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Mar 28, 2012 08:26 PM

What's for Dinner #135 [old]

WOW. I'm out sick for a few days and you guys go up to 367 posts! All delicious stuff, I see. I'm still not cooking for a few days, but will no doubt be stopping by to watch the virtual feasts. What's going on in your kitchen?

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  1. Thanks for starting us up mariacarmen! I've nothing to report, as we went out for our local Wednesday night one dollar sushi tonight, just wanted to get in on the action before the thread has a hundred posts to catch up on.
    Really hope you are feeling better soon!

    1. Tonight was chicken tacos with a bit of chipotle in adobo sauce mixed in...crispy for me and soft flour for him. A salad on the side with piles of black beans, red pepper, sliced avocado, tomatoes, corn and jicama with a lime, cumin, honey dressing. Very colorful and a nice change from lettuce salads.
      Taco shells were made with Chicago's own El Milagro tortillas which are the best commercially made tortillas around these parts. Some of the tortillas I find in the grocery store are dreadful, to the point that if I can't find Milagro in the store, I go elsewhere to find them.

      1 Reply
      1. re: twodales

        You said it. I never buy anything but El Milagro. They're just so well made. I'm grateful that my produce market carries them.

      2. My boyfriend's Spanish class is having yet another potluck tomorrow and since he brought a red chili last time, he decided on green this time. Roasted tomatillos, serranos, Anaheims, onions and garlic, blended with a bit of turkey stock and cilantro, poured over pork cubes marinated in a cumin-coriander rub, then browned. It's all slow cooking in the oven and this time we're taking out a bit for dinner tomorrow instead of letting that girl take all the leftovers again.

        18 Replies
        1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

          i missed the story of the girl taking all the leftovers again, BBL! didn't you say that most of the kids would probably bring chips and chex mix? Do you think they'll pony up this time? i don't even like chili and that green chili sounds wonderful.

          1. re: mariacarmen

            Yeah, some girl asked my boyfriend if she could take a bit of the leftover chili. He said, "sure" and she picked up the whole thing and poured ALL of it into the tupperware container she had used to bring whatever it was she brought. Then she said something along the lines of, "Great! Now I have dinner for tonight!" and walked away.

            A few people brought good things last time -- my boyfriend brought me home a tamale -- but apparently the most popular dish was white-bread-and-baloney sandwiches, cut into quarters. Public opinion of his spicy chili was split between "this is the best chili ever" and "are you trying to kill us??" I suspect public opinion will be equally split this time, since it's just as spicy. Only this time, we'll be the ones eating the leftovers for dinner, since we're taking some out in advance.

            1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

              awesome - kill 'em!

              oh no, i love that the baloney was the fave!

          2. re: BananaBirkLarsen

            Wait - someone ELSE from the Spanish class took all of the leftovers including what she *didn't* bring? Dígale a sus manos! :-)

            1. re: LindaWhit

              As far as I know, the only thing she took was our chili, which I suppose I should take as a compliment, but still! That was going to be OUR dinner!

              1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                Compliment, schmompliment! She should have ASKED first. Grrr...

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  Well, she did ask--just that BBL's BF did not not understand that " a little" was code for "every last drop."

                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                    And then she stared at him as she poured it into her tupperware with an expression that said, "I know I'm taking too much, and I don't care." At least, that's how the story goes. I wasn't actually there.

                2. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                  The perils of being the star of the potluck. : )

                3. re: LindaWhit

                  (did you mean "pegale"? i'm nonetheless impressed by your spanish and the use of the accent!)

                  1. re: mariacarmen

                    Umm...confession time. Other than reading and pronouncing the menu items at Dali, Spanish hasn't been a usable language for me since high school. That was from Google Translate. I sowwy. :-)

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      please! like i said i was impressed at what you did say! and it was funny - "Tell her hands!" makes perfect sense!!

                      1. re: mariacarmen

                        It was *supposed* to say "Tell her hands off!" Stoopid Google Translate. ::::Veruca Salt foot stomp::::

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          i love it when you invoke Veruca Salt.

                          1. re: mariacarmen

                            The actress who played Veruca Salt wrote a book, you know. It was my first ever download on my Kindle - and it was before I even *had* my Kindle Fire! LOL I got it as one of the freebie offers - it's called "I Want it Now! A Memoir of Life on the Set of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory"

                            I think there's a bit of Veruca in ALL of us at times. ;-) (at least *I* remember that foot stomp very well! LOL)

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              she got a whole memoir out of that role? wow! work it, girl!

                              oh yeah, i had a mini-girl crush on her, and definitely saw her as a soulmate.

                4. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                  I guess half the class skipped out 'cause they knew there was a potluck, so there were no baloney sandwiches (or tamales) this time and all of the chili got eaten. Fortunately, we did save a bit to heat up for dinner tonight. I'm planning on making some quickie (ie. from a can) refried black beans with bacon and lime to fill out the meal. And rice. Maybe some crema (now that I know to buy "the good stuff"). Perhaps the last of the strawberry-vanilla sorbet for dessert.

                  1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                    That all sounds really delish, esp. the sorbet. Good on you for saving some chili for yourselves from the hungry hordes.

                5. Tonight's meal was inspired by a leftover from last night - some delicious fresh coconut juice. We discussed marinating some chicken with it then lamented how so often you lose all marinade flavours when you cook. Then we talked about the poor man's sous vide technique I read about on a thread here using zip lock bags and a lot of patience getting air out. We decided to try a cook chicken bagged with the juice and to mix that through a Thai green papaya salad.
                  The chicken was amazing. Such an incredible texture and the whole process was easier than I expected. I kept a jug of cold water by the pot and exchanged a ladle full of hot for cold whenever the temp started rising. The poor man's method is definately worth the effort for chicken which only takes an hour.
                  Unfortunately the Thai salad flavourings were a bad match for the chicken - far too strong and the coconut flavour was lost under fish sauce. Next time we try it we'll choose something milder to go with it.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Frizzle

                    Great idea Frizzle! Coconut juice poached chicken... will have to give that one a whirl. Did you use thighs/breasts? Boneless? Please elaborate!

                    1. re: gingershelley

                      Gingershelley I used just one skinless chicken breast. It was one of those monster-like not free range or organic ones as I picked it up last minute and couldn't get to my normal shop. I used probably one cup of coconut juice (didn't measure) and cooked it at about 61 - 62 degrees Celsius for just over an hour. I'm guessing the richer coconut cream you get in tins would work just as well as the fresh juice.

                  2. Upcoming.....egg & chips. Or, for those who may remember the film "Shirley Valentine", chips and egg.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Harters

                      Barnyard Special here, too - garlicky greens sauteed w/ pancetta and a couple poached eggs. Chips sound good though, Harters. I was thinking a huge slab of sourdough toast, but now I'm heading towards tubers in the potato patch of my mind.
                      Although I suppose I could have both......

                      1. re: Harters


                        I own "Shirley Valentine"!

                        Not many folks on this side of the pond have seen it unfortunately but I have shared it with my "gal pals". We have all had our "Hello wall!" moments, have we not?

                        I just checked and it is now available on Amazon for $90! I hope my copy doesn't wear out at those prices!

                        Such a great film! Makes me want chips and egg now too but I just can't get those chips right. I think it's the difference in potatoes from the UK to the US.

                        Proper Chips & vinegar---Yum!

                        1. re: Harters

                          Marci - keep the bread as well - then you can have a chip butty.

                          2D - herself is the chip frying expert. She says King Edward or Maris Piper are the best - I suspect these may not be available "over there" but she says what you want is a good floury one (I guess that means one that would also give you a good fluffy mash). And you know not to cut them too thin - they're chips, not fries.

                          1. re: Harters

                            Yep...familiar with both types of spuds from my days in Old Blighty. You are right, we don't have them over here. Our choice of spuds is pretty sad really. My dh would kill for a lovely new potato from Jersey with a bit of mint. Thanks for the tips!

                            1. re: Harters

                              Does the Missus blanch them first?

                              1. re: mamachef

                                No, she just sticks them in a pan of oil and lets them get on with it. Scary stuff!

                                The posh way (if you have an electric frier) is to double fry - first at a low heat to cook them through (a blanch in oil, I suppose), then a second fry at high temperature. Heston Blumenthal goes for triple cooked chips -

                                2D - tell your guy the Jersey Royals won't be long. I'll have a few on his behalf.

                            2. re: Harters

                              oh man, not a brit but i'm a lover of chips and eggs since childhood. my mom did it the non-posh way. and my newest love for them includes merguez sausage. to die for. and i've seen that movie several times. was a favorite of my mom's, too.

                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                Oh, yes, I want merguez. No, I mean, I really really want merguez with egg & chips. Havnt seen them round these parts for ages.