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What's for Dinner #132 [old]

It's a little late in the evening for us East Coasters to be posting dinners, but perhaps the West Coasters still need to post WFD for Sunday night - so what's cooking on your stoves and grills and in your ovens tonight?

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  1. This west coaster seems to be having trouble adjusting to daylight savings time and only just put dinner in the oven at 8pm.

    Said dinner consists of cannelloni I dug out of the freezer (homemade egg-semolina pasta, I believe, with a spicy beef and ricotta filling? I can't quite remember...) Baked in a sweetish tomato-port sauce with ground beef, onions and oregano, topped with mozzarella. A salad of some sort based around the romaine lettuce that needs to be used up, perhaps with orange segments and almonds and a buttermilk dressing. The remains of an unfinished bottle of Bordeaux from last night (although this will probably be gone before the food is done, as there is only enough left for one glass each).

    1. Mr. Nightshade's turn at the stove this evening, and he's doing it well. Perciatelli pasta with big, perfectly cooked shrimp, slices of locally made sausage, and artichoke hearts. The usual onions, garlic, bell and chile pepper, in his tomato sauce. A little parm on top, and a very nice salad to accompany. So many great ingredients, you can't even see the perciatelli, but it is under there somewhere!

       
      1 Reply
      1. re: L.Nightshade

        that looks really good, Mr. N! those shrimp look amazing. what a great combo.

      2. West Coaster reporting in - partial re-post from the last thread:

        inspired by Harters and L. Nightshade to do something Medi/Greek, two chicken/thigh pieces that marinated in olive oil, garlic, rosemary, oregano and lemon thyme, a ton of lemon juice and some zest, s&p. went into the oven in a cast iron pan at 375 degrees for an hour, and then under the broiler for extra crispy skin. also made couscous with fresh dill, olive oil, peas, granulated garlic, parsley and minced shallots. and a salad of the-red-cabbage-that-wouldn't die, red pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, s&p and feta. lemony goodness! and the chicken candy at the bottom of the pan..... mmmmmm...

        3 Replies
        1. re: mariacarmen

          Chicken candy at the bottom of the pan? Please explain! There is a website that touts "sweet Innards Snack Mix, our mouth-puckering Sour Livers, or our decadent Gizzard Truffles, you're sure to find something that will satisfy you." But I doubt that is what you refer to.

          1. re: L.Nightshade

            you know how the chicken juices caramelize and get all sticky at the bottom of the pan? the brown bits - sweet/salty candy!

          2. re: mariacarmen

            "Red cabbage that wouldn't die" - isn't that the TRUTH? LOL

          3. and here's a pic.

             
            6 Replies
            1. re: mariacarmen

              Once again, love the colors. Monochromatic plates are so unappetizing!

              1. re: L.Nightshade

                Thanks, L.N.!

              2. re: mariacarmen

                Love it - that looks wonderful!

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  thanks!

                2. re: mariacarmen

                  Gorgeous, mc!

                  1. re: mariacarmen

                    That looks amazing!

                  2. Since we cooked the "steakhouse" dinner last night--dry aged strip (thank you, Groupons!), potatoes au gratin, caesar salad (thank you, linguafood--loved the dressing), and brussel sprouts sauteed in duck fat--we went "light," very late, tonight--halibut a la Grecque (lemon, OO, thyme), quinoa, asparagus, and an avocado-tomato-red onion salad.

                    Will be extra-late for a few nights, I'm sure, as we adjust to DST.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                      Fri night we had gorgeous filet mignon with a pan sauce made with shallot/madeira/half½ served with sauteed kale and white beans made with chicken stock and a bit of pancetta; for dessert - chocolate pots de creme with lightly sweetened whipped creme. Sat night - out; tonight we grilled amazingly juicy burgers with pepperjack, simple corn on the cob and grilled asaparagus -- celebrating an awesome spring day. what a fabulous weekend.

                    2. A busy weekend out, but we paused to catch our breath and regroup last night, and of course, cook. Some leftover roast chicken and a rich, gelatinous homemade stock were repurposed into stew with chopped parsnips, carrots, onion, celery, Swiss chard, crimini mushrooms, and lots of fresh herbs. Truth be told, it was supposed to have been pot pie, but the store-bought crust did not cooperate (moldy!).

                      On the side, an iceberg wedge drizzled with creamy French and topped with turkey bacon bits, and garlic toast.

                      Dinner tonight will either be hoisin-glazed pork loin chops with sauteed cabbage or a taco pie, the base of which is a taco-flavored meatloaf layer. Not so sure about that, but let's see how it goes.

                      1. Reporting in from West Coast as predicted:) Definite adjustment to DST; SO great to have it light out till nearly 7pm! Had a huge craving last night, so dinner was hot wings slathered in Franks Red Hot and Kerrygold butter, homemade blue cheese dressing, and lot's of super crisped up celery stalks (standing in their own short jar of ice water) to accompany The Walking Dead episode. Hit the spot!
                        Sat. night was out to dinner with the parent's at a little Italian-ish spot called Brad's Swingside Cafe; we shared a very good Carbonara, a lamb braise, and some very nicely-dressed mixed greens in a light viniagrette. Good wine and conversation as well, of course.
                        Today a storm is headed through the area, so I may just indulge another craving, and get take out Pho for tonight, to eat with homemade Caesar salad, and more no-knead bread that I baked Saturday. Following my whims!

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: gingershelley

                          Well, whim changed today; made a stop to wander the halls of the great Hung Long asian store in my neighborhood (I never get tired of the name!)... got an overwhelming craving for Thom Ka soup when I walked through the Thai aisle and saw in the row of curry pastes - one for Thom Ka! I know it is sort of cheating, but works for me today... easy as take-out. Marinating some chicken with a little garlic, ginger and fish sauce, which I will saute then put in the soup paste concentrate, a can of coconut milk, mushrooms, spinach and shrimp, and a handful of chopped scallions and cilantro at the end.

                          Making that, and with some tips from Alkapal, after searching here on CH for a recipe or help thread; homemade summer rolls with peanut sauce, on this stormy Seattle night!

                          Perfect!

                          1. re: gingershelley

                            Prepared curry pastes are such a godsend. I need to find one for prik khing (or another curry sans coconut milk)

                          2. re: gingershelley

                            Brad's has always been one of my favorites, dating back to the late 80's, early 90's. Glad to hear still good.

                          3. Kosher chicken breasts, lightly dusted with flour and seasonings will be sautéed along with baby bella shrooms, deglazed with a healthy sploosh of red wine or brandy (or whatever I feel like tonight) and a touch of cream.

                            Sides will be roasted cauli tossed with some lemon juice & yet another installment of Caesar salad. I can't get enuff of that dressing... mmmmmmmmm.

                            1. Breaking out the duck fat for oven roasted potatoes with some chicken sausage on sale at WF and a bag of microwave spinach- hey it's organic and it's Monday.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Berheenia

                                who's complaining? you had me at duck fat.

                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                  DUCK FAT, DUCK F-A-T, duuccckkk ffffaaaatttt..... :)

                                  1. re: gingershelley

                                    ( :

                              2. Burgers tonight. Meat will be ground in short order. Garlic fries will come from the oven (inspiration courtesy of AT&T Park in San Francisco - we'll see). Tomatoes, onion and ketchup will be condiment. Land O' Lakes white American cheese will crown the disks, Martin's potato rolls will be the delivery mechanisms. Deb will cook, I'll clean. Car stuff will be on the panel.

                                41 Replies
                                1. re: steve h.

                                  oh man, prepare to smell like garlic for the next 3 days.

                                  burgers sound good.

                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                    I'm ok with that. I've smelled worse.
                                    Sunday dinner was homemade cannelloni stuffed with ricotta, spinach and herbs. It's good to back off the throttle. a bit.

                                    1. re: steve h.

                                      at least it's the two of you. i went to a dinner out recently and came back reeking of garlic. the BF hadn't had any. luckily he can stand me no matter what i smell like. except gin. he tolerates that i drink gin.

                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                        gin, really good gin, smells of aromatics and juniper berries. it's not supposed to be vodka. I'm a fan of the whole distillation process.
                                        reeking of juniper berries is a good thing. savoring an olive or two that's been macerating at the bottom of the martini glass is proof that God loves us.

                                        1. re: steve h.

                                          here here, +1:).... and, it's almost gin and tonic season, blessing's be to springtime!

                                          1. re: gingershelley

                                            I popped Endless Summer" on the DVD player the other night (it was really cold) and kicked back with some seriously good rum drinks. Springtime can't come soon enough.

                                          2. re: steve h.

                                            i adore regular old Tanqueray. That's the one that gives me the most juniper for my buck.

                                            and the boy just doesn't like gin. he's a CUERVO man. you heard me. JOSE CUERVO.

                                            when we're out for a nightcap and a game of pool, we are very cheap dates.

                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                              They make a good martini at Cotogna. Sit at the copper-topped bar and chat up the barkeep (Buffalo).

                                          3. re: mariacarmen

                                            Oh, gin. Yum. I'm partial to Boodles and Hendrick's.

                                            It's almost G&T season. Yay!

                                            1. re: BabsW

                                              I'm a big fan of G&T. What's your preferred tonic?

                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                Not Babs, but I am a gin gal--love Hendrick's, love Fever Tree Tonic. Roxlet recommends Q tonic, I think, but I don't think I've ever had it.
                                                On a hot day, I'm not too choosy. I'll drink whatever's offered!

                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                  I do like Hendricks, too, if I'm being fancier. if it's just a G&T at the bar where we play pool, it's Tanqueray.

                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                    Nothing wrong w/Tangueray. That always goes into the negronis. And T & T is fine, too. But for my martinis, I do love my Hendrick's (price point keeps me from drinking too many martinis, which is a very good thing).

                                                  2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                    I'm another gin gal who's none too choosy with the tonic (usually use Canada Dry). Hendrick's is great, I really like Bombay Sapphire and I, too, am not above a Tanqueray. Those tonics sound interesting, though. Perhaps I shall take a look for them.

                                                  3. re: steve h.

                                                    Fussier about the tonic than the gin- I like Whole Foods Tonic Water- it's a cane sugar base. Hubby likes Hansens's mixed with WF but he drinks vodka - not a gin man.

                                                    1. re: Berheenia

                                                      I've heard good reports about the Whole Foods tonic. I'll give it a try.
                                                      FWIW, I build our gin and tonics in pint glasses.
                                                      The bar at Raffles Hotel in Singapore makes a killer G&T. The tonic comes in a carafe and is more bitter/less sweet: perfect for the humid climate.

                                                      1. re: steve h.

                                                        The closest Whole Foods to me is approaching 4 hours away, so I have to make do. *le sigh*

                                                      2. re: Berheenia

                                                        Yes, you're right. I forgot about WF tonic--it is good.

                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                          darn, I was just there yesterday. will have to pick some up.

                                                      3. re: steve h.

                                                        I like Schweppes or the Polar tonic with lime, but never-ever-ever-ever any of the diet tonics. Oh my goodness, they are nasty.

                                                    2. re: mariacarmen

                                                      Speaking of gin drinks, I really want to try this cucumber martini:

                                                      http://foodandstyle.com/2011/07/28/cu...

                                                      1. re: BabsW

                                                        i understand Hendricks and cucumber are a natural pairing... sounds fab.

                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                          I think that they already have some cucumber essence in Hendricks. I can't wait to test it out. :)

                                                          1. re: BabsW

                                                            I've never had a Hendricks martini without cuke in it. My favorite martini, most of the time.

                                                            I actually think Hendricks is kinda wasted on G&Ts.

                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                              My G&Ts are rather heavy on the gin, light on the tonic and with a splash of Rose's sweetened lime juice cordial. ;-)

                                                              I just got everything I need for those cucumber martinis. I am trying to be a responsible adult and wait until this evening to make them. It's funny - I really dislike dried tarragon, but the fresh tarragon smells so wonderful, I am really looking forward to trying it.

                                                              1. re: BabsW

                                                                Can't wait to hear all about it!

                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                  I will definitely report back. ;-)

                                                                  1. re: BabsW

                                                                    Linguafood (and everyone else reading this gin-soaked subthread):

                                                                    This cucumber martini is fantastic! I've had three sips so far, and the experience is this: The first sip is simply a RIOT of the herbal fragrances of mint & tarragon, plus the juniper and cucumber. Then the taste of gin surges forward, and then once you swallow, there is a long, slow cool finish of cucumber and mint.

                                                                    Tasty, tasty. But holy cow, does it pack a wallop. :o

                                                                2. re: BabsW

                                                                  Quality vodka and a reasonable splash of Rose's Lime Juice, shaken, not stirred over ice, and poured into a double martini glass is one fine drink. Gimlets are best served as cold as the heart of the witch of Endor.

                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                    A little Rose's makes a big difference. Icy-cold is great, too.

                                                                    1. re: steve h.

                                                                      Ah, see -- I cannot abide Rose's due to it's incredible sweetness.

                                                                      I make my gimlets with fresh lime juice, hold the syrup. I guess that makes it a Ricky, but I don't care :-P

                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                        Whew, glad to hear it linguafood! When I named a drink after you, I used real lime juice. Then I wondered if you would have used Rose's.

                                                                  2. re: linguafood

                                                                    Ooh! I will have to try Hendrick's. I love gin, and love cucumbers... sounds perfect. Now I just need a warm day!

                                                                    1. re: gingershelley

                                                                      It is unseasonably warm here. We've had practically no winter at all here in NY state. It's unnatural; I don't trust it.

                                                              2. re: BabsW

                                                                Oh, wow, that looks wonderful! I had a cucumber martini once at a restaurant, but it consisted of nothing but gin infused with cucumber (not sure how they did it, but it tasted like an extra-cucumbery Hendricks). It was great, but that looks even more herby and delicious.

                                                                1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                  I know, doesn't it look lovely? I can't wait to try it. I'm kid-free tomorrow, in fact. I might break out the martini shaker then. :)

                                                                  But, what the heck, I just saw the elderflower liqueur, and I am 99.99999% positive that my packy will not carry that. What can I sub for it? Anyone? Anyone?

                                                                  Edit: Never mind, crisis averted. Thy DO carry the liqueur. :D

                                                                  1. re: BabsW

                                                                    I used to always say Gin tasted like Christmas trees, but never understood why until I found out about the juniper berries! Then it all made sense.

                                                                    1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                      I love juniper berries. I'm always excited when I find a recipe that calls for them.

                                                                    2. re: BabsW

                                                                      Nice. I've seen elderflower syrup at Ikea, but of course, that will give you only the flavor and none of the kick.

                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                        I was surprised to find it at my local packie today. :)

                                                                  2. re: BabsW

                                                                    And this yellow watermelon margarita with chipotle rim looks amazing: http://foodandstyle.com/2009/09/18/ea...

                                                          2. Tonight I'm trying out another COTM recipe--"spaghetti with little birds and olives"--since I had a package of quail in the freezer. We'll see how that turns out. I'll serve that with a caesar salad. And since I have a bit of smoked salmon in the fridge, I'll try to cobble together some kind of small appetizer. All over the map tonight.

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                              So ya gonna take the plunge and see if your dressing is still ok?

                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                We're still breathing--and the dressing was still delicious--and there's some left so we will probably have it again tomorrow.
                                                                (After giving it some thought, I couldn't think of any good reason not to eat it. It was still emulsified, beautiful, wonderful tasting. Thanks for the recipe, lingua.)

                                                              2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                NMC, I looked at the frozen quail at Hung Long store today.... 6 for $9.99 - do you get yours from an asian supermarket?

                                                                That recipe sounds delish, look forward to hearing how it is!

                                                                1. re: gingershelley

                                                                  That sounds like a good deal--close to what I paid for ours, from our fancy meat store, with a Groupon. I'll report on the COTM thread. The dish was pretty good, not great.

                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                    NMC - I bet your quail at least had a reasonable provenance... the frozen ones at Hung Long? Not so shure where they came from. I think I would feel better about the fancy meat store!

                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                      Have you posted your quail review yet ncw? I can't seem to find it. I'm eyeing some frozen quail at the little Asian market, and also eyeing a couple different recipes for same.

                                                                      ETA: Sheesh, never mind. I see you were posting your review as I was posting my question.

                                                                2. Chicken soup. That's right, more of the same.
                                                                  It's what we need right now, and with rain coming, what I'm craving anyway.
                                                                  I may mix it up and make it minestrone style, with a parm rind and some cranberry beans. Just to get really crazy.
                                                                  Last night I threw some b/s chicken breast in the oven over a bed of chopped broccoli, onion, green garlic, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. 425F for 35 minutes and the whole thing hit the spot.
                                                                  It would have been even better if it had actually been 7:30pm when I was putting it together, not 8:30...we'll be adjusting to DST for a little while around here I bet.

                                                                  1. After a discussion with some friends about pastrami sandwiches, I developed an extreme craving for a pastrami Reuben, so I went to the store and got the stuff to make an awesome, piled-high pastrami Reuben.

                                                                    It was awesome.

                                                                    15 Replies
                                                                    1. re: BabsW

                                                                      Oh yes, Reubens! Love 'em made with pastrami. Me want. :)

                                                                      1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                        It was completely worth the effort of getting dressed in street clothes and running to the store for an impromptu trip.

                                                                        1. re: BabsW

                                                                          Tonight you inspired me to head down to the store in 35° weather for a corned beef, sauerkraut and a loaf of Russian Rye (Oroweat has stopped baking Extra Sour Rye here, damn them!) to try fourunder's oven method on a 2.5# point cut, without soaking it to render out any of the salt first. Swiss cheese and 1000 Island are already in the house.

                                                                          Omitting the soaking might end up being a catastrophic fail, but I wanted a benchmark of sorts to compare to one that I will soak first. With CB at $1.88 per pound this week, it's not like I'm lighting Havanas with rolled up Franklins for this test. I can always thin it out in CB hash later, a breakfast favorite that I want to make again soon now that Heston Blumenthal has taught me how to make poached eggs perfectly every time!

                                                                          1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                            i love how this thread inspires and pushes us to try old favorites and new things...

                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                              I know!

                                                                            2. re: RelishPDX

                                                                              This is awesome!

                                                                              Corned beef hash is another favorite :9

                                                                              1. re: BabsW

                                                                                So, eh, may I interest someone in a salt lick? I can endorse the oven-roasted method for corned beast, but not for cooking it without a nice long desalinization first.

                                                                                I'm going to put it into my big 9 qt. stockpot on a simmer to see if this can be saved. It's way too salty to be used in CB hash, even sparingly.

                                                                                Oh well, off to the store later for some sliced pastrami for a lunchtime Reuben, and another CB for more kitchen mischief!

                                                                                Are we having fun yet? :)

                                                                                1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                  "Are we having fun yet? :)"

                                                                                  Always!

                                                                                  I just bought a brisket for the corned beef. I've actually never made it myself, but t was one of my favorite meals that my mom used to make. I'm Googling recipes now and torn between using the dutch oven or my massive crock pot.

                                                                                  Fun!

                                                                                  So far, this recipe from food network looks the most promising:

                                                                                  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/co...

                                                                              2. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                Can you paraphrase--or do you have a link to--those perfect poached eggs? I don't think I've ever poached an egg even decently.

                                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                  Here ya go:

                                                                                  http://www.channel4.com/4food/recipes...

                                                                                  You can also watch him do it on YouTube, just search for How To Cook Like Heston and pick the Eggs episode.

                                                                                  Caveat: Don't use a "slotted spoon" unless you want the entire egg white to fall through it. I use a stainless steel skimmer-kind-of-doohickie that has a polka dot arrangement of round holes in it. It keeps the firmer white in tact while allowing the water drip away.

                                                                                  Absolutely perfect poached eggs every single time, and incredibly easy.

                                                                                  1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                    Very cool. And thanks for the tip b/c I would have used my slotted spoon, of course. But I have a skimmer, so very soon, there shall be poached eggs in this house,

                                                                          2. re: BabsW

                                                                            i love it - peer pressure pleasures!!

                                                                            loves me a reuben. soooo much.

                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                              MC, you are a bad influence! :p

                                                                              1. re: BabsW

                                                                                who, me?

                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                  Mmmmhmmm....

                                                                          3. I ended up going with the taco pie, which was loosely inspired by a recipe in The Big Book of Low Carb. Basically you make a taco-flavored meatloaf mix (in my case, 97% ground beef, lots of chili powder, hot and sweet paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, sauteed onion and green pepper, garlic, tomato paste, Mexican oregano, an egg, and a small palmful of panko), press it into a prepared pie plate, and bake 25 min. at 325F. Slice into wedges and top with sour cream, diced tomatoes, salsa, iceberg lettuce, diced green pepper, and Tapatio hot sauce.

                                                                            It was good, but for a bit less effort, I could have just made taco salad sans tortilla chips.

                                                                            I made a quick creamy chipotle-corn bisque to start. We're headed out for an al fresco cocktail now to enjoy this mild evening.

                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                              Creamy chipotle-corn bisque--yum; ditto on al fresco cocktail.

                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                I dream of an al fresco cocktail - might be another month at least here... it was snowing lightly ths morning:( My tulips are not happy!

                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                  Wow, what's your recipe for the creamy chipotle-corn bisque? That sounds fabulous!

                                                                                  1. re: BabsW

                                                                                    Well, honestly, this one was a pretty lame last-minute attempt: I pan-roasted some frozen yellow corn, sweat a little onion, added a bit of garlic, covered it in chicken broth, and added a bit of pureed chipotle en adobo. Then I blended it until smooth and stirred in a little low-fat sour cream and cream cheese(!) to finish it off. It was alright, but I've made better.

                                                                                    When I have really good, fresh, sweet summer corn, I like to cut the (raw) kernels off the cobs, roast the cobs (sprinkling with a touch of sugar if needed to caramelize), then simmer the cobs in homemade chicken broth. Separately, I sweat some onion, shallot, and a little bit of celery in butter in a pot, then strain in the broth, add 3/4 of the kernels, and simmer until the corn is just tender, remove the bay leaf, then puree until smooth. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper, heat through, and garnish with a small amount of raw kernels in each bowl.

                                                                                    It's a lot more work but much more delicious. I've served it topped w/ shrimp cooked shrimp 'n grits style (butter, thyme, a little Old Bay, garlic, cayenne, sherry) and cornbread croutons.

                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                      Yeah, this sounds awesome, even the "lame last-minute attempt." ;-)

                                                                                      I'm saving this for the future, for sure. Thank you!

                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                        Wow--now you have me longing for summer corn; we never get anything special down here, but we are in Michigan in August, I will impress my SIL w/your recipe.

                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                          Thanks, I hope it turns out for you. Would you mind re-sharing your new favorite Brussels sprouts recipe? I lost the link...

                                                                                  2. Healthy comfort food- cottage pie made from half well seasoned ground turkey and half veggies topped with cauliflower fauxtatoes. It really is better than it sounds. :) The man actually picked it and doesn't mind the lightened up version at all.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                      I'd eat that. Even better if someone else were doing the cooking :)

                                                                                    2. I was inspired by Inaplasticcup's post earlier today in another thread to head to the Asian market to buy the ingredients for pho. But when I got home my boyfriend vetoed both the pho and the pad thai I had also planned due to the fact that he wasn't feeling well and he recently figured out just how much fish sauce I've been feeding him. So I had to find something I could make with the other goodies I got from the store, that didn't involve even the scantest teaspoon of fish sauce. I settled on a Fuchsia Dunlop recipe for bamboo shoots with ground pork, except I used diced tofu instead of ground pork ('cause I sure wasn't going to the store again to get pork). This was my first time cooking with fresh bamboo shoots and the whole dish was wonderful. I served it on steamed rice, topped with a sunny side up egg and a dab of hoisin and sriracha.

                                                                                      Hopefully he'll be feeling better later this week so I can make the fish sauce-laden dinners I've been craving, but this was good too.

                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                        Not sure what's ailing your BF, but tom yum is my go-to dish when I'm coming up with a cold.... the lime and chiles just seem to blast all the bad away -- spicy, sour & plenty of space for your fish sauce.

                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                          He has what he refers to as a "chihuahua stomach" meaning that, just like our chihuahua, everything makes him barf. Mostly it only happens when he's stressed out, or if meat is ever so slightly off. He doesn't like fish at the best of times, so if he's feeling sick and can sense that there is fish sauce in something... well, let's just say it was for the best that I avoided fish sauce last night. I like tom yum when I'm feeling sick though, too (and also when I'm not).

                                                                                          1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                            That is so funny! My chihuahua barfs at most things except Mexican food.

                                                                                            Seriously.

                                                                                            I tell him that although he is a very "ethnically faithful" dog, he needs to branch out a bit :D

                                                                                            1. re: sedimental

                                                                                              ethnically faithful - love it!

                                                                                              1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                Ah, yes, mine is also ethnically faithful. She's actually a chihuahua-dachshund mix and she does indeed love both Mexican food and bratwurst. Actually, she's all about the spices. She loves all types of curries too, and a wide array of gourmet cheeses... She follows me around in the kitchen and grabs almost everything I drop before I can pick it up. But when I make her super-healthy homemade dog food, half the time she turns her nose up at it.

                                                                                                Most of the barfing actually comes when she's been drinking ditch water or eating rancid food off the sidewalk, or when she gets into the bathroom garbage and chews the ends off the used Q-tips (her favourite treat in the world).

                                                                                                1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                  Dogs!

                                                                                        2. After a few nights of leftovers and using up what was in the fridge, I decided to tackle velveting pork for Sweet N Sour Pork tonight when I saw thick center cut chops on sale, instead of doing the deep fry routine. It's been a long time since I made SNSP, and had forgotten two things.

                                                                                          First, how much water Sweet N Sour sauce needs, otherwise it's too concentrated and intense, and second, how much the taste changes and mellows once it's added to the rest of the ingredients in the pan, which I think is the hardest part of inventing a stir-fry sauce. I'd stopped taking notes on how I was "fixing" the sauce after a while, but once I was done tinkering with it, not wanting to ruin it, the sauce ended up coming together nicely with everything else. Not the perfect sauce, but it was subtle, sweet and sourish, and complimented the dish well. Just tender and delicious pork, plus pineapple chunks, bell pepper and white onion—no cherries, carrots or red food coloring.

                                                                                          I'm also learning to hold back when in the saute process to add the white onion, so it doesn't overcook, and to cut back by half the amount of sesame oil used in the velveting marinade. A 1:1 ratio to the soy sauce for lighter meats is too overpowering, even though it works for beef.

                                                                                          1. "Ethically treated" veal chop with sage pesto, home fries and asparagus.

                                                                                            The sage pesto is made from blanched almonds, sage leaves, evoo, garlic and fresh parmesan all whirred in a mini-processor. You could use pecorino if you wish instead of the parmesan.

                                                                                            It's dang tasty that's all I know. Somebody hand me a spoon.

                                                                                            If you are not a veal person try this on turkey cutlets or of course pork tenderloin patties or even chops.

                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: twodales

                                                                                              I could see that sage pesto being very delicious schmeared on chicken tenderloins, which you then wrap in proscuitto and saute.

                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                Hey, don't forget the cheese.... maybe some very thinly sliced taleggio?

                                                                                                Now we're talking.

                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                  Absolutely Christina. That would def work nicely.

                                                                                                2. re: twodales

                                                                                                  oh my, that sage pesto!

                                                                                                  1. re: twodales

                                                                                                    Sage pesto is also wonderful with white beans--but I've never added almonds to my own pesto. I'll bet that makes it just perfect. Thanks, td..

                                                                                                    1. re: twodales

                                                                                                      Another yes on the sage pesto. I have sage; I have almonds. I may just whip up some.

                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                        Me too - bought a whole bunch and only need a few leaves. Good one, twodales!

                                                                                                      2. re: twodales

                                                                                                        Oh holy cow, sage pesto. That and butternut squash might make a nice ravioli filling.

                                                                                                      3. Even tho it was warm last night, I had leftover pasta in the fridge so sauteed some shallot with Italian sausage I had bought over the weekend + some spinach. Tossed the pasta in with the sausage/spinach mixture. Not sure about tonite yet, made some rice in the rice cooker this morning so we shall see.....

                                                                                                        1. We're to have a brief market trip tonight, and, given that it is going to be nearing the eighties here for the next two days, I'm tossing out my menu plans in favor of tacos. The boy requested tofu tacos, so the tofu will be baked with ground guajillo, ancho, cumin, a tiny bit of the Spice House's Calypso seasoning (chile/lime), and oil. A sprinkling of black beans, and a cabbage and cilantro slaw will be tucked into the tacos, with tomato for me, and fresh salsa for him.

                                                                                                          I won't be home until after nine on wednesday and thursday, so dinner needs to be easy to toss together. I think the rest of the black beans will be used in refrieds for tomorrow's tacos, with cilantro rice, salsa, and guacamole. If the market has plantains, I''ll pick up some to fry, but I haven't seen them there lately. Thursday will be spicy peanut noodles with shredded carrots and bean sprouts, and roasted broccoli on the side, and a salad.

                                                                                                          That Calypso seasoning. (*sigh*) The boyfriend, every few months, will bring home a 'new' chile lime spice mix. This is, I believe, the fourth. Fifth? I've tried pointing out that they are the same, but these brightly colored bottles continue to woo him. This is amusing, but also puzzling. He doesn't like limes.

                                                                                                          1. It's been a wacky weather day here in the NW. Woke up to snow, and it snowed off and on all morning. Now we have no snow and sunshine! Figure it will be raining heavily by dinner time. So comfort is necessary. Found all the stuff in the fridge and pantry to make carbonara. That ought to hit the spot. Maybe a little salad on the side.

                                                                                                            1. Tonight we'll have those hoisin pork chops I'd debated over yesterday, along with cabbage sauteed in sesame oil and...maybe miso soup to start?

                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                How were the hoisin pork chops? I bought a bottle of sauce ages ago to make the mahogany beef stew that was so popular here once upon a time, but now that the weather is warming up again, I think I may want to trying something a little less heat-inducing.

                                                                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                  We actually didn't have them! When I arrived home, DH surprised me with dinner ready: sesame-crusted grilled tuna steaks and grilled bok choy that had been marinated in soy sauce, garlic, and honey.

                                                                                                                  Chops we'll have tonight, probably just basted in BBQ sauce (and grilled), with the cabbage repurposed as vinaigrette-dressed cole slaw. And something else yet to be determined: I feel like cornbread.

                                                                                                                  Re: hoisin -- DH's best pot roast ever (which blew mine out of the water) was braised with a bit of hoisin in the sauce. So good.

                                                                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                    I had never had pot roast until maybe 6 years ago, so it's not something I often think to make. I have a ton of wood ear mushrooms so I keep telling myself I'll make moo shu with the hoisin, but we'll see if that happens.

                                                                                                              2. Roast tri tip tonight, that's been marinating for quite some time in a wine-lemon-garlic mixture, and has been air drying in the fridge since this morning. I'll roast some potatoes in the same pan (probably tossed first in a little melted lard to get them good and crispy -- my only other fat choices are olive oil and butter...) and steam some string beans to be tossed with browned butter and lemon. There should be enough drippings and marinade remains that I can make a good gravy too.

                                                                                                                Perhaps if the boyfriend's chihuahua stomach isn't acting up tomorrow, I can use the beef leftovers in that pho I've been craving.

                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                  My husband woke up with a chihuahua stomach - he didn't know it was called a chihuahua stomach and is lol but still feeling yucky.! looks like solo dining tonight mmmm.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                    Ah, yes, solo dining is the curse of the chihuahua stomach. Hope your husband feels better soon.

                                                                                                                    1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                      I love that we've added chihuahua stomach to the lexicon.

                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                        It's a very under-discussed disorder, and one that can have devastating effects on those who like to cook. In my case, it seems to be directly related to anti-seafoodism. Perhaps I should bring it up at the support group.

                                                                                                                        ;)

                                                                                                                  2. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                    Love beans that style!

                                                                                                                  3. Busy few days but no cooking for the next two so I wanted to make sure to have dinner tonight--easy way out with pre-marinated black pepper pork tenderloin, roasted asparagus, sweet potatoes w/ bs & butter. Easy and hit the spot.

                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: bblonde

                                                                                                                      I know what you meant, but "bs & butter" made me laugh. I, too, like to top my sweet potatoes with a little BS on occasion. :)

                                                                                                                      1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                        still wondering here...

                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                          Brown sugar, maybe?

                                                                                                                          1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                            that must be it.

                                                                                                                            i hate "sweet" sweet potatoes, so that wouldn't have occurred to me :)

                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                              Same here. I'm more likely to use Cajun seasoning or Old Bay on mine.

                                                                                                                            2. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                              This is what I assumed as well. If I want super sweet potatoes, I usually use maple syrup, but I think I may still start referring to them as "sweet potatoes with BS."

                                                                                                                      2. I made pancit noodles with shrimp and lemon sauce with achiote the other day. Typically the noodles are served adorned with a variety of toppings; I chose nuoc cham pork, shrimp, scallions, egg and crispy fried garlic.

                                                                                                                        With quite a bit of the shrimp and achiote sauce leftover, I felt inspired this evening by Harters's tortillitas, but with the shrimp flavor on the outside. Typically my family made tortilla with eggplant or pork and/or potato, however for this meal, I opted for pork, shrimp and why not some frozen peas and bean sprouts -- so before I knew it, I was frying up egg foo yung dressed with shrimp and achiote sauce. Adobo braised kale finished with sambal and lime juice rounded out the meal.

                                                                                                                        14 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                          Wow, what an incredible sounding combination of flavors. As usual, you've got my mouth watering!

                                                                                                                          1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                            when you say you made pancit noodles, is that the prep or the kind of noodles? i know the word means noodles in Filipino cuisine, but are there lots of kinds of pancit noodles or just one? and i'm with L.N., those toppings sound fantastic.

                                                                                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                              Oh my, that sounds great.

                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                When I say pancit, I broadly mean Filipino style noodles. Pancit can refer to the different noodle types like pancit canton (Chinese-style wheat noodles) or sotanghon (bean thread noodles) or it can also refer to a style of serving noodles like pancit mami which is chicken soup made with bouncy egg noodles or pancit malabon made from thick rice noodles dressed with a creamy sauce enriched with crab fat and tossed with roast pork, oysters, chicharron and braised squid. The many permutations of pancit noodles and pancit dishes are practically endless.

                                                                                                                                The noodles I made were a variation on pancit palabok which are usually made from thick rice noodles, though low carb Dreamfields spaghetti was a fine substitute. I'm thinking about also trying it with stir fried tofu noodles (dou gan si) since tofu is also a great addition to palabok.

                                                                                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                  <pancit malabon made from thick rice noodles dressed with a creamy sauce enriched with crab fat and tossed with roast pork, oysters, chicharron and braised squid.>

                                                                                                                                  wow, how delicious. WFD is always so educational.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                    Is that not drool-worthy?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                      I don't know any cuisine in the world aside from Filipino that has given crab fat its proper due. Sea urchin has nothing on the clotted cream of the sea.

                                                                                                                                2. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                  I am intrigued by that shrimp and achiote sauce!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                    The shrimp and achiote sauce is quite easy. It's just shrimp stock (preferably made with shells and heads which have been put through a chinoise to extract the fat), achiote water (made from steeping annatto seeds in hot water), heated, seasoned with fish sauce or s&p and then thickened with a corn starch slurry. The result is a glossy, deeply hued sauce that clings perfectly to your noodles.

                                                                                                                                    I didn't use heads for my stock, so I used a beurre manie to thicken the sauce and add some richness and lemon juice to balance out the flavors, though traditionally the diner adds lemon to taste at the table.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                      Oh this looks lovely. I have a shellfish stock made from shrimp and crab shells - no shrimp heads, but I might give it a try. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                      In reading your other post above, I am wondering about crab fat. Am I right in thinking that it is crab roe or tomalley? Do you extract it from the crab yourself, or do you buy it already removed?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                        From the color of the thing, I imagine it's the mustard and roe, however the name in Tagalog literally means fat from little shore crabs and it is a lot creamier than you would think simple roe could be. Definitely something to pick up at the store unless you enjoy crab picking.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                          Thanks! I'll scour the Asian groceries here. One of them is fairly pan-Asian had has a wide range of products.

                                                                                                                                          I just found this recipe, which looks like a winner: http://the-newbie-wife.blogspot.com/2...

                                                                                                                                          Is this the product?

                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                          1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                            I'm not familiar with that brand, but yes, you are looking for taba ng talangka. Deliciously rich stuff -- a jar that size lasts quite a while. If it's easy to get to Syracuse or Ithaca, I'm sure you'll find a Filipino store with owners happy to lead you to the good stuff.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                              Thanks! I'm in Syracuse, actually. :) I've never really delved into the Fillipino-food sections of the Asian grocery, and haven't sought out a purely Filipino store yet. That's about to change, though.

                                                                                                                                              And who knows, the mega-Wegman's might carry some of this.

                                                                                                                                3. We had a lot of rockfish to clean this afternoon, and since we had last minute dinner guests, rockfish, fried & grilled, was for dinner. On the side, stewed potatoes & onions, green beans cooked with fried bacon and cole slaw.

                                                                                                                                  1. the BF is taking care of dinner and i just got home and found him putting rib eyes down in the grill pan, and fat asparagus already steamed, a mushroom sauce resting in a little pot, and i think some roasted potatoes. and probably a salad, knowing him. SO EXCITED!

                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                      Ah, you lucky girl! Sounds wonderful!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                        welllll... turned out they were porterhouses, which isn't my favorite cut (i don't love the strip steak part), and they were ever so slightly overcooked. just a TITCH. as was the asparagus (er, a little more than a titch - these were all his complaints, by the way.) everything had really good flavor, tho! but he cut us each just the tenderloin portion of the steaks, leaving the strip behind, so it looked kinda tiny on the plate - and he didn't let me take a pic. he says - get this - "we'll save the rest for tacos." HAH! those strips don't stand a chance after our nightcap later tonight. steak is steak, after all. i am still a lucky girl.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                          Yeah, I don't get strip steaks, either. What a waste of meat.

                                                                                                                                          Other than that, your dinner sounds right up my alley.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                        THAT sounds heavenly! It's almost lunchtime here - and I've only got a PB&J and Fritos. I like your dinner last night much more bettah. ;-)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                          thanks Lingua & LW! Turned out we didn't eat up all the steak last night, so the boy gets that for his tacos tonight. I'll be at the oldster's, and if the torrential downpour isn't much bad for him, i think we're going to take him out to a Peruvian restaurant.

                                                                                                                                          Linda, i'm coveting your Fritos.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                            My salty fix. ALLLLLL gone. ;-)

                                                                                                                                      3. I never seemed to warm up today, snow in the morning, hail in the afternoon, I just needed soup! With Mr NS away, I could indulge in a simple noodley dinner. I made a broth with a bit of chicken demi glace, added miso, udon noodles, tofu, shrimp, toasted sesame oil, scallions, and a plop of chile garlic sauce. Heated me right up! A bit of kimchi too. I just signed up for a class on hand-made fresh ramen. Not until May, but looking forward to it.

                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                          So .

                                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                            So envious of you folks who can throw together a soup! Although here, tonight, "soup" would describe the atmosphere.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                              do you buy your udon fresh or dried, L.N.? your meal sounds very homey and good.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                I don't know how "fresh" the udon is, but it's not dried. I use the refrigerated packages. I was thinking about making udon at one point. Until I read several recipes that required kneading the dough with one's feet. Hope the ramen doesn't require feet.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                  that's what i meant, the refrigerated kind. i've not tried that yet.

                                                                                                                                                  kneading with the feet - you can be like the cholas of Bolivia! stomping on freeze dried potatoes to create that delicacy, "chuño".

                                                                                                                                                  seriously, tho, can't wait to hear about your ramen experience.

                                                                                                                                            2. First grilling of the season! We had grilled salmon (salt, pepper, little brown sugar, and lime/zest), asparagus, and avocado slices.

                                                                                                                                              1. Not doing well with DST--at least not where dinner's concerned. Didn't start defrosting until after 7. At least it was veal slices, so quick thawing. But very late dinner of veal saltimbocca, farro w/mushrooms, a few stray asparagus sauteed w/ the veal and yet another round of caesar salad.

                                                                                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                  NCW, it's not you, but i don't think i've ever heard so many people talk about DST affecting their lives as I have this year! someone was telling me there were like 3 horrible schoolbus crashes today across the country and the conjecture was that the bus drivers were tired and hadn't adjusted yet. Do you feel this way every year? just curious - not at all a slam - anyone else can chime in too! i've been tired since Sunday but i figured that was just my lingering hangover from my two-party Saturday night! but maybe i'm wrong, maybe it's DST after all...

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                    Funny you should say that, I've heard a lot of people complain about it this year too, more than usual. It never affects me. But I don't even get jet lag when I travel.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                      really! i do get jet lag.

                                                                                                                                                      and i think the media's playing it up, so some people are just latching on to that. when really they're just hungover, like me.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                      I was fine on Sunday and Monday, but starting Tuesday (and today) I've been very tired. I'm going away this weekend with friends - hopefully I "wake up" before then!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                        For a second, I swore "DST" was referring to "Dinner Start Time". I need to get out more.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                          That could be a very useful abbreviation here, CM, once we all adjust to the time change.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                            DST in my house growing up was always 15-30 minutes after Mom had said it would be. My stepbrothers quickly learned this at holiday time if Mom said Thanksgiving dinner was at 2:30, we'd be eating at 3pm. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                        DST, ugh, can't stand it this early in the year.

                                                                                                                                                        I didn't get home from an impromptu run to the store until 9pm, nor get dinner on the table until 1030 tonight, and I'm usually not bothered much by eating late. The supermarket was also eerily quiet, but that could be due in part to the 15th being so close.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                                          but i'm so curious - do you actually feel a physical effect? like really more tired? i absolutely love it being lighter in the evenings when i get home from work, if i get out at a normal time...

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                            Yeah, don't know how to explain it. Here it is about 5:30am, and I'm wide awake. 4:30am in "real" time. And I'm not a morning person.

                                                                                                                                                            The extra hour of daylight at the end of the day suddenly like that is disorientating to my routines.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                              Yk, maybe I feel it every year, but it *seems* worse this year. I too love, always look forward to the extra hour of light in the evening--but so far this year I've been staying awake until the wee hours and don't get to sleep in to compensate. So, yes, I'm tired. As far as dinners are concerned, I'm generally disorganized, and we always eat late, but it's been ridiculous the past few nights.

                                                                                                                                                        2. Tonight I sat down to Black Pepper stir-fry I've done a few times before. For the protein this time I prepared it with a carefully trimmed half-pound USDA Choice petite sirloin, that looked particularly well-marbled.

                                                                                                                                                          For the velveting marinade, I did a 2:1 ratio of sesame oil to chili oil, a combo that turned out to be very tasty, and I will do again, even for other recipes. The thing that keeps getting me about this recipe is how a full tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper is in the sauce without being dominating. There's still a faint hint of ginger and sweetness, plus the other elements of the heat sources, distinct from the black pepper that comes through.

                                                                                                                                                          If I was served what came out of the pan tonight at a top Chinese restaurant, I'd be more than pleased with the tenderness and flavor of the beef, heat level of the sauce, and the bit of crunch left in the green onions (I used an entire bunch of 7 green onions tonight).

                                                                                                                                                          This recipe will be a standard in my kitchen. Next time I see some nice scallops, they're going to get the Black Pepper sauce treatment—I think that'll be another winner. Perhaps even lobster too.

                                                                                                                                                          12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                                            jeez PDX, that sounds so delicious.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                                              I'm learning a lot from your posts, Relish. Cooking Chinese food at home has always given me fits--most Asian food for that matter--but my husband loves it (and he also loves beef so I should give something like this a go).

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                                                I've got to try that black pepper sauce with scallops!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                                                  I rarely eat beef because what is generally available to me in this part of the country is not the best quality, but your recipe sounds like it could make up for that. Is there a sauce you use for the stir fry?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                    This is the recipe I use, it was for crab legs, but works on any protein. The critical point in the sauce I've found is to let almost all of the water cook out, like she says, before adding anything else. Otherwise you run the risk of any veggies you put in there cooking to the point that they're adding more moisture to the pan faster than it's boiling off down to the consistency you want it to be, which is really just a coating. Reintroduce the protein at the very end as well.

                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.mykitchensnippets.com/2007...

                                                                                                                                                                    For the beef marinade, I used 1/4 TSP baking soda, mixed that in well, then added 1 TBSP dark soy sauce, 2 TSP sesame oil, 1 TSP chili oil, and 1 TBSP cornstarch, and let that sit for 30 minutes after mixing again. That was for 1/2 pound of beef.

                                                                                                                                                                    NCW: Thanks! Sometimes I look at a post I've typed out and ask myself "does anyone really want to know these details?" :)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                                                      Oh this really looks fantastic! Thanks for posting it!

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                      Ditto---I'd love to see more in terms of your recipe and your velveting technique, PX (including adjustments you make for different proteins).

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                        Will do! I was just looking at the recipe again to make sure I caught my adjustments, and let me post my notes for the order I do things once I'm ready to cook, since it's a bit different than the recipe's instructions:

                                                                                                                                                                        1) Sauté the protein quickly on high heat to brown on both sides, remove to a bowl and cover;

                                                                                                                                                                        2) Add ginger and garlic to the pan, plus more oil if needed, sauté very quickly so that the garlic doesn't burn (pan will be very hot);

                                                                                                                                                                        3) 30 seconds later or so, add the sauce mixture to pan and boil down to a stage I can only describe as a loose coating. This is a crucial step, as it's my feeling the black pepper 'mellows' at this stage, so don't leave the water out of the sauce mixture as I was tempted to do once;

                                                                                                                                                                        4) Add green onions, being careful not to bring the temp of the pan down with a veggie overload; and

                                                                                                                                                                        5) Add the velveted protein back to the pan just as the sauce is tightening up around the veggies. You should be 30-45 seconds from plating at this point. It should end up being something more akin to a glaze than a sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                        For the chili sauce, I've used both sambal oelek and sriracha at different times—it's really your personal choice. For the black soy sauce, I've been using Kimlan Dark.

                                                                                                                                                                        This is one of those dishes that more time is spent marinating than anything else. From the moment the pan heats up to the point you plate it, it's under 10 minutes of work at the stove. Great for a weeknight.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                                                          Your recipe sounds sort of like my version of Mongolian beef, but with quite a bit more pepper and less scallion. I can't wait to try it.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                            Oh share, please!

                                                                                                                                                                            I've literally spent hundreds at the stores filling my shelves and fridge with every conceivable Asian cuisine ingredient in the past few months, and I've only been able to lay claim to learning how to velvet, Black Pepper stir-fry, two Thai soups, fried noodles HK-style, Turmeric Chicken, and 'nearly there' on Char Siu, as reliable "I know I can do this" items so far. Stocks I already had down pat, I'm just making tons more of them these days.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                                                              My recipe is off of Rasa Malaysia's with sambal oelek instead of Maggi as well as tsliced onions sprinkled with sugar to help them caramelize quickly with the beef.

                                                                                                                                                                              http://rasamalaysia.com/mongolian-bee...

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                    3. Flounder fillets topped by grape tomatoes (halved), capers, thyme, evoo, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and a splash of balsamic vinegar, spinach and a baked spud for the man. It was perfect. BTW that topping is great on sauteed chicken as well.

                                                                                                                                                                      It was quite warm yesterday and I wanted something light and healthy. Nearly 80 today so might have to forego the lamb chops I had planned on and make something more summery.

                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                        That sounds delicious!! And I have flounder in the freezer too.....Hmmmmm

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                          that sounds like a loverly, sunny day, Provence-style topping...

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Last nite's dinner ended up being Stir-fry....had 1/2 a head of green cabbage to use up, also some fresh broccoli, peppers, onion, grape tomatoes & green chili peppers. Served over white sushi rice I had made yesterday morning in the rice cooker. Leftover steak & shrimp in mine.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. Last night was a rather pedestrian dinner; had bs/skls chix breasts left from day before when the Thom Ka soup was so urgent. I never buy this cut, as it is too boring for me, but since it was there, I pounded them even, marinated for an hour in citrus and garlic, then did a dredge in dijon, then parm/crumbs/ herbs for your basic sauteed chicken dijon. Sauce on side of dijon, white wine, a bit of cream and some fresh tarragon. Perfectly tasty, in a calm comfort food sort of way. Roasted broccoli with a little red chili and lemon zest on the side.
                                                                                                                                                                            Tonight I am off to happy hour with Dad, then to some modern Choral concert he needed a date for. Shall be nice to have a good ol' father/daughter date:)

                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                              your pedestrian dinner sounds great. have a good time tonight with the old man!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                Your pan sauce sounds really delicious. I'll be stealing that :)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                  It is - feel free to steal, as I do from all of you:)!

                                                                                                                                                                              2. Last night I saw some shad roe at the market. Hideously expensive but it's a once or twice a year indulgence and I missed out completely last year so I went for it. Prepared with brown butter and lemon juice and a tiny sprinkle of Maldon sea salt flakes. Since I don't make it often I don't always get it right but it turned out perfectly last night, good browning on the initial side and still a bit pink in the middle. Served with a salad of red cabbage, radish and very mustardy vinaigrette. Yum! Tonight some kind of fish (need to stop at store again) maybe with the fermented black bean treatment and asparagus if it looks good.

                                                                                                                                                                                13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, shad roe!!!! I've never made it, tho Wegmans generally carries it during its short season....

                                                                                                                                                                                  I never knew how to prepare (ok, I didn't exactly research it... at all) -- so you just pan-fry, basically?

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'll have to try this when it starts showing up around these parts. Is it super-fishy? My man's fairly conservative when it comes to seafood flavors..... (more manly seafood issues - what gives??)

                                                                                                                                                                                  :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                    This looks promising: http://www.washingtonian.com/articles...

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                      Veal demi-glace? Hmmmm. Sounds a tad more involved than I had hoped '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                      But it's definitely a start! I'll have to make some once it gets here & will report back.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                      Here is an old post that describes my method. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6980... I followed it exactly last night except that I scrimped a bit on the butter and it turned out great. Couldn't be easier either.

                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                      I confess I have never had shad roe, do tell more GretchenS?

                                                                                                                                                                                      What is the taste like - and texture? I believe it comes in lobes.... that is about all I know. I hate having a culinary hole in my arsenal!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, it comes in lobes and is sort of mildly fishy and delicate and tasty. The texture is a bit grainy although that sounds hard and it is soft. But you are aware that it is little eggs, somehow.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                        that sounds wonderful.
                                                                                                                                                                                        since i'm the newly proud possessor of a pound of fermented black beans, can you elaborate on the fermented black bean treatment?

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                          I will be glad to tomorrow, do not recall the recipe, it has been awhile since I made it. It is out of one of the Moosewood Restaurant cookbooks, maybe M.R. Cooks at Home, which a neighbor loaned me once. Scallions and ginger are involved, I do remember that.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                            Here is the black bean recipe, although I didn't make it last night since I could not for the life of me find my fermented black beans. Pantry way overdue for a clean-out and reorganization, I'm sure they slipped behind something. Instead I made the bulgogi-style glazed salmon out of Radically Simple, which is another winner.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Fish with Cantonese Black Bean Sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                            New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant
                                                                                                                                                                                            ingredients verbatim, instructions paraphrased

                                                                                                                                                                                            1 1/2 to 2 pounds fish fillets [I like salmon particularly and it works fine with steaks]
                                                                                                                                                                                            1 T Chinese fermented black beans [rinsed well]
                                                                                                                                                                                            1/2 cup water [I omit]
                                                                                                                                                                                            1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
                                                                                                                                                                                            2 T tamari soy sauce [I use low sodium]
                                                                                                                                                                                            2 t dard sesame oil
                                                                                                                                                                                            1 T grated fresh ginger [I use more]
                                                                                                                                                                                            2 t Chinese rice vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                                            2 scallions, diagonally sliced

                                                                                                                                                                                            Preheat oven to 350. Mix everything but fish and scallions. Put fish in baking dish, spread with paste, top with scallions (I reserve some of the green parts to garnish before serving), cover and bake till done -- about 20 minutes, but check.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                              thanks GS! wow.... most recipes i run into call for such small amounts of FBB - my pound bag is going to last me forever!

                                                                                                                                                                                              This looks really good and easy, and as you say it's good with chicken too, i'm going to try it on the boy soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                Good, yeah your pound is gonna last a loooooong time. "dard" above means "dark" by the way. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Fortunately, they keep forever, mc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                    good to know! i kinda figured, being fermented and all.... i want to make lots of things with them!

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Spaghetti and meatballs. The pasta is thick Barilla, sauce and meatballs are homemade. Modest salad on the side. Wine will be the house red. Burn Notice will be on the panel.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I came home far too late to bother with a pie for Pi Day. So instead I figured I had pita bread and manakish, which are often called Lebanese pizza in English, could sort of qualify as pie. All I needed to do was baste on a bit of yogurt, olive oil and za'atar, quick zap in the microwave and done: pie made! Now I could have topped the man'oushe (singular of manakish) with mincemeat and turned it into lahm bi ajin, but I wanted vegetables, so I stir fried the meat with napa cabbage, scallions, soy sauce, black vinegar and a spicy sauce whose Chinese name I can't quite make out, but can be purchased here: http://www.asiansupermarket365.com/AA... The slightly floral zip of the Szechuan peppercorns in the sauce married so well with the za'atar that I may have to try adding some to my mixture next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Tonight a Reuben (all BabW's fault ;) ) using the aforementioned roasted corned beef that took a long desalinization bath and was saved. Oroweat's Russian Rye is a letdown though, gotta find an alternative. RR has too much of a balloon bread feel to it, not a substantial rye like it should be for $4.29. But for a total save, I didn't do bad. A layer of Swiss and CB on one side, layer of kraut topped with a good 1000 island on the other, then sandwiched, outsides buttered, and 'grilled' on the stove in a pan. Claussen crunchy dill on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Downside of a point cut, I'll yield only two sandwiches from a 2.5# CB. So much fat either rendered off or was trimmed off after cooking that a mere morsel remained to work with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                DST strikes again—breakfast wasn't until 11, so I skipped lunch and am having lunch for dinner at 6-something PM, with at least another hour of daylight to go. Crazy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                                                                                  You're welcome. ;-) I prefer a nice marble rye for Reubens, though I do love a good Russian rye.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm happy to hear that you saved the corned beef. I'll be making one this weekend for the first time. Funny, my mom made it all the time and it was one of my favorites, but I've never made it for myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                                                                                    If there's a Pain Quotidien in your neck of the woods, you might check out their rye/peasant boules. I find them extremely similar the the German rye I used to eat in Austria and Germany.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Tonight was grilled hamburgers, grilled zucchini, baked potato wedges, and sugar snap peas. With banana-coconut cream pie for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tomorrow will be Balinese chicken -- which is marinating overnight -- with rice, asparagaus, and ... some other vegetable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                                                      banana-coconut cream pie, be still my heart!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                                                                        It was good! It's a Chow recipe ... http://www.chow.com/recipes/25777-ban...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The only thing I did differently was to use unsw. coconut on top (instead of sweetened), mostly b/c I'd just gotten some the day before, but it was plenty sweet as it was.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'll bet it was, good sub.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Pizza tonight with a sourdough thin crust, topped with spicy salami, sweet orange pepper and minced garlic. Crispy, fruity salad on the side with romaine heart, kiwi, mango, and more of that super sweet bell pepper, all in a vinagary shallot-mustard dressing. Anchor porter to drink.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. SDT: 10:15. I'll blame DH. He got home late.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        (Berkshire) pork cutlets, pounded thin, and paneed, served with duck-fat roasted potatoes (almost to a crisp, an accident that DH loved), and more caesar salad. Pi Day pie was another lemon goat cheese tart, which survived, only a bit worse for the wear, a fridge slide.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I also enjoyed some badly overcooked grilled (whole) fava beans. DH wouldn’t touch the ugly, slimy things. I had tried doing these once before (I think it was at mc's rec) and not liked them but decided it was because it was late in the season and the favas were old. As they are just beginning to appear here, I bought some and gave it another go. Although I overcooked them, by covering them after I'd grilled them, thus steaming them to death, I loved them! (I guess, as in so many things, youth in fava beans is key.) I am going to buy some more this weekend, while they're still tender little slips, and try to get the grilling just right (aiming for those as pictured in 101 Cookbooks blog). I'm officially converted to grilled whole favas, sprinkled w/some coarse salt and a squirt of lemon (lime would also be good).

                                                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                          oh yeah, i'd forgotten about those! i can't wait to see young favas pop up near me...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                            It was you, then?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Favas don't last long so I'm going to have to make the most of the very short time that they're young and sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                              i know i've posted about them, i don't know if i was the progenitor on this thread, but i was definitely a proponent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                            That Caesar sure is addictive, isn't it? I may make some again tonight. How were the porklets?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                              You know that (very delicious) dressing has been fine all week; not sure why I was worried about it. (Really, when I first started cooking I put raw egg in dressings or made my own mayo and never worried about keeping them a while in the fridge.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              DH said he actually liked the poklets better than veal done the same way. That Berkshire pork makes so much difference, but I pretty much have to depend on my sister to bring it from Atlanta (when she drives). Here, I have to order it, and it is super expensive. Our WF doesn't even carry it. What do you have to pay for it at Wegman's?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. 108
                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's been a couple of months now since my horrible cat food on pasta experience. That was the chicken liver pasta recipe from Food and Wine magazine. Time to get back on the horse. But instead of my old standby recipe, I tried a John Ash version: chicken livers with red onions, red bell pepper, garlic, white wine, a little ham, basil, and parmesan, tossed with rotelle. Not bad, actually. Our favorite chicken liver pasta dishes are tomato based, so this was an interesting change.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mr. NS did bring home some tomatoes, so we had a side of sliced tomatoes with gorgonzola dressing. Still winter. Like eating reddish styrofoam.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            My pre-dinner cocktail was inspired by Babs (she's busy inspiring us today!): Pureed watermelon with lime juice and gin, fleur de sel around the rim, and an aromatic spray of basil sitting on the edge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                            12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                              that prep sounds very good. i never think of liver going well with a tomato based sauce, actually.... but i've never even had a liver dish, PERIOD - just liver & onions, foie, pate, etc. i really need to expand my horizon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              cocktail sounds/looks so very lovely - the salt - that reminds me of a Guatamalan family i knew growing up - they would salt all their fruit - even their orange juice! it would drive me crazy, especially after running around outside, coming in super thirsty, and being meet with a pitcher full of saltiness! but yours is like a margarita of sorts. what have we dubbed this newest concoction?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                When I was growing up, everyone put salt on watermelon and lots of people put it on cantaloupe; since my mother thought it weird, we never did. But there's probably something to it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  mc - My go-to liver and pasta dish has tomato sauce and sausage. It's still my favorite, but we enjoyed this one too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  When I was a kid a lot of families in my neighborhood salted their fruit. Especially watermelon and oranges. That's partly why I thought this would work. Gin worked with the basil, not so much with the salt, I think.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    that's kinda what i was thinking - the salt wouldn't work super well with the gin, better with tequila, as you were positing....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    fruit - salt - i did use to eat salt on lemons - owwwowwwowwwowww my teeth!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      but gin is so good with grapefruit juice and a salted rim, as in a salty dog (which can also be made w/ vodka)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh YES. This is what I'm making next. I love those!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          oh you are right! i'd forgot about those..... maybe it's the salt and watermelon i was reacting to - and back to my aversion to salted fruits!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Whoa! I didn't know those were made with gin also! I've only had them with vodka. Must try now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Winter tomatoes are so disappointing. :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm laughing about being inspiring. I can inspire others lately, just not myself!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You are inspiring me to give chicken livers a try, so we're all paying it forward. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fabulous photos.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          LOVE the cocktail picture! And I don't like gin. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks steve and Linda! I'm having fun with food photos, and now and then a few cocktail pics!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I'm back from my two day research trip. Stopped on the way back to visit a Kashmiri restaurant I know in the city of Bradford. I over-ate. Polite language might describe me as a glutton. Otherwise, I currently respond to the description of "greedy bastard". Details of my eats on the UK board for anyone interested in Kashmiri, Thai or Yorkshire food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So, announcing the vastness of lunch to Mrs H on my mobile phone as I left the restaurant, she suggests that "you won't want dinner then". She does it to provoke me, I'm sure. Anyway, negotiations have resulted in dinner being soup, salad, cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            that Mrs. H - she'll probably surprise you with a cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ay ay ay - now i want a Brett's chippy!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              alright Harters, dammit to hell... you've forced me to add the UK/Ireland Board to my saved boards. I've got my eye on you....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Wow, you had some good eats on that two day trip, my mouth is watering. If you could have done more than soup, salad and cheese after that lunch, you are a better man than I am! ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Chile verde with pork butt and Hatch chiles, the green ones.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I am sneaking in a little posole too, since I love it and I went to the Mission yesterday to get La Palma's teeny tiny corn tortillas to go with.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I will add some Anaheim's and poblano's so that it isn't too spicy, add I am thinking about chucking in the container of tomatillo salsa I picked up as well, although I know I will lose authenticity with that move...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A pear and mulberry crisp will be dessert, with a granola-almond topping, since certain people don't care for walnuts or pecans...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My parents are coming for dinner, I think this will warm their bellies nicely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                very nice... did you mail order those Hatch chiles? I've been dying to try them. don't tell me they're in my neighborhood! (you said you were in the Mission.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I bought them last summer and roasted them. This is the second year I've done this and it is so worth it. A case is only around $15 or so, and generally lasts me through the winter. The larger grocery stores have them around August or September, and the good deals are usually at Lucky's. Nothing organic about them, but there isn't a better substitute IMHO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I thought of you when I was on 24th. What splendor you live amongst!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Isn't 24th Street wonderful? I live 3 blocks away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh i forgot, you posted about this before - Lucky's! I'm going to pay attention this year when people start posting about them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rebaja,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That is what I am making today; not so much for my dinner, but for a chili contest at a wine store tomorrow. Doing "Chile and Chili's", Chilean wines, and 12 of us bringing in chili to compete for a few hundred $'s in resto gift certificates... Will report in how I fair - looks like I am the only green chili on offer, so hoping my hatch's make me stand out!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I also got a case in the fall here in SEA, a store did a promotion, and had them in by the case with a roaster, so all I had to do was clean and package the roasted chili's. Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Well, wouldn't ya know -- there was shad roe at Wegmans today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So I'll be cooking one sack for myself and a cod filet for my man in case he doesn't like it. Sides are roasted cauli and butter lettuce, cukes & baby romas in a creamy dill dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Early guest gig tonight, so nothing too involved.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Back on the road in another 10 days so we're clearing out the box.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm gently steaming some leftover corned beef, warming up homemade tomato soup and gently heating up some baby peas I found in the back of the coolerator. I have my eye on some cheesecake...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. It has been pouring rain today (at least it is not snowing). So tonight is Butternut Squash Soup with a small sweet potato thrown in so it doesn't go to waste. (Just picked up some fresh nutmeg from Penzey's on my way home today - I'm in heaven) Along with that, some grilled ham & cheese. Just real comfort foods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Reheated tri tip from two nights ago, thinly sliced. Roast beets tossed in a yogurt-mint-cumin dressing. Beet greens sauteed with garlic (whoever suggested this in one of the beet threads -- thank you! I can't stop eating it out of the pan). Rice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I made Balinese chicken tonight (recipe from F&W), and it was sooo good. I marinated boneless skinless chicken thighs in a paste of garlic, shallots, chili peppers, lemongrass etc for about 24 hours, and then grilled them. Ginger rice and a stir-fry of carrots and peppers, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            i want that! going to look that up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            eta: is this the one? http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/ba...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            because it doesn't list lemongrass.... was that your addition? brilliant one, i would say...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Here you go: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/ba...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hey,, CCKT, that's the same recipe - and doesn't have lemongrass. but you added it, right? about how much did you use?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, I added the lemongrass. I'd been carrying the recipe around for months, and for some reason I was convinced it included lemongrass, so I finally remembered lemongrass, pulled out the recipe and ... decided to use it anyhow, lol. I think I added about 4-5 inches of lemongrass, just blended it together with the other ingredients in the food processor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. A riff on Shrimp Fra Diavolo (the addition of lots of veggies since I can't have pasta right now, fresh oregano and a little rosemary since I don't have basil or parsley in the house.) Blueberry pie in the oven (I can't eat the crust but I can sure eat the filling and whipped cream!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Last night ended up being meatballs I made from beef browned first then simmered in a curry sauce - added extra coconut milk to thin it. Served with garlic-sauteed green beans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. There's a brown gloop braised beef (which looks very fetching).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                There's spuds. There's parsnips and there's leeks. They may all get boiled and mashed together as a sort of "bubble & squeak".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Last night ended up being corned beef hash with a fair dose of cayenne in it from the leftover CB, just like at my favorite place to have it in Austin. I sliced the meat into thin slices rather than chopping it, also the way they do it at this deli there. Two of the best poached eggs topped it—even though this carton is at least two weeks old now, there was barely any water to drip off the eggs through the strainer. I'm beginning to think there really IS a vast difference in the quality of eggs. This carton is just labeled "vegetarian-fed", so I'm sure the hen house is much like any other hen house, but boy, these have been great eggs. Nice poofy yolks that really stood up from the whites, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  At a different store this morning, I picked up "free nested - vegetarian fed" brown eggs. We'll see if these are any better/worse. I also checked the price of canned CB hash. $2.75 each! Shocking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You know, I've been thinking about this a bit lately. I've been buying the cage-free for a little while now, and I was surprised at how differently they cooked up when I cracked into that first dozen. I fry eggs a few times a week, and have for years, but I've had to adjust my cooking time and temp to get the same result. I've found it interesting. The boyfriend--whose family owns farmland--theorized that it was just a different type of chicken being used by the (new to me) producer. I was lazily thinking more along the lines of hormones and whatnot. I'd not thought about different types of feed. It would make sense for there to be a difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. making my first corned beef ever (i know, i know...) - with very little fanfare. its sitting in the crockpot with its little spice packet and water, and I threw in a bunch of fresh dill. i know this doesn't count as "really" making a corned beef, but hey, it's my first time. maybe i'll get real-er next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think we'll make reubens tonight if i can get to the big store for rye bread & sauerkraut - none of the little stores around me carry that type of exotica. if not, i think i'll copy relishpdx and do some type of hash thing with poached eggs. more likely this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'll be curious to hear how this comes out for you. Corned beef in a crock pot sounds like a good idea. I've never tried making it, and every time Mr. NS eats it somewhere he is extremely critical! So I'm wary of experimenting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i don't know if i did it right. was i supposed to add salt? i just used the tiny pack of spices it came with.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I love corned beef. Deb hates it. Love it or hate it, the best thing about corned beef is leftovers. I like to keep a fully-cooked slab in the coolerator so I can carve out a large hunk, steam it for 30 minutes, slice it, pack it on a good-quality rye bread, top it with real swiss cheese and give it five or six minutes in the toaster oven. A little brown mustard on top gilds this lilly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          God, I love reubens. It knocked out my longstanding sauerkraut hate with one bite. And I've never made corned beef either. That was (and still is) the boyfriend's territory.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh boy, do I ever have a ton of sauerkraut left over to share! :) Gonna have to buy some quality dogs and buns next week to start using it up. Mmmm, slowly pan-fried dogs in big buns with warm kraut and good mustard. I get all giggly just thinking about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. So about that shad roe..... I thought it was reminiscent of brains in texture (not in a bad way, I *like* brains), and tasted briny of oysters or maybe pan-fried uni. It is also incredibly rich, so finishing those two lobes all by my lonesome -- my man preferred his cod filet -- was a bit of a challenge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I likely won't buy it again, but I'd have it again in a resto, perhaps as an appetizer portion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Today, it's a ridiculously warm St. Patty's eve (seriously, I could almost put on a bikini and get on the back porch) -- so we've cleaned up said porch, got the table and chairs out, and will likely be grilling a nice piece of meat.... perhaps a lowly cheeseburger, or a scrumptious rib-eye -- we'll see what the store has in store.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sides depend on the main. With burgers, we'll likely just have a salad, and, without getting ahead of myself, this may well be a Caesar again :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          With steak, I might throw some veggie medley on the grill as well -- zukes, or bell peppers or asparagus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Late night gig tonight (as in coming home some time after 2 a.m. >sigh<), but it's always a blast to play there: a local dive bar with an enthusiastic audience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tomorrow.... recovery. And if the weather holds up, that bikini might see some day light, too. I'll be sure to stay far, far away from the drunken revelry downtown. Finally, those poor undergrads have an occasion to drink. Ha.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Glad you liked the shad roe. It *is* rich but I figure, once a year.... And I normally just serve a salad or some steamed spinach with it precisely because of how rich it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. It is cold and dreary in NYC, though with temperatures generally having been on the warmer side, this may be my final chance to make that most iconic of Lenten suppers: tuna casserole. I am torn between panko and chips for the topping. Since the "veg" for tonight's supper is likely going to be the peas in the casserole, I might as well just go all out and use salt and vinegar chips to top it all off.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'd go with the panko but chips sound good, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Why not a mix of the chips and Panko crumbs?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  voting for chips, straight up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I did the chips. They're not quite as crunchy as the garlic panko crumbs I normally use, but then again, you can't snack on panko crumbs on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Lobsters.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The 20 quart pot (Toroware by Lyse) is sitting on the burner. I purchased a pair of lobsters today from my neighborhood fish monger (they're primarily a commercial outlet with a successful retail business). I'll boil the bad boys per Jasper White's timetable for jumbo lobsters. Melted butter for the sea roach, salad, on the side, for us. Leftovers will go toward lobster rolls and bisque. The coolerator will be empty by the time we fly out later this month. A California sparker (J) will be on the dinner table. Maybe some Patsy Cline on the box.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yom, yom, yom! Enjoy the bugs! (And ooh! Bisque and lobster rolls!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We're hosing down now. Bob Marley followed Patsy Cline on the box.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Lobster and leftovers in the same sentence? ::blink:: (Perhaps I'm just a greedy git when it comes to lobster.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wally and Edna clocked in close to three pounds each.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. I made spaghetti with garlic and olive oil, my kids' current favorite. Since I use the method of cooking the spaghetti in a 12 inch skillet just barely covered with water instead of using a large stock pot, it is a very quick meal from start to finish. And boy, is it nice and garlicky.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        babs, will you tell me how you do the garlic & olive oil? i've already done your method of skillet pasta (brilliant, btw).. do you just slice the garlic thin and simmer it in butter, then pour on cooked pasta?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sure thing! It is our new favorite around here. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          While the spaghetti is cooking (salt the water, of course), I mince about 4 - 5 large cloves of garlic fairly finely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          When the spaghetti is al dente, with a pair of tongs, I pull out the spaghetti and put it in a colander, then I reserve the pasta water in a measuring cup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Next, I use the pan I just cooked the spaghetti in (it's already nice and hot and saves on cleanup) and toss in some olive oil and a pat of butter and keep the pan over pretty high-ish heat. Once the butter is mostly melted, I add the garlic and let it cook until it gets fragrant - not long, a minute at most, then I add a teaspoon or two of granulated garlic, and stir really well so it doesn't stick and burn. If I have fresh herbs, I will often toss them in now, finely chopped. Yesterday I did oregano and basil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pour in some of the reserved pasta water, a quarter cup, maybe, and keep stirring, After a minute, the garlic should start to get a bit golden and the pasta water should be starting to evaporate, but there should still be some liquid in the skillet. You don't want it to be a soupy sauce, you really just want the butter and oil to cling nicely to the pasta, thickly. Does that make sense?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Anyway, at this point, I add the spaghetti back to the pan and do a very quick toss to make sure everything is well coated, like no more than 15 seconds, really. Then it goes straight into a bowl and onto the table.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My kids and I like it with cheese, so it's worth it to spring for a block of the real stuff. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sometimes if I don't have fresh basil or oregano, I'll toss in some dried herbs when I add the pasta water. Other times I have added fresh chopped parsley at the very end. Other add-ins have been halved cherry tomatoes added to the spaghetti in the pan when I am tossing it through the sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          For my next go, I am thinking about adding an anchovy fillet to the butter and oil after I add the garlic, and then maybe chopped oil-cured olives and capers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            thanks babs!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You bet!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Crab legs with a spicy black pepper sauce and french fries. Messy and yummy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jenscats5

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That sounds great!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It was very good!! Very messy - totally had to go to dish towel instead of napkins!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. ‎1. Home (about 2 hours ago).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. In comfy clothes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Laundry started.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          4. Glass of wine poured and being drunk (and it ain't the only one, gahronTEED!).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          5. Games of WWF played (for now).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          6. Chicken marinating in some store-bought yuzu marinade (I love Home Goods food section for neato-cool things I've not tried yet!) to which I added additional lemon juice, sherry, and freshly grated ginger. It will be baked and served with rice pilaf and steamed asparagus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          7. And I'm SO looking forward to a weekend away and, hopefully, the almost 70° weather to be had!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            sounds like the start of a grrrrrreat weekend LW. Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              On the road. Very cool.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Longaniza sausage w/ roasted, chopped carrots and potato, and eggs w/in a huge tortilla w/ a wee bit of cheese. All leftovers except the tortillas. Quick and easy. Have never used this sausage before and it's less greasy than the usual chorizo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JerryMe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Had to read about that sausage, and it sounds great. Lovely combo with the potato and eggs. Nicely done!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  longaniza is really nice, but i've found it stays with you alllll day!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ha! In what way? Just garlicky? Or as an abdominal resident?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      garlicky - repeats on you, over and over....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. We're headed into a weekend of cold wet weather (who stole our 70-75 degree sunny days? LindaWhit?!!? I'll be wanting those back just as soon as the garden is sufficiently soaked...) so it's a roasted chicken with herbs from the garden turned into a paste with olive oil and S&P rubbed under the skin, tiny baby potatoes, carrots and onions under the bird in the cast iron dutch oven in the oven. Sometimes simple and easy is perfect. I'll make a wine run while it's cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The bones will turn into stock for something warm and cozy tomorrow night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sounds like a wonderful dinner, weezie! And I'm not giving back the nice weather we're about to get! LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It does sound classically wonderful weezie! I'm impressed that you have herbs already. I think we're a ways from that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. The BF foiled my plans. Neither of us bought rye/kraut/swiss cheese, and when i told him i would make a hash and serve it with poached eggs, he called me back and asked, "you mean, you're going to MIX the meat INTO the potatoes??" which of course means, please don't mix my meat into my potatoes. he wanted mashed. i said no, i don't want mashed with corned beef. when i got home he'd "compromised" and made oven baked fries, a simple salad of red leaf lettuce with shallots and blue cheese dressing, and served slices of the beef with a little horseradish cream, mustard, and a few capers. The corned beef was really good - tender, with only a little fat left (darn - i think it all melted into the water). I was most impressed with how subtle the flavors were. The predominant flavor from the spice packet was coriander, which i love, and the fresh dill i threw in. i didn't add any salt, so the meat wasn't too salty, as i find most corned beef (does the packet have salt? i forgot to check). and the broth is lovely! we both agreed it would have been better as a Reuben, so i'm probably going to buy another one tomorrow and all the fixings. and i'll strain the broth and make a little soup to go along with the sandwiches. dinner tomorrow solved! will be very nice on another in a string of cold, rainy days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Congrats on the corned beef success! I've never heard of the packet method. Did you eat the whole thing? Or do you have leftovers for your rubens? Either way, great St. Paddy's day eatings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ok, you got me curious enough to go dig the bag out of the trash. so our 2.25 lb. piece of brisket was brined in salt and a bunch of chemical-y things (yuck) and tenderized with papein - a papaya enzyme. soooo.... that's why it didn't need salt. But it wasn't at all too salty. The spice packet typically contains cloves, coriander, allspice, peppercorns, and mustard seed - pickling spices. it cooks down to nothing, maybe a pound of meat, so no, we're going to buy another one tomorrow for reubens because i won't be home enough to do our own brining. i loved it, but now i get why people a) soak them overnight to get some of the salt out; and b) brine their own. Sorry if this is old news to everyone else!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for all that, it's all news to me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That sounds delicious. :9 Now that I've plowed through the pastrami, I'm looking forward to corned beef Reubens next week. I may make a loaf of pumpernickel or Finnish rye for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm curious, how did you cook the corned beef - was it a straight braise?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am cooking one today and am torn between the way my mom mad it - the usual boiled New England dinner style, or simmering it for half the time to leach out a lot of the salt and then finishing it in the oven with a mustard and brown sugar glaze.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm already diverging from the traditional American-Irish standard corned beef and cabbage in a pot, and decided for the cabbage course to make my variation of haluski, which uses spaetzle instead of egg noodles or dumplings, so I thought why not go whole hog and do something different with the corned beef.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        From other people's accounts, I read that the baked method can produce a really salty piece of meat, so I'm hoping that an hour and a half simmer can pull out some of the salt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We'll see! Enjoy your Reubens from the leftovers. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i just covered the pre-brined meat (completely), with the spice packet contents, and water, in the slow cooker, threw in some fresh dill, and left it on low for like 9 hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sounds good! I have some fresh dill. I may add it to the brine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              MariaC and BabsW, I made a corned beef yesterday (as today's cooking is all about Chli Verde for cook-off contest tomorrow), to mostly eat as sandwiches too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I used a comercial one, so soaked overnight in a few changes of water to bring off some salt, then used Luques Sunday Suppers recipe as a guide (off of Food 52); baked in the oven with onion, carrot, water, thyme and stuck the beef with some cloves, and sprinkled some coriander over as well. After roasting, covered - a braise - for about 4 hours, took off the cover, drained liquid which I saved, and put a glaze of course grainy mustard on top, and sprinkled with brown sugar. Cut the baking broth with more water, and used to simmer cabbage, potatoes, turnips and carrots on top of the stove, taking each out as cooked. Put the carrots into a pan when they were done with some toasted crushed fennel seeds and butter and more brown sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Served all the veg and meat with a little horsey sauce. Turned out great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Will be eating a sandwich today while I work on the Chili Verde! Happy St. Pat's to all!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sounds wonderful! I'm looking forward to corned beef Reubens tomorrow. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love how all this spun off from Ina's remark about not really loving pastrami!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I know! :p It's funny how cravings can become contagious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Tonight, Chicken Noodles courtesy of rasamalaysia.com:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://rasamalaysia.com/chicken-noodl...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I made this because it looked fairly easy, I had all of the ingredients on hand, and it was a wholly savory dish rather than a spicy one for my repertoire. I prepped it exactly as the recipe called for right down to the garnishes, with the following exceptions:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1) Velveted the chicken prior to marinating, with a 15-minute bath in 1/2 TSP baking soda, then washed, patted dry, then into the marinade.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2) Stir-fried the chicken to almost done, then set aside and reintroduced it to the pan right near the end to make sure it was fully cooked, rather than topping the noodle/veg mixture. The chicken came out marvy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3) Used baby bok choy with a chunky chop at an angle instead of the shredded cabbage. I'm still working on the bag of bok choy purchased on Feb 17th. Nearly a full month ago! Tonight I finally ditched one down the disposal, since the leaves were yellowing a bit. Otherwise, I still have three more to use up!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The only thing about this dish I would change is that the sauce the recipe calls for tossing onto the veg/noodle mixture could be cut in half with the dish still working. In my opinion, it overseasoned the noodles a bit. A good restaurant would have been more subtle in this area. Otherwise, this is darn good eats. Glad I made it. Highly recommended. I tried a dollop of hot Chinese mustard with a bit of it, and the dish took to the mustard like a fish to water.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My stomach was happy too, since I'd not had more than a yogurt and juice since the early dinner last night, a span of somewhere around 27 hours, and this while I was out running errands and shopping since 6am this morning. Gotta stop doing that, grrr.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        New toy in the Relish house to relish: A 6 qt. CrockPot brand 'Smart Pot' fully automated slow cooker with travel clips. An outstanding bargain at a local store for a mere $26.99 on clearance. It's arrived just in time for a weekend of stock-making, while a cold front moves in with wind, rain, cold temps, and the prediction of snow by Sunday morning. This while the fruit trees have already begun to bloom. Yikes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mr. NS and I are intrigued by this addition of baking soda everyone is talking about. We've each done a fair share of velveting, but this is new to us. It's used for a change in pH, I would guess, but I'm still not clear on the concept. Must do some research! Your chicken dish certainly sounds appealing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This is the link that JungMann directed me to back on March 8th. It changed my entire perspective on how to prepare meats for Asian cuisine:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://rasamalaysia.com/how-to-make-s...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That is a really interesting article (upon my quick read through), and I've bookmarked it for future reference. But I don't see that it pertains to velveting, which is more about a soft, velvety texture on the meat. Am I missing something?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We were having a conversation about if you can leave out the baking soda step in a recipe, and why some recipes just combine the two steps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The link talks about why the baking soda routine works, it's to get the pH to 9.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Also, I've found that any meat takes on a better velvety texture, especially on the outside, when baking soda enters the mix.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Cleaning out the fridge of leftover beef kapama, and various other odds and ends, I made Greek tacos tonight. The sweetish, spiced beef, cabbage, avocado, and feta combined with a thrown together pomegranate salsa, and tzatziki from the COTM. Wheat tortillas and a few kalamata olives on the side. A very successful mix of flavors and textures.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            looks it! did you post the recipe for beef kapama elsewhere? is it a COTM recipe?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, a COTM, The Olive and the Caper. Allegra_K describes the dish here:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8364...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              and several of us reviewed it in the subsequent posts. I thought it too sweet at first, but it mellows with a little time. The wine, brandy, coffee, and honey make for a complex, interesting sauce.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If you are interested in a more precise recipe I can paraphrase it for you. It makes great tacos!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                oh i do remember this now! the wine/brandy/coffee/honey thing intrigued me before too. Yes, i would love it, thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  OK, I'll get back to you with that. I'm not now exactly proximal to the book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              now THAT is my kind of fusion. brilliant!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks Christina! I'm not always a fusion-y person, but this worked very well!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ooooh yum! That looks tasty! I like the idea of sweet beef with avo and feta... will have to borrow your idea!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Homemade pad thai tonight, with pork and only half the dried shrimp called for (for the sake of the resident anti-seafood chihuahua stomach). Rocky road affogato for dessert, and old episodes from Season 2 of The Sopranos. And it's raining outside. An all around lovely evening.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Question... Rocky road affogato? Does that mean there are almonds and marshmallows in your espresso?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I miss the Sopranos, but not ready to start over. Even more true of The Wire.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    wouldn't it mean she used rocky road ice cream and poured espresso over it? which sounds really, really good right now. i don't like or drink coffee, but i love affogato. go figure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i never watched the wire - should i rent the series? that's what we did with the sopranos...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Best thing EVER on TV. But it's like a novel, it takes time to get into it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So you see affogato as an ice cream with a "saucing" of espresso? I see it as an espresso beverage, with some ice cream in it. In which case it would have nuts and marshmallows in the beverage. Actually the first version sounds great!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ok, i'm going to start renting it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        really? i had no idea.... i've only had it as a scoop of ice cream and then someone pours the espresso over it.... but i never actually had it IN Italy... but it really is delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We just started watching The Wire last month. We are now in the third season and i am addicted! I don't even miss daily tv. Just give me one or two episodes a night and I'm good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As far as affagatto goes, yes, it's typically a scoop of vanilla ice cream with an espresso poured over. The rocky road version is intriguing for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sorry to butt in here, but I seriously wanted to suggest trying out The Wire!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Going to also chime in on watching The Wire.....once you get used to the Bal'more accents it's easy to follow. BEST show on TV - I miss it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jenscats5

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think part of my love of the show is for the accents!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You're right though, we occasionally have to back it up for my west coast ear.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm sold!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What mc said about the affogato, more or less. Well, the ice cream to coffee ratio was about 50/50 and the ice cream was still somewhat frozen around the marshmallows and nuts, so it was more like marshmallow-almond-ice cream clusters in my bowl of coffee. I half drank it, half ate it with a spoon and it was delicious (although next time I'd lessen the coffee so as to melt less and leave larger clusters).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This is my first time seeing the Sopranos (I'm loving it so far) and I still haven't gotten to the Wire. I was living in Canada when the shows originally aired and had no access to HBO. Right now I'm just biding my time until the new seasons of Breaking Bad and Forbrydelsen (the Danish version).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. We bought an upright freezer and I've learned that it doesn't hold near the same amount as my old chest freezer. What an eye-opener to see what we had lurking in its depths!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In an attempt to create space for the stuff that just didn't fit, I'm planning a weekend of cooking/baking. Last night, a bag of black tiger shrimp were on deck (why I have 7 bags of shrimp in my freezer is a mystery...!!) Since mr bc doesn't consider shrimp to be "real meat" I looked for a recipe w an extra hit of protein and found Fusilli Con Lenticchie, Gamberi e Pancetta (Spiral Pasta with Lentils, Shrimp and Bacon) in a Tuscan cookbook I love called La Mia Cucina Toscana.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A simply-dressed salad of mixed greens (and fresh chives from my garden...in March, in Ontario!!) preceded the pasta and of course, a little red wine was consumed as well!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      that looks really good! never would have thought of that combo of the lentils with shrimp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Beautiful photos Breadcrumbs!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's only 8:30am and I'm salivating.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Something about lentils and pasta, I just love that combo. I often make a meat ragu with red lentils over penne or rotelle and the extra fiber is always a good thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks very much mc & rabaja. rajbaja I like the sound of your ragu and I can imagine how well the red lentils would work. I'll have to give that a try as well.

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/839377

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Tonight is barbecued turkey skewers marinated in a soy sauce and garlic sauce with potato wedges.I made some sugar crusted fruit scones for dessert too :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          L.Nightshade-that pasta looks really good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Reuben success! I made another pre-brined corned beef - at my dad's, so no crockpot. Put it in the oven at 250 degrees, covered in water, added spices, for 5 hours. i went to a local German deli and got jarred Kruegermann Berlin Style sauerkraut, ditto pickles (gherkins - i'd have preferred kosher dills but these weren't super sweet and had a good crunch), marble rye, and also half a pound of pastrami (i don't know where they get it from, but they slice it right there for you, and it's super thin) so we could do a taste comparison. i steamed up the pastrami, and sliced the corned beef as thin as i could (which is not very). This batch of corned beef was saltier than last night's, which i didn't like as much, but it was still really good. Grilled the marble rye with unsalted butter, spread one side with the BF's homemade TI dressing (I read a thread about the difference between Russian and TI and decided TI was the path of least resistance), grated swiss cheese, put the whole thing together - 2 sandwiches - one pastrami, one CB - and pressed them with a cast iron pan. They were delish, but we definitely think the pastrami edged out the CB. Maybe if I'd sliced the CB a little thinner, but the pastrami just had that nice silkiness. anyway, i have plenty left to make a sammie of room temp CB, swiss, marble rye and yellow mustard for an all day workshop bag lunch tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LOVE the reuben! (The pastrami's the middle and third pics.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              These look great, mc! That marbled bread is lovely. I've never seen big gherkins like that, only the teensy sweet ones, which have their place indeed, but these look quite nice.