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What's for dinner #133 [old]

linguafood Mar 17, 2012 10:03 AM

It's another beautiful sunny spring day in Happy Valley.

While the student population likely has been working very hard since the wee hours of the morning to 'get their buzz on' -- which means that they soon will commence that other beloved tradition of passing out on some unfortunate fellow resident's lawn, not before urinating on it, of course -- I've been recovering from last night's very late night gig & and shall only make a quick venture to Wegmans in the hopes of finding some good-looking whole trout to throw on the grill, or big fat shrimp for kebabs. Perhaps some grilled asparagus on the side. A special fungal dessert might be in order to celebrate this day of craziness -- all in the safety of casa lingua, of course.

If I don't hit any students stumbling into the road on my way to the store, we'll all be happier for it.

The only question remains..... what are yinzes making for St. Patty's? Or is your dinner tonight decidedly "un-Irish"?

  1. boyzoma Mar 22, 2012 09:08 PM

    I've started a new post here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/840330

    1. mariacarmen Mar 22, 2012 08:49 PM

      Kimchi pork lettuce wraps were a hit!

      3 Replies
      1. re: mariacarmen
        nomadchowwoman Mar 22, 2012 09:06 PM

        Oh my!

        1. re: mariacarmen
          ChristinaMason Mar 23, 2012 07:01 AM

          those look great, MC! how'd you do the pork?

          1. re: ChristinaMason
            mariacarmen Mar 23, 2012 11:31 AM

            marinated it for two days, and then drained it of marinade (noted above-thread) and set it aside. seared the meat, put it back in a pan with the marinade (which also had the kimchi in it) and let it simmer for maybe 10 mins. very tender - i think that had a lot to do with the marinade. the 2nd night i added rice wine to it. it was really good!

        2. ChristinaMason Mar 22, 2012 07:04 PM

          I tried a Greek chicken-spinach bake tonight, which I adapted heavily from The Big Book of Low Carb Recipes.

          There were three layers (bottom to top):

          1) wilted spinach and arugula with garlic, nutmeg, an egg, a couple Tbsp. evaporated milk, a bit of dried minced onion, and 1/4 c. reduced-fat feta
          2) browned chicken breast chunks with sauteed mushrooms, hot pepper flake, oregano, parsley, seasoned salt, lots of black pepper, lemon juice, and lemon zest
          3) sliced kalamata olives, a handful of grape tomatoes, and another 1/4 c. of feta

          All baked until the spinach layer "set" and the feta was lightly golden. Aside from being too watery (I should have drained the greens, and maybe skipped the milk), it was very tasty. Some panko on top would not have been amiss.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ChristinaMason
            nomadchowwoman Mar 22, 2012 09:05 PM

            You're making low-carb sound good, CM; I'm going to have to start averting my eyes ; )

            1. re: nomadchowwoman
              ChristinaMason Mar 23, 2012 07:00 AM

              That's my tactic with pasta...and baguette...and mashed potatoes. ;-)

          2. BananaBirkLarsen Mar 22, 2012 06:05 PM

            Going easy on myself tonight, since I've been putting together various bread recipes all day. Supermarket ravioli dug out of the freezer with a pesto made from the thai basil that's about to go bad in my crisper. Plus that salad I didn't get around to last night.

            1. LindaWhit Mar 22, 2012 04:34 PM

              Thanks to a coworker who picked up the first delivery of her Spring CSA share, I'm enjoying a wonderful salad tonight! Her CSA pickup is about a mile from my house, so I had her follow me to where the pickup was. I went in with her to see what she was getting (and since she'll be traveling on business for a couple of weeks, I'll be picking it up and reaping the benefits of the produce for at least 1 week!). She got some potatoes, radishes, and several types of baby lettuce. There was extra unpackaged lettuce which she was encouraged to take, as they were nearing closing time on the pickup location. So she filled several extra bags, and I got one of them.

              My salad is various mixes of lettuce, shaved carrots, radishes, tomatoes, chopped red bell pepper, some of the chicken from last night sliced thinly and laid on top, and then dried cranberries, goat cheese and seasoned croutons. My dressing was some balsamic-maple vinaigrette I needed to use up.

              Quite a lovely salad!

              2 Replies
              1. re: LindaWhit
                mariacarmen Mar 22, 2012 05:27 PM

                yummy and fresh-sounding!

                1. re: mariacarmen
                  ChristinaMason Mar 22, 2012 06:59 PM

                  agreed! I have developed a new appreciation for salads recently.

              2. steve h. Mar 22, 2012 04:03 PM

                Lobster Newburg. We had some leftover lobster meat in the coolerator and lobster stock in the freezer (still cleaning things out). Asparagus on the side. A California pinot noir to wash things down. Yankees/Red Sox will be on the plasma.
                Recipe is courtesy of Jasper White's, Lobster At Home.

                1 Reply
                1. re: steve h.
                  twodales Mar 23, 2012 12:01 PM

                  Sounds great Steve.

                  I have some langoustine in the freezer...so how about
                  "Langoustine Newburg"? I think it's a goer!

                2. nomadchowwoman Mar 22, 2012 03:10 PM

                  Last night's Greek sausage patties (from COTM) were a bust (due to cook's substitution, not recipe) so tonight it will be a grilled steak with a wild mushroom-garlic-parsley sauce, sauteed spinach, and avocado-tomato salad. And some kind of potato--DH wants twice-baked, but he may have to settle for roasted in duck fat. Poor guy.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: nomadchowwoman
                    steve h. Mar 22, 2012 04:05 PM


                    1. re: nomadchowwoman
                      JungMann Mar 22, 2012 06:12 PM

                      We had gorgeous grilling weather here in NYC, so I also went with a steak, which I rarely eat and apparently don't know how to cook because it turned out rather bland, even if it had a nice sear. On the side roasted brussels sprouts with Sriracha and mint dressing and penne with nettle pesto.

                      1. re: JungMann
                        nomadchowwoman Mar 22, 2012 09:03 PM

                        JM, you need to work your magic on that steak, as you do on everything else. A plain ole grilled steak is not going to cut it.
                        The brussels sprouts sound killer.

                        1. re: nomadchowwoman
                          JungMann Mar 23, 2012 07:12 AM

                          I Googled "how to cook steak" on my phone as I stood in the checkout line, but all I got was techniques (broiling being the most popular method). I don't know if a ribeye is supposed to be simply seasoned and seared or if it does well with a rub or marinade. I should perhaps stop trying to cook expensive items on a lark and stick to the things I know, like a spicy, marinated skirt steak.

                          The brussels sprouts were indeed good. Vietnamese-inspired dressings make everything better.

                    2. weezieduzzit Mar 22, 2012 02:42 PM

                      80 degrees and gorgeous outside!!! That makes me want something fruity so I walked to the grocery store for their 50% off shrimp sale and got a pound of 21-25 raw shrimp and a mango to do coconut shrimp with spicy mango dipping sauce. Stir fried broccoli, snow peas, carrots and red pepper to rest the shrimp on.

                      1. BananaBirkLarsen Mar 22, 2012 10:14 AM

                        Another day, another pizza. This time it was pineapple and Canadian bacon. I was going to make a salad too, but got bogged down in the tapenade I was making from some of my home-cured olives.

                        The tapenade turned out a bit bitter, but will be good with the sourdough bread I'm starting today, especially if there is cheese involved. I should have known better. This particular jar of olives was a bit bitter (turns out pomegranate isn't such a great olive marinade after all).

                        1. h
                          Harters Mar 22, 2012 09:39 AM

                          We've had a really interesting non-foody day. I'd picked up a leaflet about a guy who conducts guided walks round the city. Some have a cultural or artisitic theme. Others, like today, have a historical base. Specifically, radical liberalism in the city - mainly early/mid 19th century. I knew some stuff, didnt know other and it was good to hear the guy's take on things - he touches on the founder of the Shakers, Anne Lee, coming from here and he also takes us to the statue of Abraham Lincoln to talk about the city's reaction to the War between the States.

                          We've worked up an appetite that's had to have a stop-gap solution of cake eaten on the train home. Dinner is based round pork chops. They get a marinade of olive oil, pepper and crushed fennel seeds. Onion and garlic gets a fry, as do some halved new potatoes. They go in a baking dish along with thinly sliced fennel, lemon juice and some water. Lid on and 30 minutes or so in the oven. After that, they get a stir round and the chops are sat on top. Another 10 minutes or so cooking. Some steamed broccoli to be served alongside.

                          1. twodales Mar 22, 2012 08:27 AM

                            85 again yesterday in Chicago. Prepped a margarita marinade for skirt steak and also made a tomatillo salsa both from "Fine Cooking". I had some mango/pineapple salsa as well so served both with the meat. Made some rice and corn and we were good to go.

                            Greek yogurt for dessert.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: twodales
                              nomadchowwoman Mar 22, 2012 03:03 PM

                              Warmer in Chicago than in New Orleans! What goes on???

                              Perfect warm weather food, though, twodales.

                            2. gingershelley Mar 22, 2012 07:04 AM

                              Dinner last night was inspired by a pretty nice sunny day for SEA lately; decided to use the grill. Had a nice package of organic BS/SL chix thighs, so cut up and marinated in some Tom Ka paste (for the galangal and lemongrass in it), with garlic, ginger, fish sauce and lime. Skewered that up and put on the grill till nice and charred - only about 7 minutes.
                              Made spicy peanut sauce, steamed spinach and coconut rice. Rice a little gummy (I eyeballed proportions - should know by now, for rice - measure!), but otherwise a nicely flavored meal that was sort of thai in my own funky way:)

                              Tonight is going to be the rest of the creamy veggy soup made with leftover CB veggies, with a roasted Bockwurst from my favorite German deli that makes all their own sausage in-house. Just 'have' to go there today, and will also be bringing home garlic livurwurst and pretzel rolls to gild the lilly. Yum!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: gingershelley
                                ChristinaMason Mar 22, 2012 06:57 PM

                                The chicken skewers sound delish! I love repurposing pastes and marinades in creative ways. And I have the same trouble with rice.

                              2. mamachef Mar 22, 2012 05:26 AM

                                Up very, very early, having spent the night on the couch by mistake. I woke up staring at the flan bowl and the spoon poking out of it. Then I remembered last night; getting the bowl, settling in with the remote in my hand and my daughter on the other couch zzzzzzzing away. My last thought, around 9 was, "I really should get up and go to bed."
                                Well. man proposes and the angels go, Hah!
                                Dinner tonight is med.-thick, bone-in marinated pork chops. I'm going to marinate them in apple cider vinegar, s and p, celery seed, garlic salt and onion salt. (gulp...). I'm going to roll those little devils in a seasoned flour after I dry them off, and then saute them until nice and brown, and then I'm going to throw them atop a bed of apples, dried cranberries, a little onion, and some warm spices. I'll add a cup or so of good cider and go off to save the world. When I get back, they'll be falling off the bone, which is how we like 'em: nice and tender and juicy and shreddy. Of course, they get served with a big spoonful of the fruit below, all cooked down and bright and juicy by this time. I'll serve it with a kugel: noodles, milk, eggs, sour cream, cream cheese: all blended and put into a baking dish. I Love what emerges, although you can take seriously the mental picture of me holding the dish out like it was a cross to hold off vampires, warding away the people who want the crispy browned edges. That and a nice fresh green salad with some kind of creamy dressing, and dinnah is once again, done.

                                1. r
                                  RelishPDX Mar 22, 2012 03:29 AM

                                  Dinner tonight (Wednesday), Alton Brown's Swedish Meatballs, finally. I generally love AB's food—it usually hits a home run. Good thing they're only for me though, since when I started cooking at 11pm, yes 11pm!, the instructions to sauté the onions until soft first somehow completely skipped me by. Didn't get dinner on the table until 2am, yes 2am!, since I had to take a couple of breaks to let my back rest. But, I got dinner on the table nonetheless, plus there are 5 meals worth for the freezer, since I boosted the recipe by a third, as I had a full pound of both ground meats.

                                  I coupled the meatballs with a little pile of buttered noodles and the last of the petite green peas lurking in the freezer along side. Gobbled this right up. Too bad I didn't have any lingonberry preserves or something similar, the gravy is a tad bland without them. I see an IKEA run in my near future.

                                  You know, I like making meatballs. Mainly because it's the only time I get to use my electric skillet. Don't have much knowledge about using it for other purposes beyond as a place to keep a batch of Lawry's Prime Rib meatballs warm on a small buffet table when company is here.

                                  Now it's snowing outside. On the second day of spring. What a blast.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: RelishPDX
                                    GretchenS Mar 22, 2012 10:01 AM

                                    Relish, I'm with you, I love making (and eating) meatballs too. There were a couple of really good ones I learned from a couple of COTMs. In the Molly Stevens All About Braising month she had some Giant Veal and Ricotta Meatballs (Polpettone) that are fabulous. And during the Mario Batali month there were some that were also veal, I think, with chopped cornichons and pistachios in them in a broken milk sauce that I think Mario referred to as "lactic love bombs" that were also fabulous. I can paraphrase either or both if you are interested.

                                    1. re: GretchenS
                                      RelishPDX Mar 22, 2012 10:45 PM

                                      Oooh, I'd love that, thank you! I think I like the Lawry's recipe so much since it has like a 1/2 cup of cream to every pound of beef, so 'lactic love bombs' is right up my alley.

                                      1. re: RelishPDX
                                        GretchenS Mar 23, 2012 09:42 AM

                                        Will post on new thread.

                                    2. re: RelishPDX
                                      Berheenia Mar 22, 2012 11:51 AM

                                      I am really impressed with your staying power - 2 am - wow.
                                      A friend used her electric frying pan to make pineapple upside down cake - this was way back in the day. Mine went out in a yard sale 20 years ago after I lost the dial.

                                    3. JungMann Mar 21, 2012 06:58 PM

                                      Stir fry tonight: sauteed gailan tips with sweet Italian sausage, Sriracha, romano cheese and toasted walnuts. I sprinkled Aleppo pepper on top to brighten the dish, but next time I'll use Urfa pepper to give it a bitter edge. Girl Scout Savannah Smiles for dessert.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: JungMann
                                        ChristinaMason Mar 21, 2012 08:33 PM

                                        I'd eat that! What are Savannah Smiles, pray tell? Do those cookies involve peaches?

                                        ETA: nevermind. no peaches. just a rehash lemon tea cookie. sigh. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01...

                                        1. re: ChristinaMason
                                          mariacarmen Mar 21, 2012 09:27 PM

                                          i think the worst new GS cookie i've encountered is the dulce de leche - one of my favorite "sweets" flavor of all time. awful and chemically tasting.

                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                            JungMann Mar 22, 2012 06:15 AM

                                            I was also lured into trying the dulce de leche, much to my disappointment. I thought they'd be a lower sugar substitute for samoas, but they ended up being hard, dry and chemically-tasting, not at all the soft cookie I expected when I heard dulce de leche.

                                            The Savannah smiles on the other hand! I'd never had the GS lemon cookies before, but I really like these. They are surprisingly subtle for a cookie dusted with powdered sugar and I think the lemon flavor is very refreshing, even if a little fake.

                                            1. re: JungMann
                                              mariacarmen Mar 22, 2012 02:09 PM

                                              yes, and not TOO lemony fake - it doesn't taste like you're eating Lemon Pledge, like it does with most lemon-flavored things....

                                            2. re: mariacarmen
                                              nomadchowwoman Mar 22, 2012 02:56 PM

                                              Thanks for the warning. I shall pitch them and save some wasted calories. I bought some from my little neighbor and thought "dulce de leche--now those sound good." Should have stuck with the thin mints.

                                        2. operagirl Mar 21, 2012 06:01 PM

                                          Making brown basmati rice bowls with roasted vegetables. The rice is on the stove, and the eggplant, 3 kinds of mushrooms (nameko, enoki, piopini), and red bell peppers are roasting in sesame ginger vinaigrette. Should be tasty!

                                          1. weezieduzzit Mar 21, 2012 05:57 PM

                                            I don't know what I'm making yet but it's going to include our very first absolutely beautiful ripe roma tomato of the season!

                                            1. LindaWhit Mar 21, 2012 04:41 PM

                                              I'm doing a modified version of the chicken that Harters made on Monday - I've split a Frankenchicken breast in half lengthwise to make two meals. Seasoned them with salt, pepper, and dried thyme.

                                              Heated up some butter/olive oil, sauteed half of a thinly sliced sweet onion, and tossed on sliced cremini mushrooms. Removed them from the sauté pan, and added the chicken and browned them on high heat. Put the onions and mushrooms back in, and then added some "mushroom broth" (soaking water from dried porcini mushrooms) and some white wine, and then put it into a hot oven to finish cooking (WHAT the hell am I doing turning on the oven when it was 77 degrees when I got home from work? LOL).

                                              Meanwhile, basmati rice and asparagus will both be cooked on the stove top, and that's dinner.

                                              ETA: I took the sauté pan out of the oven to reduce the mushroom/wine broth on the stove top. I was VERY careful not to grab the handle, but guess what? I let the underside of my forearm get too close to the handle when I was reaching for a wooden spoon to stir the rice. Not *too* bad - a lovely red mark the size of golf ball on my arm. It should be OK by tomorrow. I hope. :-)

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                RelishPDX Mar 21, 2012 09:36 PM

                                                Ouchie! Hope the burn is okay.

                                                I don't mean to play a doctor online, but do you know about Silver Sulfadiazine cream? I had a burn a number of years ago and went to the pharmacy to look for something to put on it. The pharmacist called the on-call physician for my doctor (it was a weekend) to get approval to dispense a little jar of it to me. It worked amazingly, and the burn left no mark. It was really cheap, IIRC, and is always in the first aid kit for the kitchen now.

                                                1. re: RelishPDX
                                                  LindaWhit Mar 22, 2012 06:24 AM

                                                  I hadn't heard about it, Relish. The burn was not bad at ALL. Didn't really hurt much after an hour or so - and doesn't hurt now. Never blistered, so that's a good thing. Just a red mark (now smaller than earlier golf-ball size), so I should be fine. But thank you!

                                                2. re: LindaWhit
                                                  mariacarmen Mar 21, 2012 11:18 PM

                                                  owww! the pain we suffer for our art! er, food. dinner sounds great.

                                                3. Breadcrumbs Mar 21, 2012 02:41 PM

                                                  Last night's dinner was just meh, disappointing even. I'd defrosted some wonderful boneless chicken that we get from a local poultry farm and given that time was tight, I decided to try a jarred sauce we rec'd in a gift basket @ Christmas. It was Williams Sonoma's Fire-Roasted Piquillo Pepper Weeknight Braising Sauce. Unfortunately the sauce wasn't to our tastes. We found the smokey flavour to be overwhelming and overpowering. The only real plus was that dinner did come together very quickly and, we were full afterwards.

                                                  Tonight we're going to take advantage of the summer weather that's blessed us on the second day of spring and we'll be grilling. I'm trying out a new recipe for turkey burgers and serving a Southern Ratatouille atop the burgers along w some melted, mixed cheddar cheeses. We'll have a salad alongside. Here's hoping for better results tonight!

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                    Berheenia Mar 21, 2012 03:24 PM

                                                    I love ratatouille both fancy (Julia) and weeknight (me). Care to elaborate about a Southern Ratatouille? Please tell me it doesn't have okra!

                                                    1. re: Berheenia
                                                      Breadcrumbs Mar 21, 2012 03:40 PM

                                                      It does indeed have okra Berheenia! The recipe comes from the Smith & Hawken Gardeners' Community Cookbook and it caught my eye because I'd just picked up some lovely looking okra at the market yesterday. I also wanted something spicy for the burgers. Interestingly the recipe also calls for mushrooms which I've never, ever included. Nonetheless, I'm forging ahead & will keep you posted!

                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                        Berheenia Mar 21, 2012 03:49 PM

                                                        Well in the meantime !! I have some nice produce to use up so I salted a japanese eggplant and a zuke that I sliced up - this is the weeknight version - veg will be patted dry and sauteed in evoo and joined with half a bag of Trader Joe's frozen fire roasted peppers and onions and some canned diced tomatoes with oregano, basil and garlic.
                                                        I like the mushroom idea - maybe I can sneak in some okra too so will await the results of your meal!

                                                      2. re: Berheenia
                                                        mamachef Mar 21, 2012 03:47 PM


                                                      3. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                        Breadcrumbs Mar 21, 2012 05:34 PM

                                                        Ok, so here's what happened. The ratatouille was supposed to be spicy and by gosh the chili I used was super-hot...like burning my fingers hot but it lost its stamina in the pot and, the final dish didn't even have a faint sizzle. While the okra served to thicken the ratatouille, their individual flavour was indiscernible as the dish adopted a more homogenous flavour. We did like the texture of the mushrooms. Overall it was a very tasty version of ratatouille and I'd make it this way again but, I'd up the chilli content or, use a different variety.

                                                        The turkey burger was a major hit. The breast meat retained it's moisture thanks to the binders and was very flavourful with the addition of garlic and fresh basil. Dinner tonight was far better than last night's!

                                                        Berheenia, go for it, add the okra and see what you think! Let us know.

                                                      4. mamachef Mar 21, 2012 12:25 PM

                                                        Breakfast for dinner tonight, I think. I have eggs and butter and kosher salami and good creamy brie. I'll saute the cubed salami in butter, and cube up the brie, and make a big fluffy omelet using those as fillers, finishing with chives and a good grind of black pepper. On the side, sauteed spinach given a BRIEF turn in the skillet and by brief I mean only till it wilts but is still bright green. Minced garlic in the butter before I add the spinach will punch it up, as will a quick shot of sherry vinegar. I might top it off with chopped pine nuts. Or not. A yum piece of challah toast with plenty of melty butter, and a cranberry/orange soda, which here is cranberry juice (NOT the sugary cocktail kind, but real undrinkable by itself cranberry juice), orange juice concentrate, and seltzer. Over ice. In a bucket. Dinner's on!!

                                                        13 Replies
                                                        1. re: mamachef
                                                          LindaWhit Mar 21, 2012 12:56 PM

                                                          NICE dinner!

                                                          1. re: mamachef
                                                            GretchenS Mar 21, 2012 01:01 PM

                                                            Sounds delish!

                                                            1. re: GretchenS
                                                              mamachef Mar 21, 2012 01:33 PM

                                                              Thanks, Linda and Gretchen S.! It's the kinda dinner to eat a la couch, with a good book or a remote in your hand. Oh, and dessert? Tossup. I have lemon bars BUT the dairy deli at the Mexican Market had FRESH caramel flan and I bought very, very much. Bad mama.

                                                            2. re: mamachef
                                                              mariacarmen Mar 21, 2012 01:58 PM

                                                              DAMN lady! i just ate lunch and i'm hungry all over again.

                                                              1. re: mamachef
                                                                Breadcrumbs Mar 21, 2012 02:44 PM

                                                                Love the cranberry orange soda mamachef. I have some blood oranges in the fridge and your seltzer-combo is calling to me!!

                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                  mamachef Mar 21, 2012 03:46 PM

                                                                  Breadcrumbs, I've been loitering at the local grocery and health food store so much they prolly think I'm planning to rob 'em, but that's not the case. It's just that, see I'd been drinking at least a liter of soda a day. When I say at least, I mean I was drinking up to two. Freakin' ridiculous, and I realized it when I took out the recycling. Anyhoo, it occurred to me that I could get something tasty and bubble WITH nutrition and no added sugar. So, I started buying different juices and nectars at the grocery and health-food place, which is why I'm always there. Current favorites are grapefruit, grapefruit orange, pineapple, pinapple/kiwi, pineapple/orange, the above combo or cranberry/grapefruit, yep blood oranges, tangerine, and any true berry juice that I can get my hands on.
                                                                  Glad it sounds good to you! Enjoy!!

                                                                  1. re: mamachef
                                                                    gingershelley Mar 22, 2012 06:55 AM

                                                                    MamaChef - I am with you on the 'homemade' soda. I always have different juices on hand, and mix 1/3 to 2/3 seltzer water. I love a fizzy drink, but hate oversweet and HFC's.

                                                                    Pineapple and carrot juice is a fave, as is grapefruit, grapefruit/cranberry, and fresh squeezed tangerine. Also enjoy plain seltzer with various bitters and lemon. Gathering quite a collection of those too. Some really fun artisanal bitters out now that have wonderful flavor profiles. I think you would have to be a tonic fan for this, of course.

                                                                    1. re: gingershelley
                                                                      mamachef Mar 22, 2012 06:58 AM

                                                                      Oooh, nice ideas, gs!! I was thinking, come Summer, about the wonderful stone fruits I'll be able to juice....the peaches, the pears, the plums. But I'm also toying with a tomato edition, using really good raw tomatoes, maybe some basil? Bitters would work with that!! Actually I can think of a lot of places they'd fit in like....ice in a cube tray.

                                                                      1. re: gingershelley
                                                                        GretchenS Mar 22, 2012 09:31 AM

                                                                        gingershelley, tell us more about the fun artisinal bitters, please! I am on the wagon for the time being, don't like sweet stuff, but was pondering ways to gussy up my sparkling water.

                                                                        1. re: GretchenS
                                                                          gingershelley Mar 22, 2012 08:28 PM

                                                                          Well, I have 4 kinds in the house now... 2 kind of standard classic's; Peychaud's and Angostura. I got used to those when managing resto's, and the long hours and stress would give me an upset tummy - that is when I learned the joy of soda and bitters! Never been a sweet drink person for daily beverages. So those are a complex blend of many herbs/spices, but with an overall complex sweet but bitter note, and leave your drink a pinky color. 4-5 dashes is common.

                                                                          I also have a couple of small-batch bitters, which I got at a fancy supermarket here (Metropolitan Market). There are many, many kinds out there -so see what your specialty liquor store, or mixers dept. at a good gourmet or grocery has in stock.

                                                                          Right now, I have a Bittercube Cherry Vanilla bitters that reminds you of, well, cherry and vanilla, with a sweet but bitter note and a whif of chocolate if you sniff your soda water. This was pricey, but just a few drops is enough for me.

                                                                          The other small-batch one I have now is Fee Brothers Lemon bitters. This is a bitter but lemony tincture, with more of a reminder of lemon peel to it, and a hint of clove.

                                                                          Fee Brothers makes several kinds, and I even saw a set of them online if you wanted to have a go....


                                                                          1. re: gingershelley
                                                                            GretchenS Mar 23, 2012 09:24 AM

                                                                            Wow, thanks! That "set" looks really tempting!

                                                                  2. re: mamachef
                                                                    JungMann Mar 21, 2012 06:55 PM

                                                                    Very nice dinner. I haven't had salami and eggs in far too long!

                                                                    1. re: JungMann
                                                                      mamachef Mar 21, 2012 08:24 PM

                                                                      You really must, JungMann. We ended up wanting creamy scrambled eggs with salami, and that's what we made...fluffy, custardy eggs and those wonderful slightly browned, salty, chewy meaty cubes of spicy salami for contrast. We had challah toast, indeed, and spread a not-thin layer of cream cheese on the toast and then topped THAT with apricot preserves. I don't know why it hit the spot so well but it's going to stand out as a bar-setter for awhile.

                                                                  3. h
                                                                    Harters Mar 21, 2012 11:00 AM

                                                                    Off out tonight to a nearby bistro. Herself is on their mailing list and we're dining on a 40% discount offer to celebrate their new website.

                                                                    I loves a discount offer, I does.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Harters
                                                                      mamachef Mar 21, 2012 12:26 PM

                                                                      I likes 'em fine meself, Harters. Enjoy the evening. As always, best to the Missus.

                                                                    2. mariacarmen Mar 21, 2012 10:41 AM

                                                                      got home too late and BF too tired to cook, so it was al pastor tacos for me and al pastor super burrito mojado for the boy, take-out. but i've got pork shoulder thinly sliced marinating in a ton of gochujang, kimchi, garlic, soy, brown sugar, sesame oil, chopped onion, and minced ginger and habanero until tomorrow night. not sure if' i'm doing lettuce wraps or tacos with that. tonight i'm at the oldster's, took out a cottage pie from the freezer. The BF took it over for me already (he's working on my dad's house) to defrost and i just had a shouting match over the phone with my father about what to do with it (basically, just leave it on the counter til i get there!). ahhh, hearing aids: useless. poor guy.

                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                        GretchenS Mar 21, 2012 11:15 AM

                                                                        Poor mc, poor oldster! My oldster and I have those too. My problem is, when I start hollering into the phone I find it difficult to remain civil at the top of my lungs. Although that might be related to his hearing aids having a tendency to fail most often when we are disagreeing. ;)

                                                                        WFD chez moi: harissa-marinated steak tips and caesar salad with my killer caesar dressing (she says immodestly). No wine, no carbs, in full pre-vacation diet mode... Can't complain though, had fab dinners out the last two nights during Boston Restaurant Week (posted on Boston board) AND managed to remain within diet rules. OK, one teeny-tiny bite of yuzu mousse was outside the rules but it can't have been more than 1 tsp.

                                                                        1. re: GretchenS
                                                                          mariacarmen Mar 21, 2012 11:53 AM

                                                                          oh there's no civility in involved! blood pressure rises (and i have low BP) and i'm sure the oldster feels crappy, never knowing what's going on around him. it's a bummer, for sure.

                                                                          yur dinner sounds really fab. where are you going for vaca?

                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                            GretchenS Mar 21, 2012 12:55 PM

                                                                            I know all about the BP rising during those calls. My oldster once said that hearing was the absolute worst sense to lose which surprised me as he is such a reader. It is a bummer, you're right about that. And mamachef gets it perfectly when she says "I sound angry and aggressive... but I don't know how to yell in a nice way". EXACTLY, bingo. :(

                                                                            Vacation, mid-April, is to England and I have a seriously chowish set of stops lined up where I plan to throw all caution to the wind, thus necessitating a fair amount of rigor in the diet ahead of time. IIRC, that was your strategy before going to Bolivia. The thing is, I don't want to stop mid-trip to purchase a new, larger set of clothing! Rather spend the $$ on lovely meals. Like pheasant under glass, as mamachef suggests...

                                                                            1. re: GretchenS
                                                                              mariacarmen Mar 21, 2012 01:57 PM

                                                                              exciting! and yes, that's what i did, and it semi-worked. i ate my way through la paz and came back two pounds heavier. not that hard to deal with and lose. you will enjoy so much! i am sure you are taking notes from Harters' posts...

                                                                        2. re: mariacarmen
                                                                          mamachef Mar 21, 2012 12:31 PM

                                                                          Awww, poor you and poor dad. Caregiving isn't an easy job and I know whereof I speak. It's SO hard to deal with someone who's losing their hearing, too...when I get to that pitch, I sound angry and aggressive, which isn't how I feel, but I don't know how to yell in "a nice way" so just make sure my language doesn't match my tone, which might be part of the problem.
                                                                          Anyway babe, I feel for you both. I really do.
                                                                          I looked at your post and felt gratified and amazed that we live in an area where the takeout is so superb and varied. 30 years ago it would've been tomato soup and grilled velveeta from the deli or the corner store.
                                                                          "Last night I was too tired to cook so we just did takeout and had pheasant under glass stuffed with chestnuts and apples..."

                                                                          1. re: mamachef
                                                                            mariacarmen Mar 21, 2012 01:56 PM

                                                                            hahahaha - from the Pheasant Under Glass Trailer.

                                                                            thanks for the sweet thoughts, goils.....

                                                                        3. jenscats5 Mar 21, 2012 09:37 AM

                                                                          Sunday's brisket in the crockpot took longer than I thought, so Monday's WFD was (for me) shredded brisket soft tacos topped with a quick cabbage slaw, tomatoes & jalapenos.

                                                                          Last nite was some leftover veggie stir fry (no rice) and the rest of the steamed shrimp. Jazzed it up with lots of Sriacha!

                                                                          1. r
                                                                            RelishPDX Mar 20, 2012 10:09 PM

                                                                            Dinner tonight after coming in sopping wet from running errands in this storm: Miller's Colossal Beef Franks. So big, you only get 8 in a package weighing 30 oz. I grilled up two of them in a pan on the stove, until they looked like Papaya Kings on steroids. Served on warm stadium rolls with Durkee Famous Sauce, Grey Poupon, warmed up leftover sauerkraut and sweet pickle relish. Then I dug in like a caveman. So good.

                                                                            The Swedish meatballs I was gonna make tonight will have to wait until tomorrow. It's about 10pm, and I've been going since 4am.

                                                                            Dessert later: Homemade tapioca pudding that was whipped up somewhere in between soup-making tasks this morning. There's even stemmed maraschino cherries in the pantry to garnish it with. Yahoo.

                                                                            I did get the two Thai soups in this morning's plan made, after I got the small batch of Char Siu pork done for the Hot'N'Sour. I took a risk and riffed on the recipe from the kitchens of the Hilton Hawaiian Village, where they use wet bean curd (aka fermented bean cake or bean cheese) in their Char Siu marinade. Okay, not knowing what the heck that was, I found it at Fubonn last week, $1.35 for the smallest jar. And even though I found it slimy and smelly when I unscrewed the lid, I dutifully extracted a cube, with the slime stretching out from the jar in a fondue-esqe manner. I was still undeterred, even though all I could think of was "Feed me, Seymour, feed me!"

                                                                            In the final analysis, bean cheese just isn't a taste I want to repeat again. Initially, on reading the recipe, I'd thought it might be a candidate for one of those "secret ingredient" type things, but no dice. Luckily, I didn't use enough that it couldn't be hidden behind all the other flavors in the soup, so no real disaster there. Boy, what soup this batch turned out to be. Just fantastic. This was the first time I'd used all homemade stock, including a few cups of duck stock again. No more canned Butterball broth for me, no siree Bob.

                                                                            21 Replies
                                                                            1. re: RelishPDX
                                                                              mariacarmen Mar 21, 2012 01:35 AM

                                                                              you are so prolific! those dogs sound good.

                                                                              1. re: RelishPDX
                                                                                JungMann Mar 21, 2012 06:28 AM

                                                                                Fermented foods can be polarizing. As far as I can tell, using red food coloring instead of red fermented bean curd is a not uncommon shortcut, and truth be told, I've never used red fermented bean curd the few times I've made char siu and still been happy with the results.

                                                                                1. re: JungMann
                                                                                  RelishPDX Mar 21, 2012 02:27 PM

                                                                                  Is there more than one kind of this bean curd available? All I could find was the basic and spicy versions, both based on a white curd, just like tofu. The spicy version didn't seem to have any redness to it outside of the chili peppers in the brine.

                                                                                  1. re: RelishPDX
                                                                                    JungMann Mar 21, 2012 06:54 PM

                                                                                    From what I can tell from the shelves at the Chinese market, there is fermented bean curd, 腐乳 (doufu ru), which is the cheesy item you purchased, and there is red fermented bean curd, 紅腐乳 (hong doufu ru). which is packed in a viscous red mash made of red rice which imparts color and flavor. The latter is what is used for char siu. Doufu ru is eaten sort of like a condiment, although it can also be used for cooking.

                                                                                    This isn't an ingredient I've dived head into yet, but as with a lot of fermented products, quality can vary, and when many of the best varieties are labelled in Mandarin, it can be hard to tell which to get. I know that when I first went looking for doubanjiang I was put off by my first purchases; and I know that when I went to buy trendy American kimchi, after eating it for years, I couldn't even finish the pint (and this in a household that can go through a quart in a week). You're charting brave culinary waters here.

                                                                                    1. re: JungMann
                                                                                      RelishPDX Mar 21, 2012 09:07 PM

                                                                                      "You're charting brave culinary waters here."

                                                                                      Well, I'm still in my formative culinary years as far as Asian cuisines go, so I'm sort of like a bull in a china shop applying The Testosterone Rule—that rule that states anything can be repaired or improved upon by applying either bigger batteries, more cylinders, higher octane, or occasionally a sledgehammer to the situation. (You know, that moment when The Fairer Sex leaves us alone beyond "But, Honey ...", then just stands back and chuckles at us a lot over drinks with The Girls.) ;)

                                                                                      This afternoon I was at an Asian market I'd not been to before, to see if they had anything like this in a red color before I saw your post, but I probably wasn't looking in the right place. Thanks for the Chinese names, I'll print out your reply and take it to them. The cashiers there are hugely nice and very helpful.

                                                                                      1. re: RelishPDX
                                                                                        JungMann Mar 22, 2012 06:21 AM

                                                                                        "The Testosterone Rule—that rule that states anything can be repaired or improved upon by applying either bigger batteries, more cylinders, higher octane, or occasionally a sledgehammer to the situation."
                                                                                        I'm quite familiar with the rule, except I thought it meant anything can be repaired or improved upon by adding hot sauce, ketchup or garlic.

                                                                                        1. re: RelishPDX
                                                                                          mariacarmen Mar 22, 2012 11:49 AM

                                                                                          i believe i have a fair amount of testosterone coursing through my veins (or wherever it courses) as i'm still at the point of adding more of anything the recipe requires in Asian cooking - more sichuan peppercorns, more sambal, more fish sauce, more gochujang. subtlety, thy name is not MC.

                                                                                  2. re: RelishPDX
                                                                                    LindaWhit Mar 21, 2012 07:46 AM

                                                                                    I haven't had a REALLY good hot dog in a long LONG time. I think I'll add it to my shopping list in the near future, although I doubt I'll be able to find the Miller's Colossal Beef Franks. Will have to find a reasonable substitute. My father used to have Durkee's Famous Sauce ALL the time, but I can't recall what he would put it on! I'll probably just stick with one of the 12-15 mustards I have in the house. :-)

                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                      Berheenia Mar 21, 2012 08:32 AM

                                                                                      We had Pearl hot dogs for dinner last night- a good local all beef dog made in Randolph Mass since 1947! (I just googled that- had to know). This weather is giving me summer food cravings!

                                                                                      1. re: Berheenia
                                                                                        LindaWhit Mar 21, 2012 09:19 AM

                                                                                        Thanks! I think Speed's uses Pearl dogs, and the one I tried last summer was absolutely SUPERB. I'll have to see where I can buy Pearl's. Oh wonderful - the local Market Baskets have the large dogs loose at the deli counters! :-) I'll marinate them as Speed's does - apple cider and brown sugar and then grill-pan them.

                                                                                      2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                        MaryContrary Mar 21, 2012 01:11 PM

                                                                                        Really nothing like the Durkees, Linda, if you don't remember the taste.

                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                          RelishPDX Mar 21, 2012 02:32 PM

                                                                                          I first bought Durkee Famous Sauce when I was looking for the taste of a certain macaroni salad I used to be able to get at a lunch spot in the 1970s that still eludes me. While mild, it mixes very well with many things, including pickle relish, I've found. I guess there is something to that the old standards made for old standards because they really are good.

                                                                                          And dogs, boy, I'm a dog fan going back eons. The Bay Area seems to be a hotbed of good dogs I haven't found elsewhere—either that or we just get a taste for what we know and grew up with, with anything else being inferior. Nathan's, Hebrew National, Pink's, etc., just don't do it for me. But sit a Casper's or Kasper's or Doggie Diner dog in front of me, and I'll scarf 'em right down!

                                                                                          I want to make a really good chili dog some day, and recently discovered that one of the ingredients in a good chili dog chili is a tamale of all things! Gonna have to try that.

                                                                                        2. re: RelishPDX
                                                                                          boyzoma Mar 21, 2012 02:39 PM

                                                                                          Relish PDX - Where did you find the Colossal Beef Franks? I have not seen them around here. I usually don't get into PDX to shop regularly, but I could make an exception to come get some of those! Sounds absolutely wonderful.

                                                                                          1. re: boyzoma
                                                                                            RelishPDX Mar 21, 2012 09:14 PM

                                                                                            The Colossal dogs were at the Milwaukie branch of Grocery Outlet, believe it or not, the one on McLoughlin Blvd. in the 15800 block. I got the last package on the shelf last night, which was $5.99. I asked the clerk if this was a regular item since it appeared there was a permanent shelf tag for it, but he didn't know. If I see them again, I'll let you know. I rarely shop there, but there's another item I bought one of to test, and I'm going back for more.

                                                                                            1. re: RelishPDX
                                                                                              boyzoma Mar 22, 2012 10:14 AM

                                                                                              We have a Grocery Outlet here in Beaverton by the K Mart. Don't usually shop there, but it's close so may have to check it out. Thanks!

                                                                                              1. re: RelishPDX
                                                                                                gingershelley Mar 22, 2012 08:18 PM

                                                                                                Oooh! I googled those dogs, and to my sadness for mail order it was 10lb. minumum - will have to look at my grocery Outlet here in SEA to see if they have 'em. Sound SO good!

                                                                                            2. re: RelishPDX
                                                                                              Breadcrumbs Mar 21, 2012 02:47 PM

                                                                                              You had lots of yummy sounding things in your post Relish but that tapioca just jumped out at me....it's been far too long since we've had some. Must make! Thanks for that reminder and here's hoping for better weather for you tomorrow.

                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                                RelishPDX Mar 21, 2012 09:17 PM

                                                                                                Yey! Another tapioca fan! ^5 We're such a rare breed. I bought Reese's brand this time instead of Minute ('cos it was much cheaper), and I actually liked it better. Don't know what the difference between the two are, the little pearl chunks looked the same.

                                                                                                1. re: RelishPDX
                                                                                                  boyzoma Mar 22, 2012 10:21 AM

                                                                                                  Oh, yes. Tapioca!!! Beaten egg whites folded in and eaten warm! Heaven on a spoon! In fact, I have some Minute tapioca I bought for something else and I think I'll make some. Thanks for the suggestion.

                                                                                              2. re: RelishPDX
                                                                                                gingershelley Mar 22, 2012 06:47 AM

                                                                                                Mmmmm, big beefy hot dogs, good buns and toppings? Sounds good right now, and it's only 6:45 in the morning! :)

                                                                                                1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                  boyzoma Mar 22, 2012 10:23 AM

                                                                                                  They made some awesome looking "pretzel" hot dog buns on "The Sandwich King" show on Food Network last Sunday. Looks like they would be perfect for these dogs!

                                                                                              3. mamachef Mar 20, 2012 07:41 PM

                                                                                                Ended up making some amazingly crispy, well-seasoned chicken breasts (cut crosswise in half). I pan roasted them according to a recipe in BA, and they were the best I've EVER had, no holds barred. Served 'em up with lemon-buttered broccoli topped with sliced almonds, brown rice, and Lucy's Lemon Squares. Really basic, but super comforting. One of the better meals I've made lately.

                                                                                                23 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                  onceadaylily Mar 20, 2012 08:50 PM

                                                                                                  Ah, you're killing me, MC. I hope you had enough breast leftover for chicken salad.

                                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                    mamachef Mar 21, 2012 01:49 AM

                                                                                                    I made 3 extra full breasts, oadl!! I made DAMN sure!!
                                                                                                    They will be utilized for a retro curried chicken salad: basic chicken salad, but curry and lemon in the mayo binder, and pineapple, mandarin orange, pecans and celery in the salad proper. And the rest? Lily, I have a thing about chicken and a terrible, penalty-worthy habit. I'm an insomniac, girl, and an inveterate nighttime eater, and my "thing" is to go to the fridge and rip off a strip and salt it and eat it right there standing up. I've done that since I was about 16, and my entire family gives me a bitch of a time about it. My daughter says if I keep acquiring bad habits, my next one will be to pick my teeth with a matchbook in a restaurant. : )

                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                      twodales Mar 21, 2012 06:45 AM

                                                                                                      Sounds like what the Brits call Coronation Chicken? I usually throw some chutney in too...yum...yum!

                                                                                                      1. re: twodales
                                                                                                        Harters Mar 21, 2012 07:30 AM

                                                                                                        Coronation chicken dates to 1953 when the current queen was crowned and was invented by Constance Spry. Here's her recipe:


                                                                                                        Nowadays, you'll get all sorts of bastardised versions, often appearing in chain sandwich shops, where any combo of chicken, mayo and curry powder seems to be OK.

                                                                                                        1. re: Harters
                                                                                                          twodales Mar 21, 2012 04:10 PM

                                                                                                          I had heard that it was created for the Coronation somewehere along the line. Constance might be upset with me on the chutney but I don't always have the apricots.

                                                                                                          We stuff our suitcase with good tea, chutney and chocolate (for the Brit) when we return to the States from our trips to the UK.

                                                                                                        2. re: twodales
                                                                                                          mamachef Mar 21, 2012 10:27 AM

                                                                                                          I looked at the link, twodales, and it sure is similar. I got it from my dear Grandma, who just called it Fruited Chicken Salad. : ) Oh no, Grandma's a recipe-stealer!!
                                                                                                          Yum on the chutney, for sure.

                                                                                                    2. re: mamachef
                                                                                                      LindaWhit Mar 21, 2012 07:41 AM

                                                                                                      There is little that can beat a well-roasted chicken.

                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                        mamachef Mar 21, 2012 10:28 AM

                                                                                                        LindaW., I can't even BEGIIN to tell you. I've pan-roasted SO many times on pro equip and home equip and it never came close. This stuff SHATTERS when you bite into it. My eyes rolled up, and my toes curled, and....goddang, it was just.so.good. Me so happy!

                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                          GretchenS Mar 21, 2012 10:57 AM

                                                                                                          So which BA recipe was this?? Enquiring minds want to know!

                                                                                                          1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                            mariacarmen Mar 21, 2012 10:59 AM

                                                                                                            yeah, don't make us search for it ourselves!

                                                                                                            1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                              mamachef Mar 21, 2012 12:05 PM

                                                                                                              The one with Gwyneth, I'm sorry to say...June '11.

                                                                                                              1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                GretchenS Mar 21, 2012 01:00 PM

                                                                                                                This recipe but with breasts? http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/qui...

                                                                                                                1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                                  mamachef Mar 21, 2012 01:30 PM

                                                                                                                  Yes, GretchenS. I don't care for thighs. I might try them with this though.

                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                    GretchenS Mar 21, 2012 01:48 PM

                                                                                                                    I don't either although I am usually intimidated to say so here. Great to know it works so well with breasts. NOT gonna do the cigarette though...

                                                                                                                    1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                                      mariacarmen Mar 21, 2012 01:52 PM

                                                                                                                      why? i always think people are more accepting of white meat than dark. i love thighs..... thanks for the search, Gretchen!

                                                                                                                      ETA: oh my god, they look DEEVINE!!! going to make these for sure.

                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                        L.Nightshade Mar 21, 2012 03:43 PM

                                                                                                                        It seems to me that the genpop prefers breasts, but hounds prefer dark meat. I'm a white meat girl myself, but I get that the dark meats have a deeper, richer, flavor.

                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                          mariacarmen Mar 21, 2012 04:34 PM

                                                                                                                          I would put myself in the genpop category, except on this issue. I have grown an appreciation for white meat, directly attributable to this thread - for which I thank everyone - tho I do prefer dark.

                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                            mamachef Mar 21, 2012 04:50 PM

                                                                                                                            I do understand it. I've eaten it, surely. But under my control and in my kitchen? Saw-ree. (That's what I say when I'm really not sorry at all. : )
                                                                                                                            Dark meat chicken has its' place, I guess. What I object to most is the texture of it, to tell you the truth. Now, I'll be the first to admit that improperly cooked white meat is an abomination and the person who cooked it should be flogged. But done right? Juicy, springy, moist, dense and delicious. And the perfect sop for whatever sauce, jus or dip I serve with it.

                                                                                                                            1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                              steve h. Mar 21, 2012 05:17 PM

                                                                                                                              Chicken, we are talking chicken here, right?, is cheap and plentiful. Judy Rodgers has an excellent approach, so too Jacques Pepin, Thomas Keller and a host of others. We cook 'em all and love 'em. At the end of the day, I have to confess that I'm a thigh guy.

                                                                                                            2. re: mamachef
                                                                                                              LindaWhit Mar 21, 2012 11:35 AM

                                                                                                              "My eyes rolled up, and my toes curled, and...."

                                                                                                              I think I need a cigarette...

                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                mariacarmen Mar 21, 2012 11:53 AM

                                                                                                                no kidding!

                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                  mamachef Mar 21, 2012 12:06 PM

                                                                                                                  LOL at both of you...........biiiiiiiiiiig stretch.........snap of lighter....puffffdrawwwwahhhh..........inhale...

                                                                                                          2. re: mamachef
                                                                                                            mariacarmen Mar 21, 2012 09:32 PM

                                                                                                            dammitalltohell - i was in the kitchen with my sister, pan frying those thighs skin side down on my dad's crappy electric stove and when i went to turn the heat down to medium i realized 3 of the 4 of them had already charred, one unsavable. that stove is just too hot. at the same time, as she was watching me fiddle with the burning chicken, my sister burned the gravy she'd been working on. i guess we won't be opening a restaurant together...

                                                                                                            the other three pieces we saved and they were delicious, tho a bit too charred. i can't wait to do them the "right" way.

                                                                                                            and at least the oldster liked his shepherd's pie.

                                                                                                          3. m
                                                                                                            MAH Mar 20, 2012 07:25 PM

                                                                                                            homemade pizza with Trader Joe's fig butter (yum) and fresh mozzarella. Baked til nice and crispy, then topped with prosciutto, arugula and shaved parmesan. Delicious. I could eat the fig butter smeared on just about anything. later this week it may be turned into a pan sauce with lamb chops.

                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: MAH
                                                                                                              GretchenS Mar 21, 2012 09:30 AM

                                                                                                              That sounds like absolute heaven -- I'm drooling and I just finished lunch...

                                                                                                              1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                                MAH Mar 21, 2012 07:52 PM

                                                                                                                it was really tummy. tonight i prepped the lamb chops and forgot about the fig sauce with madeira that I had planned. i dry rubbed them with salt, pepper, garlic and garam masala. pan seared them until medium rare. served with roasted brussel sprouts and couscous flavored with curry powder and raisins.

                                                                                                              2. re: MAH
                                                                                                                LindaWhit Mar 22, 2012 06:15 AM

                                                                                                                I *just* got my Fearless Flyer, and oh MY that fig butter sounds wonderful! I'll be near one this weekend, and I suspect I'll make a special stop. :-)

                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                  weezieduzzit Mar 22, 2012 12:27 PM

                                                                                                                  Ha Ha ha.... the mail *just* got here and that was the first thing I noticed! Its a nice day, I might have to take a little walk.....

                                                                                                              3. twodales Mar 20, 2012 07:19 PM

                                                                                                                Made this fish dish tonight. Seems pretty healthy and we liked how it turned out. Little boilers with dill and a smidge of butter and some romescu on the side.


                                                                                                                1. BananaBirkLarsen Mar 20, 2012 04:56 PM

                                                                                                                  I'm thinking cottage pie tonight, with some curry-type spices to make it interesting. A vinegary lettuce and tomato salad on the side.

                                                                                                                  I'm really tempted to dig up a chocolate sorbet recipe to eat with strawberries for dessert, but I may not get around to it and I may not have enough chocolate hanging around, in any case.

                                                                                                                  1. linguafood Mar 20, 2012 04:25 PM

                                                                                                                    Whoa. Last night we were invited to a birthday party early in the evening with "finger food".

                                                                                                                    We and some other friends ended up hanging out until midnight (w/out having a proper dinner) & arrived at home fairly lubricated from all the champagne and wine and absolutely starvated.....

                                                                                                                    My man made an improvised "pizza" = bagel, salami, grated cheese on top, off in the oven..... it was a bit sad, actually, but in our state we inhaled it.

                                                                                                                    Tonight we're taking it easy (NO booze, thank you): b/s organic chicken thighs are currently marinating in yogurt, Creole seasoning, smoked paprika, a dash of sriracha, garlic & crushed rosemary. They'll be going on the grill soon.

                                                                                                                    Side is roasted cauli & baby bellas tossed with olive oil and fresh ground black pepper -- I'll salt when it's done so it won't get too steamy in there. Butter lettuce, radishes & cherry tomatoes w/blue cheese dressing. Water shall be the drink of choice tonight.

                                                                                                                    1. steve h. Mar 20, 2012 04:15 PM

                                                                                                                      A roast beef sandwich with saga blue cheese, watercress and horseradish sauce on a baguette is on tonight's menu. Cleaning out the coolerator. House red will be on the counter.
                                                                                                                      I'm pleased to report that Peyton Manning has changed horses (Colts to Broncos) and that he, along with brother Eli, will continue to torment Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Balance is restored to the universe.

                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                        LindaWhit Mar 20, 2012 04:48 PM

                                                                                                                        Oh you just be quiet, you! LOL I think the Broncos made an insane deal. But if we get Tebow and he takes a tight end position? As it seems Green-Ellis might be outta here, he and Brady could be an annihilation team, as Tebow's a fast little sucker.

                                                                                                                        But time will tell.

                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                          steve h. Mar 20, 2012 04:57 PM

                                                                                                                          I see the makings of a wager. Let's not forget that the aging Yankees and the dysfunctional Red Sox will soon be taking the playing field. I have great respect for Bobby Valentine. He knows how to stir the pot.
                                                                                                                          Best of luck with your kitties.

                                                                                                                        2. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                          twodales Mar 21, 2012 01:24 AM

                                                                                                                          Steve: Yum on the dinner. Right up my little lane, if not my alley. (You've reminded me to use my watercress as well so thanks for that). Baguette, beef, blue and 'cress. Perfection.

                                                                                                                          And you're a naughty boy to get Linda going like that you know! Cheeky Devil!

                                                                                                                        3. b
                                                                                                                          Berheenia Mar 20, 2012 03:06 PM

                                                                                                                          Last Sat we went to our favorite Italian Butcher and wonderful veggie store and stocked up We were staying in and I got carried away with all the good stuff and ended up making a totally boring lasagna with local bland cheese, some fresh herbs and a white sauce- I overthought it and now we have to eat the leftovers. They are going in the freezer for a rest. My mistake was going all the way with a white lasagna - we like red sauce dammit! Compensated Sunday with a meatloaf loaded with garlic and jarred arabiata sauce - the meat was a beef pork mix for even more flavor. Rolled it up around some well seasoned spinach and monterey jack and it rocked. We had garlic mash with red potatoes- skins left on- and big cloves of crushed garlic that had simmered in whole milk. Redemption! Last night to further remind myself that we like it red I made a simple marinara and had it over sauteed red peppers, italian sausage and penne, with broccoli dressed with the ever popular Ranch. Tonight is a meeting so it's tube steak and store bought potato salad and cole slaw. The way the weather is - close to 80 inland- maybe we should think about cooking out.

                                                                                                                          1. mariacarmen Mar 20, 2012 02:15 PM

                                                                                                                            i'm thinking korean kimchi tacos tonight.... something light-ish, spicy, a little kick. i'll buy some pork tenderloin since my pork belly is in the freezer...

                                                                                                                            1. nomadchowwoman Mar 20, 2012 01:53 PM

                                                                                                                              Mom, Sister, Niece here for dinner tonight for a little "celebration" I promised the niece (some call it bribery). She asked for onion rings. I hate making onion rings, but I promised. So dinner will be said rings, fried fish (drum), tossed green salad, and a platter of cold asparagus spears, sliced avocado, and tomatoes. Strawberries and ice cream for dessert.

                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                mamachef Mar 20, 2012 07:33 PM

                                                                                                                                ncw, what a good auntie you are! And your celebration sounds delicious. I dunno why but those asparagus spears served cold excite me.

                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                  nomadchowwoman Mar 22, 2012 02:46 PM

                                                                                                                                  They were probably the best part of the meal. I hate frying! And I announced to the family that from now on, anyone who wants fried food can get it at a restaurant where it will be expertly fried and someone else will clean up the mess. (What a big gloopy, gloppy, greasy mess this made. Bleh.)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                    buttertart Mar 26, 2012 10:02 AM

                                                                                                                                    I love the thought of asparagus and avocado together.

                                                                                                                              2. b
                                                                                                                                bblonde Mar 20, 2012 09:15 AM

                                                                                                                                Plan for dinner tonight is barbecue-roast salmon filets, balsamic-browned butter asparagus, trying to kill off the last of my potato salad in red wine vinaigrette and last of the cheesecake.

                                                                                                                                1. h
                                                                                                                                  Harters Mar 20, 2012 07:35 AM

                                                                                                                                  It's a lovely spring day here in north Cheshire. We've just come back from a walk to the next "village" (to buy onions).

                                                                                                                                  For dinner - chicken & rice.

                                                                                                                                  Dried porcini get a soak. Onion gets fried. In goes the porcini along with some chopped fresh mushrooms & thyme leaves. A couple of big splashes of wine go in and reduces. This is now a stuffing for the chicken breasts. In the recipe, it calls for it to be stuffed between the skin and the flesh - but we only had skinless in the freezer, so it's going on top and some streaky bacon will be wrapped round to hold it in (bacon has gotta be an improvement, eh?). it then goes in the oven for 20 minutes.

                                                                                                                                  Meanwhile, risotto is made in "the usual way". At Casa Harters, that's onion and celery fried as a base and good chicken stock going in to cook the rice. Then , as recipe, more thyme, lemon juice & zest and Parmesan.

                                                                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Mar 20, 2012 09:05 AM

                                                                                                                                    The chicken sounds HEAVENLY, Harters! I've got some cremini mushrooms to use up very soon, so I might take out a b/s chicken breast and do the same thing tomorrow night. Since we get Frankenchicken breasts over here, I'll cut a pocket into the monsterboob and tuck in the onions and mushrooms (but I'll still wrap some bacon around it to keep it all in there and give it some salty goodness). A nice pan sauce from the drippings ought to do it up nicely. THANK YOU! (I love when I can come up with a meal a day early! LOL)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                      nomadchowwoman Mar 20, 2012 01:43 PM

                                                                                                                                      Yes, LW, a "monsterboob" needs support--and a nice thick bacon strap is just the thing.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                        MaryContrary Mar 20, 2012 01:55 PM

                                                                                                                                        Monsterboobs also, but tonight. Skin on, bone in, garlic, paprika, s&p and baked/roasted. (What's the difference, by the way?) Love the crispy skin. Mr. C takes the skin off of his, I know. Macaroni and cheese and snow peas.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: MaryContrary
                                                                                                                                          LindaWhit Mar 20, 2012 01:58 PM

                                                                                                                                          I do the same thing, Mary - use "baked" and "roasted" interchangeably. Although "roasted" usually gets used when it's skin-on chicken, as you have tonight. Baked when it's b/s and with a sauce, perhaps?

                                                                                                                                          Enjoy the crispy skin. That's the part I get when I roast a chicken leg quarter for one of my cats, as he won't eat canned food. :-D

                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                            MaryContrary Mar 20, 2012 02:30 PM

                                                                                                                                            Depriving kitty of the skin?!!! I must have missed out on how many kitties and their names, although I knew you adopted some new children.

                                                                                                                                            Okay, roasted when whole or semi, baked when with something else.

                                                                                                                                            Uh, uber boob?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: MaryContrary
                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Mar 20, 2012 04:42 PM

                                                                                                                                              Kitties don't need the skin (well, neither do *I*, but hey, you know....I'm doing all the hard work, so the treat goes to me!) And Buster and Alfie (Alfalfa) are the two new kitties on the block - adopted the Saturday after Thanksgiving. They've been (mostly) wonderful - giving me LOTS of love (and they get it back!) Just the occasional attempt at tripping me as I go up/down stairs, and Buster attempted to climb the screen when I opened the slider door this evening when I got home. Umm, yeah. That won't be opened again until I can get some kind of cat protection for it. :-)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                MaryContrary Mar 21, 2012 05:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                Yeah. Actually, they don't need people food of any sort, but what are you gonna do? Hi to Buster and Alfie for me.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                        ChristinaMason Mar 20, 2012 12:26 PM

                                                                                                                                        agreed---sounds delicious!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                          nomadchowwoman Mar 20, 2012 01:44 PM

                                                                                                                                          Chicken and mushrooms just go together. Bacon doesn't hurt. Risotto: what more could one want?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                            steve h. Mar 20, 2012 01:49 PM

                                                                                                                                            A quality Nebbiolo.

                                                                                                                                        2. r
                                                                                                                                          RelishPDX Mar 19, 2012 11:38 PM

                                                                                                                                          Sautéed chicken breast pieces and quartered button mushrooms with linguine and bottled sauce tonight (I know! I know!). It wasn't like really bad, but not really good. It was food. Seemed almost a waste to grate the really good Parmesan over it.

                                                                                                                                          I was out most of the day at doctor's appts., shoe shopping, etc., and didn't think about dinner until I was almost home, with no leftovers or anything pre-prepped in the freezer to heat up. So dinner suffered.

                                                                                                                                          But what was really, really good was the crunchy garlic bread I made from part of a baguette. Oooh la la! I do make great garlic bread. My secret is starting with room temp real butter. Not nuked or melted butter, and no margarine or store-bought GB mixes. Then I warm the GB at 250° on a small roasting pan while dinner is cooking, so that all I have to do to finish it is broil for just moments until the top is toasty brown. It comes out fully warm inside and slightly crunchy outside without being dried out. It also stays warm for longer while at the table, I believe, than the usual heat it under the broiler from start to finish way.

                                                                                                                                          To drink, a bottle of Mexican Pepsi. Not as good as Mexican Coca-Cola. Glad I only bought one bottle.

                                                                                                                                          Oh, and one of the doctors I saw today suggested that I start eating more. I guess there are worse things a doc could prescribe! Perhaps I should have made extra GB.

                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: RelishPDX
                                                                                                                                            LindaWhit Mar 20, 2012 05:58 AM

                                                                                                                                            Sometimes you go easy, Relish - you used bottled sauce, I used a Knorr's sauce packet. :::Shrug::: It works, it feeds you, right?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                              RelishPDX Mar 20, 2012 06:44 AM

                                                                                                                                              Yeah, at times. My appetite often gets trashed these days due to the iron pills I've been taking for the past 6 months or so, so I make an effort to make every meal count. Half of dinner last night ended up down the garbage disposal because it just didn't taste delicious enough to keep me eating, and wasn't worth saving, Result: I woke up at 4am this morning hungry again.

                                                                                                                                              That's something I'm working on, which is why I'll spend all day today making batches of soup and things like Swedish Meatballs that I can freeze in containers or in boil-in-bag VacuSeal pouches for days like yesterday.

                                                                                                                                              I've shed 20# this fall and winter simply by not finishing one meal or another, or skipping it altogether, and that's gotta stop. One of the doctors I saw yesterday does a lot of physicals for athletes at the nearby high school, and he gingerly asked if I was developing any eating disorders, which was kind of him—I guess he sees a fair amount of that—until I reminded him about the prescription-strength iron pills a doctor he had referred me to had prescribed after seeing my bloodwork done before a common diagnostic procedure.

                                                                                                                                              This is what actually led me to Chow. The enthusiasm expressed here for a good meal is sometimes just the tonic I need to get into the kitchen and cook for myself. :)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: RelishPDX
                                                                                                                                                mariacarmen Mar 20, 2012 08:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                this is the place to keep you fed, Relish! A lot of people find culinary (and other) inspiration and encouragement here, for whatever reason - personal or family illness, bad times, good times, in-between-times..... and this thread is the best for all that. keep on nourishing yourself, and posting about it!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                  RelishPDX Mar 20, 2012 08:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                  It is! And a big thanks to everyone who posts. I typed the earlier reply since even a simple "I had a grilled cheese sandwich, and boy was it good" post can be inspiring to read.

                                                                                                                                                  Posting my own successes, failures and learning experiences here goes a long way towards my not blowing off dinner or settling for a bowl of Cheerios, as I was doing for a while there. Call it a therapy of sorts—I'm grateful for the part everyone plays when they post to WFD, as these threads have given me a daily goal to cook something, eat it, then write about it. It's become more important to my health and well-being than I ever thought it would be. (Obviously, I've a way to go yet.)

                                                                                                                                                  Okay, enough maudlin for the day, I've got two batches of soup to make for the freezer this morning! :)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: RelishPDX
                                                                                                                                                    gingershelley Mar 20, 2012 10:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Great observations Relish, and glad that WFD does for you what it does for so many of us.
                                                                                                                                                    Happy to get on here this AM and read the comments you posted, and replies in return, as the last couple days - I haven't felt like cooking (since the big Chili Verde chili contest), and have subsisted on yogurt, tangerines, cinnamon toast, and leftover chunks of CB dredged through leftover horsey sauce.
                                                                                                                                                    I'm going to get myself into the kitchen and make soup with all the leftover CB veggies, and make it thick and creamy from extra potatoes, and probably top with some cheese:)
                                                                                                                                                    Back on the horse!

                                                                                                                                            2. re: RelishPDX
                                                                                                                                              nomadchowwoman Mar 20, 2012 01:36 PM

                                                                                                                                              Please send me his number. I must make an appt. ; )

                                                                                                                                              Sorry, not trying to be flip--I really am glad CH is helping get you inspired to cook and eat, Relish. This thread is inspiring, and so are your posts.

                                                                                                                                            3. mariacarmen Mar 19, 2012 08:13 PM

                                                                                                                                              a compromise, and inspired by Rabaja, i got some more marble rye and swiss cheese. made soup of the corned beef cooking liquid, with diced potatoes, carrots, celery, and green cabbage, chopped fresh and dried dill, parsley, a pat of butter and a splash of sherry. unsalted buttered toasts with cheese went under the broiler, and steamed paper thin slices of CB went atop for open-faced sandwiches. Yellow mustard and a bowl of gherkins on the side.

                                                                                                                                              i must admit something that may get me booted off WFD, but i don't really love thin broth/mostly vegetable soups - my favorite soups are things like tom kha ka, lobster bisques, pho, kicked-up ramen, cream of mushroom, etc. - something a little more "exotic", or substantial, maybe. but i really liked this simple soup. i'm sure it has to do with the fact that the corned beef broth was so flavorful.

                                                                                                                                              The sandwiches were great - the corned beef was wonderfully silky with a thin strip of melty fat on each slice - it melted like lardo! a very satisfying dinner on a cold night.

                                                                                                                                              18 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                mamachef Mar 19, 2012 08:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                People who don't love thin broth should be instantly made to take a time-out and eat a quart of watery stock.
                                                                                                                                                Off you go.
                                                                                                                                                (I Looooooove thick soups. Oh, for corn chowders, for shrimp bisques and creamy, buttery-rich tomato......)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                  mariacarmen Mar 19, 2012 08:46 PM


                                                                                                                                                  yeah, but i bet YOU make lovely veggie soups that would convert the devil himself. (who is well known for his partiality to potato leek and avgolemono...)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                    mamachef Mar 19, 2012 08:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Snicker. He told me to tell you hello.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                      mariacarmen Mar 19, 2012 09:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                      tell him to hold his horses, i'll see him soon enough.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                  BananaBirkLarsen Mar 19, 2012 10:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                  I am soo with you on watery broth soups.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                    onceadaylily Mar 20, 2012 07:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                    You have company in this. The boyfriend loves soup with a thin broth and just a few vegetables. I like my soups to start edging over the line into stew territory. If I'm doing an egg drop, I have to move my portion into a smaller pot.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                      mariacarmen Mar 20, 2012 08:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                      good to know i'm not alone!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                        L.Nightshade Mar 20, 2012 09:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Clearly not alone! I like soups that nearly hold a spoon upright, whether they have a creamy puree of vegetables or a massive amount of noodles!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                          Berheenia Mar 20, 2012 11:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                          You are not alone! My husband complains that I always get out the stick blender to thicken my soups. Unless I used lentils or beans and even then .....
                                                                                                                                                          Last Friday at an event featuring 2 soups, a miso - healthy, healthy, and a thick meaty bean soup, I chose the miso because my friend made it and talk about soup envy! I kept eyeing the bowls of my fellow diners. I had to fill up on bread!

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                          nomadchowwoman Mar 20, 2012 01:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Alone? My dear, you've got plenty of cohorts here, including, apparently, the devil himself.
                                                                                                                                                          "The creamier the better" is my motto.

                                                                                                                                                          And if a soup is broth-based, I want it to have lots of stuff in it. Lots.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                            mariacarmen Mar 20, 2012 01:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                            then WHO are these people who like watery soups with a lone carrot or pea floating here and there??

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                              buttertart Mar 20, 2012 04:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Meeeee...there is nothing on Earth better than a really strong consommé with nothing whatsoever else in it.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                mariacarmen Mar 20, 2012 05:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                well that's a different animal.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                  gingershelley Mar 20, 2012 06:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Consomme is especially appreciated at the start of a 10 course tasting menu!

                                                                                                                                                                  Thick soups are for home-cookin' usually, IMHO!

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                boyzoma Mar 21, 2012 02:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                I love a good creamy soup! But I also love a good egg flower as well when it is "entree" appropriate.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: boyzoma
                                                                                                                                                                  mariacarmen Mar 21, 2012 04:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  oh i love those too....

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                    buttertart Mar 21, 2012 05:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Something soothing about broths in general, oxtail makes the most amazing one as does boiled beef. Yum. Also love creamy soups, but really don't like soups with a whole buncha things in them.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                      mariacarmen Mar 21, 2012 09:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      i'm kind of not being clear, i think. i don't like stew-y soups any more than i like brothy with veggies floating in them. again, i like a tom kha ka, which is brothy/creamy with a few things in it, but not choked with things. i like a bisque, but then again i like miso soup. i guess i really just don't like a "typical" vegetable soup. i agree that the broth can make all the difference, which is why i really liked this soup, having been made with the all-day simmered broth of the corned beef. all that fatty unctuousness (though i strained the fat out once the broth was chilled) giving my broth so much flavor.

                                                                                                                                                        3. mamachef Mar 19, 2012 07:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Needed sustenance, and it's not too hot here, so I made a Ropa Vieja yesterday and we had it tonight. Braised chuck with garlic, onion, salt, pepper, wine, tomatoes, peppers, olives and chiles... good when I tasted it yesterday, but really really good today, like most braises. I got all creative and put on a pot of pinto beans with onion, etc., and when they were done I gave them a mash and then a quick pulse or two, then refried them. And it was truly magical, because despite the spices and TLC, the beans managed to taste like......nothing. Not unpleasant, because something has to have actual flavor to be unpleasant, right? Nothing. Epic fail. Added salt, added acid, added anger, and then a few T. salsa, and it helped not one bit. Uch. Glad beans are cheap, because I hate throwing food away, but this was a loss. Anyway, I really like La Victoria spicy jalapeno/lime beans best plus I'm kinda lazy and that was a buttload of work for no return. Managed to pull together some cilantro rice, sliced some avocados and warmed some wheat tortillas, and dinner was on!!
                                                                                                                                                          Hope everybody has a great week!! Y'all stay safe.

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                            nomadchowwoman Mar 20, 2012 01:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Sorry about those beans, but the Ropa Vieja sounds magical enough, mamachef.

                                                                                                                                                          2. Chocolatechipkt Mar 19, 2012 07:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                            It was a Monday, and we're trying to use up things before going away, so dinner tonight was roasted chicken breasts (bone in, with lemon and garlic), linguine fine, and a big salad with oranges and avocados and other good stuff.

                                                                                                                                                            1. JerryMe Mar 19, 2012 06:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Tuna noodle casserole w/ what was in the pantry and frig. Actually quite yummy and glad I have milk for tomorrow's oatmeal Refused to go to the market - I think the cold spell has broken although there's 36" of new snow up North and roads are closed.

                                                                                                                                                              1. Breadcrumbs Mar 19, 2012 05:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Another warm and sunny day here in Toronto. I paired some miso-glazed salmon we grilled on the weekend with an Asian Broccoli salad - recipe from the River Cottage's new book - Veg. Salmon was served cold.

                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                                                                                                  L.Nightshade Mar 20, 2012 12:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Your salad looks lovely! Black and white sesame seeds? How did you like it?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                    Breadcrumbs Mar 20, 2012 05:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks LN. It's a good but not exceptional salad. The first time I made the recipe I cut the cooking time yet the broccoli was over-cooked. I wanted this recipe to be a success so I thought I'd give it another chance and even though the broccoli was cooked properly, the dressing underwhelmed. A little disappointing as I have such high hopes for this cookbook which looks amazing. I hope this was the exception.

                                                                                                                                                                2. LindaWhit Mar 19, 2012 04:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  I took the easy way out - sauteed some chicken, carrots, onions, red bell pepper, and asparagus, and tossed it with penne and a garlic & herb sauce made from a Knorr's packet. I added extra dried herbs, a pinch of Aleppo pepper for a bit of a bite, topped it with some grated Parm-Reg, and it's dinner. And lunch tomorrow. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. Cherylptw Mar 19, 2012 11:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    Update of menus from the last few days...Wed I grilled some jerk seasoned pork ribs that came out fabulous, they were served with pan cooked potatoes & onions and green beans. Thursday was leftover ribs with mac & cheese and spinach salad. Friday, we had lasagna from Marcella's bologese recipe which I was not impressed with on it's own; I added some herbs to give it a lift and it was okay but I probably won't make it again. I do, however, have a bit of the meat in the freezer which will be turned into something else.

                                                                                                                                                                    Saturday was takeout Chinese. Yesterday, the bf & I spent a good part of the afternoon tilling & planting in the garden and doing yard work so last night we had quick marinated & roasted strip steaks, pan roasted sliced potatoes with herbs & a drizzle of olive oil and a side of buttered corn kernels. Since I didn't do corned beef over the weekend, it'll be what's for dinner tonight. I'll bake it and serve with a pot of boiled potatoes and cabbage...nice & simple

                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Cherylptw
                                                                                                                                                                      Uncle Bob Mar 19, 2012 12:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      We should be neighbors!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Uncle Bob
                                                                                                                                                                        nomadchowwoman Mar 19, 2012 01:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, y'all should be. Better yet, you should each take on some of us as neighbors--spread that good southern cooking around.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                          Uncle Bob Mar 19, 2012 02:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Classes for you will start Tuesday and Thursday...8:00 AM sharp at Morning Call....Bring paper and pen! :))

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Uncle Bob
                                                                                                                                                                            nomadchowwoman Mar 20, 2012 01:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Beignets and cafe au lait--the better to learn by.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Uncle Bob
                                                                                                                                                                          Cherylptw Mar 26, 2012 01:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          We definately should Uncle Bob!

                                                                                                                                                                      2. rabaja Mar 19, 2012 10:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        The corned beef I braised on Saturday is getting turned into open faced rachel's, with some good bread and gruyere. I will do the brown sugar/mustard glaze and under the broiler dealio this afternoon, which BabsW mentioned over the weekend.
                                                                                                                                                                        We aren't even messing around with cb and cabbage, but going right for sandwiches. It's going to be a crazy week here, and dinners may be eaten standing over the sink.

                                                                                                                                                                        Last night we went out for pizza and pasta to a place in SF, Zero Zero. It was all pretty good, but I hate splitting plates with more than a few people. There were nine of us, and I feel like you get a strange mix of food in your belly. I wasn't calling the shots though, so I did as I was told. Pretty good soft-serve for dessert, I have to say. Nothing that was supposed to be on my Hawaii diet!

                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rabaja
                                                                                                                                                                          mariacarmen Mar 19, 2012 11:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          to my shock, i found that the boy had actually NOT finished all the CB, so we're going to have some CB soup tonight. i've got the luscious broth the CB cooked in from last week, which was NOT too salty, i've got taters and cabbage and carrots and celery. i'll buy some good bread to go with.

                                                                                                                                                                          i loved my dinner at OO last year, but only had to split with 2 other adults and a 7 year old.

                                                                                                                                                                          Hawaii diet! lotsa pineapple and poi? seriously, tho, we're not talking.... HONEYMOON, are we???

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                            rabaja Mar 19, 2012 11:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            That soup sounds like a better WW choice, but I know someone's looking forward to sammies, so I'll keep mine heavy on the sauerkraut with lots of crudite beforehand.
                                                                                                                                                                            What I love about Hawaii is the endless fruit and poke I can fill myself with ALL DAY LONG and not gain a thing. The pineapples, the papaya, the bananas even, are so much better there! And we found a great fish shack so we can stuff ourselves with tuna and mahi mahi.
                                                                                                                                                                            Honeymoon? Only if we elope while we are there...:)

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rabaja
                                                                                                                                                                              mariacarmen Mar 19, 2012 01:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              we ran out of swiss cheese and i think we may even be out of the rye, so that's the saving grace of not having cheesy butter crispy golden reubens again!

                                                                                                                                                                              alright, but you keep us posted!

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Uncle Bob Mar 19, 2012 10:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Finish off the Shrimp & Okra Gumbo....
                                                                                                                                                                          Fried Chicken......
                                                                                                                                                                          Green Beans......
                                                                                                                                                                          Mac & Cheese..........
                                                                                                                                                                          The last of a pot of greens.......
                                                                                                                                                                          Maybe some cornbread.....
                                                                                                                                                                          Chocolate Ice Cream for sure!!!

                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Uncle Bob
                                                                                                                                                                            Cherylptw Mar 19, 2012 11:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            YUM across the board!!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Uncle Bob
                                                                                                                                                                              mamachef Mar 19, 2012 07:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              You should change your name to Uncle Lucky. :)

                                                                                                                                                                            2. nomadchowwoman Mar 19, 2012 10:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              Damn, everyone has been eating well, not that I expected anything different from this crowd.

                                                                                                                                                                              After several days of eating elsewhere, including the requisite St. Paddy's CB & Cabbage on Saturday, I invited a couple of friends over for a menu of Greek dishes, almost all from the COTM (and reported in detail, w/photos, in those threads). We started w/chilled asparagus spears and super-lemony mayonnaise. Mains were lamb in filo (really tasty) and lentil-rice pilaf w/caramelized onion topping, accompanied by tzatziki two ways (traditional cucumber and beet) and pita triangles, and tomato-onion salad. Dessert was a COTM walnut cake that I really did not like. (But, wow, beet tzatziki--what a revelation in neon pink.)

                                                                                                                                                                              Tonight it will be leftovers although I'm considering making a half-recipe of seasame-crusted chicken (COTM) to supplement and a big green salad.

                                                                                                                                                                              10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                ChristinaMason Mar 19, 2012 01:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                what a spread! sounds great.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                  boyzoma Mar 20, 2012 12:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  That does sound wonderful. And funny enough, I hate cucumbers but love Tzatziki! Go figure that one.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: boyzoma
                                                                                                                                                                                    L.Nightshade Mar 20, 2012 12:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm familiar with that syndrome. I know people who hate avocados, and love guacamole!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Mar 20, 2012 01:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Hate olives; love olive oil. :-) In fact, this coming weekend, after one of the brunches I'm attending, I'll be going to the Boston Olive Oil Company with friends to check out their various offerings.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: boyzoma
                                                                                                                                                                                      nomadchowwoman Mar 20, 2012 01:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      If you like beets, the beet tzatziki is even better.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                        onceadaylily Mar 20, 2012 08:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Beet tzatziki? Good lord, woman. I'd love a recipe, if you have one..

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                                                          nomadchowwoman Mar 22, 2012 02:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Easy-peasy, oadl.
                                                                                                                                                                                          This one's from COTM, The Olive and the Caper(the only change I made was finely grating rather than dicing the beets b/c I didn't want chunks in the tzatziki).

                                                                                                                                                                                          First, you mash a garlic clove with 1 tsp. salt to make a paste. Stir that into 1 1/2 c yogurt (I used Greek since I had it). I grated half a large red beet (recipe calls for 1 "large" but I found this to be plenty) into the yogurt and stirred that well and then stirred in 1 T. chopped fresh dill. That's it.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Some of the other COTM posters weren't crazy about the hot pink color, but I loved it.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                            onceadaylily Mar 23, 2012 12:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks, ncw. A little while back I made a pasta with beets, and the vibrant color was something we both loved. I'm looking forward to trying this. And I would prefer the texture of grated beets as well, so thanks for that. It is mysteriously and appreciably spring here already, and our tastes are shifting ahead of what is usually available in the markets in mid-March. Any dish that lightens up a root vegetable is perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                                            And about this weather, one of my neighbors recently said, "It's another terrifyingly beautiful day." That, I thought, summed it up perfectly here in Chicago.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily
                                                                                                                                                                                              mariacarmen Mar 23, 2012 11:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              love that!

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                          boyzoma Mar 21, 2012 02:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Don't really care for beets, either - so would probably love the beet tzatziki!

                                                                                                                                                                                    3. h
                                                                                                                                                                                      Harters Mar 19, 2012 07:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Dinner comes from our “cooking the books” selection – “Frugal Food”, Delia Smith, 1976. I’ve said this before and I’m saying it again – it is impossible to over-emphasise the impact of Delia Smith on British home cooking in the last 40 years and I’d go so far as to say that it is impossible to understand our cooking without having read her later “Complete Cookery Course”.

                                                                                                                                                                                      This is her second book written before she gained real TV fame and fortune and while she was still writing a cookery column for the London Evening Standard. It makes for an interesting read when you havnt picked it up for some years – not least for the number of times that she gives a French name to a dish. Now, that’s something you wouldn’t see today. Nor would you see a recipe written in Imperial measures – what are these pound and ounce things? And, also, for the ingredients she says you may have to search for in specialist shops – like chickpeas. But, taking into account these strange foreign foods, like the chickpeas, it’s interesting to see how many dishes reflect our travels overseas and, indeed, the changing pattern of eating due to immigration, along with some very traditional dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                                      All of which leads to tonight’s dinner – lentil and vegetable curry. Onion is softened and then turmeric, ground coriander, cumin, ginger and garlic get a little fry and the lentils go in and are stirred round. Meanwhile, some green beans, new potatoes, cauliflower and carrot get a blanching. The water’s kept and now goes into the lentil mix and it simmers for 40 minutes or so. Then the veg go in along with half a pint of yoghurt and half a teaspoon of cayenne. I suspect my tastebuds will think that isn’t enough cayenne - perhaps showing the development in the food preferences since ’76, but I’m going to cook it and see. It simmers along until the veg are cooked.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Basmati rice to go alongside. And homemade mango chutney (and a bought tamarind one)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. mariacarmen Mar 18, 2012 11:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        came home from an all-day workshop (not work, improv/writing) to a dinner prepped by the boy - penne pasta with asparagus, mushrooms and red peppers in a light butter garlic sauce with parm regg, and a chicken meatball made from breast meat he ground in the food processor, in a light parsley-oregano-shallot chicken broth to keep it moist. simple green salad with blue cheese and shallots on the side. nice to come home to. and i have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                          nomadchowwoman Mar 19, 2012 10:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Those chicken meatballs look particularly yummy.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                            steve h. Mar 19, 2012 05:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Very cool.
                                                                                                                                                                                            This forum is getting pretty fancy.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                              L.Nightshade Mar 19, 2012 05:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Do you really think that's true? I've been wowed by everyone's entries lately. It has seemed like posters have gotten pretty darn impressive! Mouth-watering meals everywhere.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm not even going to share what I will end up cobbling together out of the fridge tonight. Something hot, as it's still wintry and I just can't get warm. I'm on my own for a few nights, and determined to get that ice box cleared out!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                steve h. Mar 19, 2012 05:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Yep, I stand by my comment. I mean "fancy" in a good way.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Deb and I are clearing out the coolerator, too. Back to Rome a week from Tuesday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                  mariacarmen Mar 19, 2012 08:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  thanks steve, i'll pass along the compliment to the BF.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  LN, you are one of the prime perpetrators of fancy on this thread! you and your foie gras and green apple risotto, wild boar pot pie, and sweet potato skordalia, to name just a few! good fancy, drool-worthy fancy, mindblowing fancy! i still need to try that skordalia - i bought the sweet potatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                    L.Nightshade Mar 20, 2012 12:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, you do make me sound a bit fancy-pants when you put it like that. There's lots of udon noodle dinners and simple stuff going on here too!
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Let me know if you try that skordalia. Just the mention makes me want to make it again. Sweet, nutty, garlicky, mmmm...

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                      mariacarmen Mar 20, 2012 01:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      but again, fancy in the best possible way! and you make even the simple look beautiful and fancy, LN.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      hoping to make the skordalia this weekend, have to get almonds or pine nuts. i'm more partial to the flavor of pine nuts, but you really loved it with almonds, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                        L.Nightshade Mar 20, 2012 01:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I did love it with almonds. I'm sure it's great with pine nuts. They were $30 per pound, and only in pre-measured containers. Plus, a couple friends have now experienced pine mouth. It doesn't deter me, but I know they won't eat them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                          mariacarmen Mar 20, 2012 01:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          yeah, they're a tad cheaper at the meximart, and i need to restock anyway... i haven't yet been struck by that malady either, knock on wood....

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                Breadcrumbs Mar 19, 2012 07:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Mc I've been craving those meatballs all day. What a lovely dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                                                                                                                                  mariacarmen Mar 19, 2012 08:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  thanks BC! i'll tell the BF that too! it was damned good lunch, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Rubee Mar 18, 2012 07:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Last week took advantage of D'Artagnan's free shipping and bought a bunch of goodies which resulted in a porcini-crusted veal tenderloin with cheese tortellini (storebought) topped with the fresh mushrooms we are both now hooked on. Leftovers made a great sandwich the next day with a lemon-caper mayo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                No surprise that Irish was the theme this weekend. E doesn't like corned beef, so I had planned bangers and mash. Ended up eating lighter yesterday instead. Irish cheese (Kellygold Skellig) and Cahill's Porter with crackers. The cocktail was a Black Thorn with Tyrrconnell whiskey. Dinner was smoked salmon (Koppen Norwegian from Costco which had been recommended on a previous CH thread) with dill creme fraiche and dessert was Guiness-chocolate cupcakes with Bailey's frosting (link below - I skipped the ganache and cut down on the sugar in the frosting). Lunch today were mini-grilled cheese sandwiches with the leftover cheese. For dinner, roasting the sausages on a bed of caramelized onions and shallots for the gravy. I'm also thinking I might add some of the Irish cheddar to the mash.


                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Rubee
                                                                                                                                                                                                  blue room Mar 18, 2012 08:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rubee you're an Irish inspiration with this spread! That cheese -- the Cahill's Porter I think -- is just beautiful! And I looked up the Black Thorn cocktail -- whiskey and vermouth and absinthe? Potent, but I can't even imagine how those taste together. Will need to find out :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: blue room
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Rubee Mar 18, 2012 08:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks blue room! Yes, whiskey, vermouth (I used Dolin which a Chowhound friend just gifted me with) and bitters, with an absinthe rinse. Very nice. Hmmm...now I want another one ; )

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ended up adding Kerrygold Irish cheddar and scallions to the mashed potatoes for the bangers and mash with onion gravy tonight:

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Rubee
                                                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Mar 19, 2012 05:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Just wonderful, Rubee! That veal tenderloin looks amazing! And those mini grilled cheeses look *so* good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Rubee
                                                                                                                                                                                                      steve h. Mar 19, 2012 05:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wonderful photos. Thanks for sharing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. r
                                                                                                                                                                                                      RelishPDX Mar 18, 2012 07:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Perfect Sunday. Woke up early and prepped buttermilk pancakes with blueberries from scratch, with two sausage patties and scrambled eggs. Maple syrup on top. Strong mug fulls of coffee on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Tonight: Peking Pork Chops. They were SCRUMPTIOUS. Plum sauce and worcestershire sauce on the ingredients list strikes again.


                                                                                                                                                                                                      I didn't have pork tenderloin on hand, only pork loin, which worked well enough for testing the recipe. I can see how tenderloin, cut thick and pounded out, would work better. I used the meat mallet on the loin pieces, and only shallow-fried them instead of deep-frying.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mini-rant: You have to look in the comments section to see that by "chili sauce" she means Lingham's, instead of something really fiery like sambal oelek or sriracha, which was my assumption, and would have made for a much different dish. Luckily, I have Lingham's on hand (great stuff!). Also, the photo shows something much redder than following the recipe will result in, something else discussed in the comments. While the recipes on rasamalaysia truly rock, the author's behavior can be frustrating to well-intentioned cooks. /mini-rant

                                                                                                                                                                                                      The dish was served with a scoop of jasmine rice with a drizzle of Lingham's on it and the very last of the now month-old baby bok choy (yey!), that I cooked in a simple braise of chicken stock, tamari, and cornstarch. Boy, I've gotten a lot of mileage out of that bag o' bok choy. Taking a page from Barbara76137's dinner tonight, at the very end I topped the bok choy halves with enokis, put the lid back on just to wilt them before plating. Enokis, what a great idea!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      This way with pork is another recipe will be a standard in my kitchen, and I'm also thinking of using the sauce for the filling of my Hum Bao buns. It's that good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      In the Crock-Pot, my second batch of stock is simmering away, this time 2# of pork riblets, to mellow out the beef stock for espagnole. An incredible amount of meat on the bones I bought that only cost 10¢ more per pound than pork neck bones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      50% chance of snow tonight. Got the hot cocoa at the ready.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: RelishPDX
                                                                                                                                                                                                        ChristinaMason Mar 19, 2012 01:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        That looks very similar to General Tso's chicken (not in a bad way).

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. BananaBirkLarsen Mar 18, 2012 07:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        After three days straight of watching The Sopranos, we both had a craving for some "red sauce" style Italian tonight. So spaghetti it is, topped with a rich tomato-wine sauce with hot Italian sausage and yellow pepper. I talked my boyfriend into doing the garlic toast 'cause I'm tired and he makes kickass garlic toast. We also have a selection of wines I brought home today from Grocery Outlet. I'm currently sipping a glass of white table wine from Sonoma County, and we will probably open either the cheap Californian red or the somewhat nicer Beaujolais when the food's ready.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                                                                                                                                                                                          mariacarmen Mar 18, 2012 11:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          So i wonder what I'll be craving when i start renting/watching "The Wire"?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                            jenscats5 Mar 19, 2012 06:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Lake Trout on white bread with ketchup!! Or Honey Nut Cheerios....

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Both are mentioned a few times in the show - and that's not giving anything away on the show either.... :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                              L.Nightshade Mar 19, 2012 07:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Faidleys' crab cakes!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                linguafood Mar 19, 2012 09:09 AM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  rabaja Mar 19, 2012 10:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ha! I do believe it's heroin. At least that's what I jones for when I'm watching the show...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Seriously, they're often shot having crabs and beer and it always makes me wonder if they give them a good spread during shooting, or if the crabs are less than fresh and everything is getting ripe and unappetizing under all those lights.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Frankly, the show goes well with booze.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rabaja
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    linguafood Mar 19, 2012 11:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Frankly, the show goes well with booze."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I feel that way about Intervention on TLC. Always makes me wanna drink.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    mariacarmen Mar 19, 2012 11:22 AM


                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. LindaWhit Mar 18, 2012 06:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's been an amazing Girl's Weekend in Littleton, NH. Four of us from MA went up to visit with another friend who lives in Littleton - it's been a weekend of eating, drinking, walking, shopping, walking, eating, drinking, walking, (sleeping!), eating, walking, shopping, walking, shopping, eating, drinking, walking, and shopping again! LOL Four meals at four different places!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                My Saturday lunch was a Thai Chicken Salad - a nice peanutty-spicy salad dressing. Dinner that evening was an orange-glazed salmon with rice pilaf and green beans (and an AMAZING limoncello cake for dessert!) Sunday breakfast (at a wonderful diner) was a piece of French Toast along with a plate of 2 scrambled eggs, bacon, home fries, and coffee. LOTS of coffee! And for a late lunch, I split an incredible char-grilled Angus burger and french fries with one of the lovely ladies I was enjoying the weekend. Can you say WOOF?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                So after ALL of that, how in heaven's name did I get hungry at 8:30? I don't know, but I just ate a peanut butter sandwich. It'll take me through the night for breakfast tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                It was a FUN weekend with a couple of firsts - visiting (and shopping!) the longest candy counter in the WORLD! Grown women become kids again! LOL! - and it was the first meal of the year eaten on an outside deck - on MARCH 18TH!!!! Gorgeously sunny in Littleton - just as nice as it was in Boston today - I believe the temps got up to 70+ degrees! I'm tired, I'm happy, I had a great weekend with great women. We're already planning our next weekend away. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  RelishPDX Mar 18, 2012 07:34 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    mariacarmen Mar 18, 2012 11:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    glad you enjoyed, LW! sounds like a great time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Harters Mar 19, 2012 03:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Damn. Had to Google where this candy counter was - too far off our New England route to get a Harters visit in May.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit Mar 19, 2012 05:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Definitely too far, Harters. But next time - if you're here in the States in the autumn, New Hampshire and Vermont and Maine are the states to visit - if the weather is right, the fall foliage is absolutely breathtaking!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        gingershelley Mar 19, 2012 10:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Excellent LW, I love a ladies weekend. Sounds like a great time, company and food:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          nomadchowwoman Mar 19, 2012 10:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wow, that sounds like fun--delicious fun!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LindaWhit Mar 19, 2012 11:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And everyone had such a fun time, we're already planning the next one in early May to Portland, Maine. :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              steve h. Mar 19, 2012 11:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Girls Gone Wild.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Have a great time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LindaWhit Mar 19, 2012 01:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                No dancing on tabletops. No wet t-shirt contests. Asleep by 11:30pm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think not. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  steve h. Mar 19, 2012 02:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't believe you ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    twodales Mar 19, 2012 04:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    @ Steve Ha Ha Ha! LOL! Thanks for the giggle. You're quite the tease!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Mar 19, 2012 04:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I promise you steverino - if I want to go *back* to these establishments, I shall *not* be scaring off the rest of the patronage of said establishments. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Breadcrumbs Mar 18, 2012 05:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So enjoying the unseasonably warm temps here in Ontario (funny too because it's likely the same temp here as it is in Arizona where folks say it's cold! All a matter of perspective!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As mentioned above, inspired by Harters and in celebration of the March warmth we decided to grill some lamb tonight. Alongside we had some delicious Sicilian Artichokes courtesy of a recipe from Ada Boni's Talisman cookbook and some lovely potatoes from the COTM. A Truchard Zin joined in the celebration of spring & a good time was had by all!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                linguafood Mar 19, 2012 09:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hey bc -- care to share what you did with the potatoes (other than boil and put scallions on top)?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                They look scrumptious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Breadcrumbs Mar 19, 2012 07:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi linguafood....thank-you. Actually I didnt do much more than you suggest. The COTM recipe has you boil, drain and leave the potatoes to "dry" a little before returning them to the pan and tossing w EVOO & fresh herbs. I warmed my oil w a bit of lemon zest in it first but thats about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    linguafood Mar 20, 2012 09:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Only goes to show that the simplest of preps are often the most delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. JerryMe Mar 18, 2012 05:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Colder than @$&(&( - chicken and dumplings. BRRR! Drug out the long johns and actually turned on the heat for the first time in over a month. Mom's recipe for the dumplings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Barbara76137 Mar 18, 2012 05:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tonight I marinated and grilled calamari which turned out great, but the recipe I used for baby bok choy was way too salty. The calamari was frozen pieces from the Asian market and I was worried it would be tough, but I'll definitely be making it again. I used a sweet chili dip with it. Marinated it in evoo, garlic, fresh oregano, lemon juice & lemon zest and hot chili flakes. The baby bok choy & enoki mushrooms had fresh ginger, oyster sauce & low sodium soy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Barbara76137
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ChristinaMason Mar 19, 2012 01:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have some of that frozen calamari, but mine are just rings. Think they'd work? How long on the grill? High or low heat?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love love love grilled calamari and will crib your marinade.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Barbara76137 Mar 19, 2012 06:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      CM, these were pieces of a steak that had been crosscut and probably about 1 1/2" each. I have one of those little table top gas grills and so I cook everything on high. I put it on the grill and covered it, and then when I turned it I basted it with the rest of the marinade and left the lid off. It really didn't take long at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Barbara76137
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ChristinaMason Mar 20, 2012 12:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        OK, thanks! I'll give it a go. Can calamari be marinated for hours, or does the acid "cook" it like ceviche? Any idea?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Barbara76137 Mar 22, 2012 04:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I was concerned about the acid "cooking" it as well, but isn't squid one of those things that either has to be cooked just a little or a whole lot or else it will be tough? I somehow remember an Italian telling that to me many years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Barbara76137
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ChristinaMason Mar 22, 2012 06:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah, I think it's something like the 45-second or 45 min. rule.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              nomadchowwoman Mar 22, 2012 08:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That explains a lot!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. roxlet Mar 18, 2012 03:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The guys are back from a tournament in New Haven, so tonight it's a man dinner: a caesar salad to start, grilled porterhouses, sauteed spinach and baked potatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      steve h. Mar 18, 2012 03:43 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. steve h. Mar 18, 2012 03:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Spinach and cheese cannelloni is on the supper menu. It's a recipe cribbed from Gourmet Magazine. We've made it before and Deb will keep at it until she's satisfied that the pasta is right. We'll wash it down with an Italian red.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        bblonde Mar 18, 2012 02:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Had quite a bit of corned beef leftovers. I knew I should've only gotten one brisket but I HATE running the chance of not having enough food when company comes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Leftovers it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Leftover spinach dip with crudites
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Reuben casserole (from leftover corned beef, and rye bread, of course)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Potato salad with vinaigrette (repurposed whole small boiled red potatoes, added a few more)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bailey's cheesecake (leftover--was TO DIE for)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: bblonde
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          onecaketwocake Mar 18, 2012 07:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          oh wow, that cheesecake sounds amazing. I have a lot of Baileys left over from cupcakes I just made and I'm hoping I don't have to drink it all - where did you get the cheesecake recipe?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: onecaketwocake
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            bblonde Mar 20, 2012 06:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Here is the link for the cheesecake. It was so worth it although the bailey's flavor wasn't too prevalent


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: bblonde
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              onecaketwocake Mar 20, 2012 02:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              thanks! It looks great, and I'm impressed it uses a full cup of Baileys.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: bblonde
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            mariacarmen Mar 18, 2012 11:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            reuben casserole!! if ONLY we had leftovers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: bblonde
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ChristinaMason Mar 19, 2012 01:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If it makes you feel any better, I recently attended a party where there was not enough corned beef, and people left for a Chipotle run---including one of the Irish band members---thus delaying the St. Patty's music. It was not pretty. Better to have more than enough!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. ChristinaMason Mar 18, 2012 11:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I had a whole chicken breast left over from last night's roast, so I'm going to repurpose it in a kind of Chinese chicken salad for dinner:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'll add some broccoli slaw, snow peas, scallion, and mung bean sprouts to make it a little more substantive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I got some mini seedless cucumbers that I'm quite excited to try in this dish. Lunch will be the rest of the soup and cornbread. Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ChristinaMason Mar 19, 2012 01:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ended up getting home too late from a musical to really cook much of anything, so instead, made some surimi salad in the style of my favorite lobster-roll filling: lemon juice, fresh tarragon, mayo, sour cream, parsley, dill pickle relish, pinch of sugar, cracked black pepper, and some Old Bay. Tucked that into toasted low-carb pita and with a handful of arugula, and that's WFD last tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tonight: the chicken salad...probably.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. steve h. Mar 18, 2012 11:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sunday's brunch was an open prosciutto and asparagus sandwich with melted gruyère. It was topped with a poached egg. Inspiration (and the bread) came from Nancy Silverton. We washed it down with a California sparkling rose (J).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Spring has sprung.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  steve h. Mar 18, 2012 03:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I forgot to show a picture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    jenscats5 Mar 18, 2012 03:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh that looks delicious!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jenscats5
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      steve h. Mar 18, 2012 03:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It was. A runny yolk drizzling over prosciutto and the other stuff is intrinsically good. The fresh asparagus and the sparkling (rose) wine said "spring".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      mariacarmen Mar 18, 2012 11:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      fantastic brunch, steve h.!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. onceadaylily Mar 18, 2012 10:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It will be another cooking day for me, so tonight's dinner will be one of any of the three dishes I'm preparing. The first will be a garlicky guajillo and ancho black beans, served with Spanish rice, tortillas, and a slaw of cabbage, cilantro, lime, garlic, and a mixture of sour cream and mayo. If we opt for this tonight, we will be drinking beer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've been craving orzo, so an orzo salad, one that can be served warm or cold, will be tucked into the fridge. Orzo, white beans, roasted broccoli, sauteed tomatoes and swiss chard, kalamata olives, basil, feta, and shallots, tossed with olive oil and red wine vinegar. The rest of the batch of roasted broccoli, the stems from the chard, and a good amount of shallots, will be combined, and mashed, with roasted cauliflower in a creamy soup, with a bit of aleppo pepper and garlic. I've a loaf of ciabatta that I can toast to go with both of these meals. I also have a few cucumbers hanging around, and thought I'd make a batch of quick pickled cukes with rice vinegar, mirin, crushed red pepper, soy and . . . something like fish sauce but without the hives. I'll take a look online for options. Maybe a dash of maggi in the place of the soy would do it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Speaking of fish, chowhound has taken to showing me sushi in my ads section to the right of the page. I keep looking at it and sighing with longing. The roe looks delicious. Damn it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. jenscats5 Mar 18, 2012 08:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Today is a cool, cloudy day in our neck of the woods......Picked up the smallest brisket I could find at BJs & have that in the crockpot for soft tacos later on.....Hoping to make a quick cabbage "slaw" to go with...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. ChristinaMason Mar 18, 2012 08:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Last night I was solo, so I invited a friend over for dinner and a movie. I made a lemon roast chicken, Jiffy copycat cornbread, arugula salad with sherry vinaigrette, and set out celery and hummus to start. My friend is a big fan of pumpkin soup but doesn't have much experience in the kitchen, so together we made a nice pot of pumpkin soup to start using some fresh puree I had in the freezer. We spiced it with garlic, shallot, sage, parsley, bay leaf, cinnamon, fresh ginger, nutmeg, and red pepper flake. Overall, a success, although I think the ginger was a little hotter than expected. It was great with some crumbled cornbread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          RelishPDX Mar 18, 2012 07:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A friend ended up being here most of Saturday, and with the fridge bursting from Friday's shopping, we decided to eat something we'd cook ourselves for dinner rather than order something in or go out. He's not a chili-head at all, and I still had plenty of the incredibly sweet pineapple tidbits left over from the Sweet N Sour pork I did a few days back (Del Monte brand). We decided to try rasamalaysia's version of SNSP, which was mostly a great success due to the interesting sauce. I sprinkled red chili flakes on mine, he sprinkled sesame seeds on top of his.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          He did all of the chopping, measuring, mixing and prep work, while I did the deep-frying and pulled the recipe together on the range. We both agreed on the same points in our review of the meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The quantity of sauce didn't appear to be nearly enough, so he made a triple batch from the outset to serve with 1.5x the rest of the recipe. One slice of pineapple, diced, isn't nearly enough for American consumers of this dish. We ended up using about half the can for two people, and I sautéed the tidbits first to get some color onto them before adding the bell pepper chunks and onions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We've both had much better batters for the pork. I think the problem was that the batter is too high in AP flour and should have left out the egg yolk. The fried coating became a bit soggy as it cooled and absorbed some of the sauce. But the plum sauce and worcestershire sauce as ingredients noticeably set the final product apart from all others. It was perfectly balanced and what sweet n sour should be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's amazing how a lot of cookbook/recipe authors get so many things right, then fail on crucial points, like a simple batter. It makes you wonder how much testing goes on before publication.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This morning I strained out the first batch of beef stock from the new Crock-Pot. Amazing stuff, though it lost a lot of water. Ended up with only 9 cups of stock, even though I'm positive I'd put 12 cups in for 4# of neck bones. I guess that's what can leak out through that tiny steam hole in the lid during 18 hours of simmering. Now let's see how full of gelatin the stock is when cooled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Breadcrumbs Mar 18, 2012 04:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A trip to a lovely Italian grocery yesterday yielded a load of beautiful vegetables including some baby eggplant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            For dinner we had a salad of simply dressed baby greens and the Parmigianina di Melanzane, a lovely eggplant parm. dish from Contorni - a terrific little cookbook by Susan Simon. I adapted this recipe by tossing in some shredded mozzarella in addition to the parmesan. This proved to be a tasty, satisfying meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Inspired by Harters post above, I picked up some lamb - chops in our case. They'll be grilled tonight and served w some Italian purple artichokes (preparation yet to be determined) and baby Yukon Gold potatoes which will be made using a COTM recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Harters Mar 18, 2012 04:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think some foods are culturally hard-wired into your soul. I'm British, northern and a man. So that's black pudding, fish & chips and, perhaps more than anything, pies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              One of the towns in the metro area is Wigan and the joke goes that a Wigan Kebab is three pies on a stick. And it may not really be a joke. My earliest memory of eating a pie is on Wednesday nights when Dad used to take me to watch football - at half-time, you'd go and get a meat pie - superheated so the meat burnt your mouth and the gravy ran down your chin. The you'd watch Manchester City win another match (and then they stopped winning for 40 years) and get the bus home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Anyway, enough of the history already. Dinner tonight is a fish pie. Well, we call it a pie but really it's just a fish stew cooked on top of the stove, plated, and topped with a piece of puff pastry separately baked in the oven. The sort of easy peasy cheats pie, restaurants often do when they have a pie on the menu. Anyway, this fish stew comprises seabass and prawns which will get a light cooking in a tomatoey, oniony, winey, herby, sort of Mediteraneany sauce. And there will probably be green beans from the freezer alongside.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                mariacarmen Mar 18, 2012 07:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                love the trip through your childhood - makes me nostalgic for someone else's! and hungry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  twodales Mar 19, 2012 08:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  OMG John!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You made me laugh here. I must relay the "Wigan Kebab" bit to my hubbie. He will really enjoy this immensely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This talk about pies reminds me of our English wedding reception (vs our American one) in Matlock Bath at the New Bath Hotel. One of the items served was a game pie and it was really tasty. It was lovely and herby. I tried to get the recipe but had no luck. I've been searching for a good one ever since. Perhaps one day I will stumble on one?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I recently made a steak and kidney pie which came out as good as my Mum-in-Laws and I make a decent Chicken and Leek pie as well. I was "right chuffed" about the Steak pie since it was my first attempt!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not terribly fond of the little pork pies one buys in little shops however. Thanks and enjoy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: twodales
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Harters Mar 19, 2012 09:37 AM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I also do the cheats pie with game. The farmers market at Bakewell has a game stall which sells packs of mixed game - pheasant, venison and rabbit usually. Really I just make it as stew and then separately bake some puff pastry to top it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The pork pies are made with a hot water pastry (which I've never tried to make) and you do see them made with game instead of pork from time to time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I reckon chicken and leek (hope you also included mushrooms) is a prince amongst pies. Needs good chips alongside!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    JungMann Mar 19, 2012 08:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm decidedly not English, but I am Northern and a man, and even still black pudding, fried fish and, more than anything, pie is hard-wired into my soul, so perhaps you needn't be English -- just a cold-blooded northerner with a Y-chromosome. I walked into our local pie shop last week to pick up pork pies for Pi Day and walked out with not just pork pie, but also lamb pie, black pudding and more chipolatas than even Sainsbury could move in a month. And though I am hard-headed, I am weak-willed: those pork pies never made it to Pi Day. In fact, they never made it past one night calling to me from the fridge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tonight I am planning my meal around the overload of seaweed I accidentally purchased at the market. I know of no other flavors aside from Asian for seaweed, so the uninspiring chicken breasts I have in the freezer will have to follow suit. I am thinking perhaps teriyaki, something I have never made and only rarely eaten though the desire for something spicier is always there and may perhaps have to be sated with just some kimchi on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      JungMann Mar 19, 2012 07:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't often waste food, but I actually spat out the seaweed salad. The teriyaki was also a failure. I can taste the cheapness of my sake (which has never been a problem before when I used it for nabemono). Dousing my dinner with Sriracha wasn't even enough of a save. I may try to rescue the leftover teriyaki with a miso glaze tomorrow but the seaweed is definitely a lot stronger-tasting and stringier than I expected. I should've known -- the kelp tastes exactly like the Chinese grocer smells, which while not bad, is not good either. I'll have to do a lot more research on how to cook kelp before I can make that one palatable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        gingershelley Mar 19, 2012 07:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Impressed that you tried! I have not gotten bold enough for seaweed salad yet, except for bites now and again for a decent 'sea salad' at the local Co-op deli, which has great food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A brave experimenter, JM.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mariacarmen Mar 19, 2012 08:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          too bad about your seaweed salad! usually love the stuff they serve at sushi bars.... i'd not be brave enough to cook it myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            JungMann Mar 20, 2012 07:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Typically you use hijiki or wakame for salad. Both have an interesting texture and a mildly sweet taste. I appear to have purchased long strands of fresh kelp, which is thicker and stronger tasting. I think I need to find the Chinese name for it before I'm going to figure out how to use it appropriately.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. L.Nightshade Mar 18, 2012 04:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nothing Irish about our dinner, except the Pogues playing in the background. Mr. NS roasted a chicken, stuffed inside and under the skin with multiple herbs. Cooked on a bed of potatoes, onion, and garlic, which later contributed to a tasty sauce. Sautéed asparagus and tomatoes on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      BabsW Mar 18, 2012 04:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Roast chicken is wonderful for any occasion, and yours looks delicious. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I love spring asparagus, though I like roasting them with some olive oil and salt. I may have to get some this week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: BabsW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        L.Nightshade Mar 18, 2012 04:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mmm... I, too, prefer roasted asparagus, with oil, coarse salt, chopped garlic, and sometimes lemon zest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          BabsW Mar 18, 2012 04:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lemon zest sounds like a nice touch. I'll have to try that too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Breadcrumbs Mar 18, 2012 04:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mmm that pan sauce sounds scrumptious LN. What a lovely meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mariacarmen Mar 18, 2012 07:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          the Pogues! love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          that looks delicious. what time did dinner end up being? looks like it was worth the wait.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            L.Nightshade Mar 18, 2012 09:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We sat down about 9pm. Just like dinner in Italy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Harters Mar 18, 2012 08:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Although the Pogues are Londoners, not Irish ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Their version of "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" remains one of my all-time fave songs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              L.Nightshade Mar 18, 2012 09:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I am aware of their "inauthenticity" (although it could be argued that Shane McGowan who formed the original band was Irish; born in England of Irish parents). Still they play Irish music, and they felt right for the day and my mood!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Harters Mar 18, 2012 09:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Absolutely. "Fiesta" is something to cook to and bop around the kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Mar 18, 2012 07:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lovely! And I never do corned beef - too salty for me. So your roast chicken dinner looks wonderful! (Although I guess I did have an "Irish dinner" last night with salmon on my plate! LOL)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. mariacarmen Mar 17, 2012 10:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oops, reposting from the old thread . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              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.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Breadcrumbs Mar 18, 2012 04:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                mc don't your sandwiches look delicious!! Love the idea of grilling the bread too...I'd love one of those for breakfast right now!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  BabsW Mar 18, 2012 04:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Those do look fantastic. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I also prefer the pastrami to the corned beef on a Reuben, but I'm looking forward to the corned beef variety today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  About the baked corned beef being salty, that's what I'd feared when I made mine, which is why I opted to do a 2-hour simmer before finishing it in the oven with a glaze. The texture after baking it was really nice. Firm, with some pleasing chewiness in spots, not at all the soft, somewhat gelatinous texture you get just from a simmer. I am totally sold on doing it like this, but I can't tell my mom. She'll be offended.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BabsW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    mariacarmen Mar 18, 2012 07:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i just wish i'd cut the CB thinner for the sandwich. and it wasn't too salty, just a little saltier than the one from the night before. i like the idea of your glaze...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. operagirl Mar 17, 2012 06:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Our dinner has absolutely nothing to do with St. Patty's Day. We did take a fun afternoon stroll through the Mission and Castro neighborhoods, though, and we'll be hitting up our local pub to join the revelers for a post-dinner cocktail.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  For dinner, we're having roasted ratatouille pasta -- I'm roasting a big pan of eggplant, bell pepper, zucchini, button mushrooms, and grape tomatoes, sprinkled with olive oil, fresh thyme, garlic gold nuggets, and salt&pepper. Will toss with some gf corn fusili from Trader Joe's -- it's our first time trying the corn pasta, hope it's decent!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: operagirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    operagirl Mar 19, 2012 11:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Update -- the corn fusilli was one of the better GF pastas we've tried. Good stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: operagirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      gingershelley Mar 19, 2012 07:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Good to know for when my gal pal who is GF comes over for din-din...:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. BananaBirkLarsen Mar 17, 2012 03:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I took a chicken out of the freezer yesterday, so I'm thinking I'll use the un-drinkable bottled fig juice I bought a couple weeks ago to do a fig-glazed roast chicken with shallot, garlic and rosemary. I'm trying to recapture the glory of a chicken I did last fall with fresh figs. I know it won't be the same, but perhaps the flavours will be similar enough and at least the misguided fig juice purchase won't be a total waste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm thinking snap peas with lime juice and mint on the side. Homemade noodles with browned butter sound really good for a starch, but I might just do potatoes or rice or cook up some of the pierogies I've got in the freezer. It's a beautiful, windy, overcast day and we're taking the dog for a long walk and I may be too lazy to make pasta when we get back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      mariacarmen Mar 17, 2012 10:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      that fig glaze sounds amazing, BBL.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        BananaBirkLarsen Mar 18, 2012 01:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I reduced and reduced and reduced my fig juice-red wine-sugar mix, but it just wouldn't turn into a glaze. So it was more like a fig sauce, but it was really good. Figs and rosemary is one of my very favourite combinations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mariacarmen Mar 18, 2012 11:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          absolutely! sounds wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. boyzoma Mar 17, 2012 03:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, since I couldn't do CB and cabbage today, tonight will be a Teriyaki marinated Pork Tenderloin along with a Teriyaki gravy. (They had a sale a while back at our local stupid market for $5 each so we picked up a few for the freezer) To go with that will be some basmati rice and some green beans. We will also have a small salad with a fresh ginger/soy dressing (love being able to keep a huge chunk of ginger in the freezer and grate off what I need for recipes).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. steve h. Mar 17, 2012 02:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lobster rolls.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Plenty of meat left over after last night's meal. I sourced some "top loader" rolls at the local grocery store. Beer for me, Orvieto for Deb. Tarantino's "Jackie Brown" will be on the plasma.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Friday's lobster shells are sleeping in the freezer. Bisque is in my future.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          BabsW Mar 17, 2012 03:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh, lobster rolls *sigh* The bisque sounds nice, too. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. BabsW Mar 17, 2012 01:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I did a twist on the corned beef and cabbage with a simmered and then baked corned beef, plus my version of cabbage and noodles (haluski). The kids don't like potatoes, so I had some buttered egg noodles on the side. Normally when I make haluski, I make spaetzle instead of egg noodles, but I hadn't realized that I was running low on eggs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          After reading several threads here at Chow on the corned beef, I decided to simmer for part of the time and then stick the brisket in the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Here's how I did the meat: Place brined brisket in a large pot and cover with cool water. Add the spice packet that came with the meat and also toss in 4 allspice berries, 4 juniper berries, 2 cloves, several large sprigs of fresh dill, 1 bay leaf and 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Remove the meat from the pot, cover it with a mixture of brown sugar, dijon and whole grain mustard, and bake it, fat-side up, uncovered in a shallow baking dish at 325 for about 15 minutes per pound. Then out it comes, for a 15-minute rest and then sliced at the table.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As a bonus, I strained and reserved the broth that the meat simmered in for use as a base for split pea soup sometime this week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Everyone loved the meat. The texture is firmer and chewier than the soft and rather gelatinous meat you get just by simmering it, and the glaze was really wonderful. I think that the leftovers will make wonderful Reubens tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: BabsW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            rabaja Mar 17, 2012 01:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My cb is sitting in cold water as I type. After reading the many threads on CB here the last two days I am paralyzed with too much information. I think I will steal your method, as I really want to do the brown sugar/mustard glaze and oven-finishing.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I am using a Snake River cb from costco, it's only just over two lbs, so I am imagining my final product will be around one lb.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've only tried my hand at cb once before, maybe four years ago. It was the victim of too much celery. I have fantasies that this one will be so tasty I'll run back for three more, as I'd really like to eat my weight in reubens!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rabaja
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              BabsW Mar 17, 2012 01:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "After reading the many threads on CB here the last two days I am paralyzed with too much information."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I had the same problem yesterday! I think this method is the best of both worlds, and let me tell you, that brown sugar and mustard glaze is so worth it. :) Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: BabsW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                gingershelley Mar 17, 2012 02:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                +1! And I can add a chuckle for 'wanting to eat my weight in Reubens" That will make me look like a Reuben's painting!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Off for the needed ingredients for my Chili Verde making today for the chili competition tomorrow (mentioned on WFD #132), to the mexican market, then on to Han's Deli for some sour rye. I like this kind of shopping trip!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  BabsW Mar 17, 2012 03:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It feels as though I ate my weight in pastrami Reubens this week!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Good luck with your chili cook-off!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: BabsW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              boyzoma Mar 17, 2012 02:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Your CB sounds really good. Unfortunately DH is not overly thrilled with CB and cabbage (but he loves a Reuben). I almost have him talked into one soon (although I didn't get that for today). But me? I love the stuff. I'll have to give your method a whirl.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: boyzoma
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                BabsW Mar 17, 2012 03:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Reubens are good eatin. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't especially like cabbage that has been boiled to slimy mush, so any other way to prepare it works for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I may have to make this dish this way each year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: BabsW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ChristinaMason Mar 18, 2012 08:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yum, I'm debating whether to follow this method or the straight-up braise. Both sound good...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  BabsW Mar 18, 2012 11:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, I think that corned beef is great either way. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: BabsW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  MaryContrary Mar 18, 2012 01:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I got here too late to try the rub, but I always bake/braise my corned beef. I'm fortunate that my mother years and years ago purchased some Saladmaster "waterless" (it really almost is)stainless cookware. I just put a tiny amount of water in the 5-quart pot, dumped in the brisket fat side up, rubbed contents of the seasoning packet on top. put the lid on and cooked at 350 for an hour a pound (or so). Gave the 3 1/2 pounder an extra 30 minutes "for the pot" and it was perfect. Sliced beautifully and the fat was crispy and browned, the meat tender and chewy. The cabbage went into another Saladmaster on top of the stove with onion and bacon drippings and was cooked on top of the stove on the second to lowest setting..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  bblonde Mar 17, 2012 12:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not very creative here--company can rely on a fairly standard St. Patty's fare.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Green apple martinis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  spinach dip in a pumpernickel bowl, broccoli
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  boiled corned beef, cabbage, carrots, new potatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  cracked wheat rolls
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bailey's cheesecake

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Plans for the evening are to enjoy the unseasonably warm March with outdoor fire and movie if the rain stays away, and if not possibly watch a movie indoors. I think I'll stay out of downtown. A Saturday night St. Pat's sounds like trouble to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Berheenia Mar 17, 2012 11:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We live in a student ghetto but mercifully there is public transportation so they are all heading downtown to maraud the Irish Bars and other watering holes in Boston. I hate it when St Patrick's Day falls on a Saturday as it means no drinks at the local for me and hubby.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    To compensate we went out for lunch to a restaurant known for it's homemade soups and had a really good corn beef and cabbage soup (I mean to track down a recipe for this soup). For dinner we are making a spinach lasagna with bechamel sauce based on a TwoDales post a few weeks ago. As I could not find fresh spinach pasta I am going with an imported no bake lasagna and a spinach filling which will probably involve cheese - possibly cottage- and some mozzarella slices but no tomato except for what is in the bolognese. Simple green salad, a good rosemary garlic rustic bread from a local bakery with enough non green beer and white wine to help us sleep through the return of our little friends as they stagger back- the train stops running at midnight .

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Berheenia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      mariacarmen Mar 17, 2012 10:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      we went to one of our two favorite local watering holes last night and asked if they thought it would be crazy tonight. they said they didn't think so, as they're not an irish bar (our other place is - steering right clear of that)... but.... i saw a bunch of people coming over on the train dressed in green, and the parking lot across the street from us was filling up early... sooo... we may step out for a nightcap and find ourselves right back home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Harters Mar 17, 2012 11:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Here at Casa Harters, dinner has a distinctly Italianate theme.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The starter comes from our current "cooking the books" and is our most used, most battered book - Real Fast Food, Nigel Slater (1992). I really could not do without it. And it's dead easy. Some pappardelle gets cooked and goes in to an ovenproof dish and are mixed with olive oil and some olive paste (we've got tapenade). Pine nuts and grated cheese go on the top (he suggests Gruyere but as with almost any Slater recipe it's pretty much adaptable to what lurks in the fridge - in this case mousetrap Cheddar). It then gets 15 minutes or so in a hot oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Main is a magazine recipe for slow roast lamb shoulder. The meat got slashed about a bit and is then covered in a mix of chopped rosemary, capers and anchovies, crushed garlic, olive oil, lemon zest & juice. It goes into a roasting tray, sat on some onion wedges and the juiced lemon halves. There's a good three hours roasting at 160C. After an hour a glass of wine goes in the pan, presumabl,y the steam helping the cooking and providing the makings of a sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Veg looks like being steamed sprouting brocolli and sauted leeks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And there's a tiramisu flavoured ice cream for afters. Truth be told, it isnt very good (although it wasnt cheap) but it needs using up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        L.Nightshade Mar 17, 2012 11:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lovely sounding dinner Harters! I like the idea of tapenade with pasta, especially as a side to lamb. Mmmm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mariacarmen Mar 17, 2012 10:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Linda's right, wonderful idea to pair the pasta with tapenade with the lamb.... that's a real stand-out of a dinner you've got there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Harters Mar 18, 2012 04:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Just to clarify - the pasta was a starter (in the Italian style) not a side for the lamb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              L.Nightshade Mar 18, 2012 04:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Even so. Nicely compatible thematically!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                mariacarmen Mar 18, 2012 07:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ah, very much an italianate dinner then, pasta was primi, and not on the dish with the lamb. even so, as Linda sez....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Harters Mar 18, 2012 08:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yep....just getting in the groove for Venice in a couple of weeks. Four dinners booked!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    mariacarmen Mar 18, 2012 11:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    don't forget to consider Trattoria Alla Madonna! http://www.ristoranteallamadonna.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i think you may be just in time for moleche season - not to be missed!! tiny little Venetian soft-shelled crabs, lightly battered and fried, the most scrumptious tiny creatures you will ever hope to entice into your mouth, golden, crunchy and juicy, and Alla Madonna does them the BEST. ask around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    if you go, let Renzo, my favorite of the old waiters, do the ordering for you (after the moleche)... and give him my love!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Mar 19, 2012 05:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I love all of your travels. And I'm envious. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              BabsW Mar 17, 2012 01:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That lamb sounds wonderful. :9

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                linguafood Mar 17, 2012 02:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ok - that totally makes me crave leg of lamb now. Will have to make this rather soon, I'm afraid...perhaps as early as tomorrow. I have plenty of anchovy filets, too, these days b/c of my latest obsession w/Caesar salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Harters Mar 17, 2012 03:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, it was a good dinner - from start to finish. With the exception of the sauce/gravy whioch turned out to be oddly bittter. I assume this must have been to do with the charring on the onions. To rectify, we tried a good pinch of sugar. Then we added a squirt of ketchup (the saviour to many errors at Casa Harters). It was then OK, but still not at all a great success.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you can get shoulder, lingua, I think you'll have a better meal. I think leg may not have the fat to stand up to the long cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    linguafood Mar 18, 2012 10:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hmmm. Not even low & slow? We do like our leg med-rare inside. I'll look for shoulder, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Actually, I could see your rub working really well on pork shoulder, too. Yumboski.

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