late spring than late winter here in the NE. In line with that, my son had a craving for pesto, and since I was completely unhappy with the stuff I had frozen last summer (would turn brown at the first contact with air), I asked my husband to pick up some basil when he went shopping on Saturday. Little did I know that he would be coming home with a case of basil from the Restaurant Depot! I've been making and freezing pesto (banishing that disgusting old stuff to the trash!) for the better part of the afternoon, so, not surprisingly, tonight's dinner will be....Pesto! Since I'm not in the mood to make trenette, we'll have it with linguine, which I will cook with some string beans, but I refuse to add the potatoes, which is something I never get. We'll also have some thin-sliced grilled chicken to go along with that.

Even if winter may not be fast-retreating from where you live, you can still dream of spring, can't you? What are you making for dinner?

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  1. Pesto with potatoes & pasta has always intrigued me, but i've never tried it myself. maybe it doesn't bug me as much because of the latino thing of eating taters and rice on the same plate....

    Mid-60s here too, we've been having gorgeous days, and i've got fermented black beans burning a hole in my psyche, so I'm going to try this sort of springy-sounding dish (asparagus!), with either more steamed rice or some type of asian noodles...

    1 Reply
    1. re: mariacarmen

      The first time I came across pesto on trenette with potatoes was in Monterosso al Mare, one of the five towns of "Cinque Terre" in Liguria. I was surprised but that area is where pesto was invented so it is traditional and not unusual at all. That is the beauty of discover new experiences everyday.

    2. My leftover Mandarin Orange chicken (Friday), sirloin tips (Saturday), and meatloaf from Sunday night will tide me over for several days. :-) I can't *WAIT* for Thursday - it's supposed to be 61° here in the Boston area - that will definitely be a new record here. Can't believe you have 65 degrees down your area, roxlet!

      So since I meatloafed last night for dinner and meatloaf sandwiched for lunch today, I think it'll be the Mandarin Orange chicken tonight.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LindaWhit

        Meatloaf is perfect for this kind of chilly weather! Sounds like a good plan for later this week.

      2. It's a bit chilly here still (upper fifties tomorrow though), and pizza is one the menu since I've had time to make the dough today. The first pizza will have ricotta, mozzarella, sundried tomatoes, olives, and artichoke hearts--no sauce, just olive oil and garlic. And for the second pizza, I'm confessing that I've been craving a pineapple pizza. I know, I know. And I don't care. I'm thinking of using some balsamic vinegar with the pineapple, and caramelized onions and peppers, with mozzarella . . . and begging the boy to run out to Spice House for some Aleppo pepper, so that the pizza isn't just sweet and more sweet. He's trying to get me to put barbecue sauce on it, and I am resisting.

        1. Lasagna! I've been thinking about it for weeks. I've had the meat sauce simmering away all day, I made the ricotta from smittenkitchen's recipe, and the cheeses are grated (romano, mozzarella, provolone and parm), so all that's left is the final assembly. Plus a fresh Italian country loaf to mop up the sauce. I ought to have a salad somewhere in there too...

          3 Replies
          1. re: auburnselkie

            Very nice. How did your ricotta turn out---and was the homemade quality noticeable in the final product?

            1. re: ChristinaMason

              You know, it turned out really well - very creamy, almost approaching cream cheese. Could you tell in the final product? Nah, not really. But I knew it was there, and that made me happy. :)

              Still, in the future, I will probably save the homemade stuff for when I really want the ricotta to shine. I do recommend the recipe, though.

              1. re: auburnselkie

                Thanks for the report on the ricotta! I really want to try making some.

          2. It's feeling an awful lot like late spring here in central California, too. The windows are open and the ceiling fans are on high.

            I found some discounted lamb at the supermarket today and it is currently marinading in a white wine-lemon-garlic-mint mixture in the fridge. I'm going to skewer it with some slices of red onion and zucchini, and "grill" it on the broiler. Homemade tzaziki for dipping. A Greek salad with barley and a lemony dressing on the side.

            2 Replies
            1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

              Glad to see I'm not the only one who lets the discounts in the meat case guide meal planning. Your recipe sounds great. I'd planned something similar with some shanks that ended up being just a tad too ripe...oops, so much for discounts.

              1. re: ChristinaMason

                I would even go so far as to say that I buy most of my meat discounted (except for chicken and pork -- I don't mind eating the, uh, ripe stuff, but it makes my boyfriend sick). But lamb was a real find! It's in the broiler right now and it smells wonderful.