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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

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

                                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.

                            3. Stuffed peppers- hubby remembered some red glop in the freezer was the rice stuffing we like so this is an easy one. Already had 2 large orange bell peppers left from the big veggie shopping spree two weekends ago - they really are still perfect! Salad and miller's rolls on the side.

                              1. chicken thighs, roasted with green pepper, onions, carrots, potatoes, then brocolli with garlic and oil...a fresh baguette and a glass of chardonay.....

                                1. Tuesday night I was craving something Asian so I dug out Dunlops LofP and gave the Kung Pao chicken a try. Super quick and easy, we had it with peanuts and I used 1 fresh thai chile. It wasn't spicy at all, something the better half appreciated, but left me heaping on spoonfuls of Yank Sing's chile sauce. Over brown rice with steamed chinese broccoli, it left me very happy. I really need a wok though, as I got almost no char on my meat.
                                  We had a nice mixture of dim sum as a starter, and put the leftovers into the freezer for a rainy day. That stuff freezes beautifully, btw.
                                  Lemme see if I can post photos again...
                                  whoops. guess not....darnit.

                                  Last night was fish sandwiches and coleslaw at work. Hard to get back on your feet after that kind of meal, so I just ate the fish over the coleslaw with a green salad. The woman I work with makes the most amazing staff meals, I cannot not eat her food, it's that good.

                                  Tonight we have braised chicken thighs with carrots, turnips, peas and spinach. Some kind of starch to go with, maybe Goin's soubise, as I have onions that need using up.
                                  Warm chocolate fondant for dessert.

                                  1. It is pouring down rain and supposed to be this way well into next week. Thursdays for some reason seem to be soup nights which means warm tummies. Tonight will be some Chicken Gnocchi Soup. I knew the rain was coming so yesterday I shredded up the carrots, chopped the celery and diced the onions. Now I just need to poach and shred the chicken, cook the gnocchi we got from the fresh pasta deli counter and put it all together. I imagine we will have some kind of sandwich. Still have a little thin sliced london broil from the other day, or the always great grilled cheese (I think the ultimate grilled cheese sounds good - Cream cheese, shredded Mozzarella and grated cheddar along with some mayo, garlic powder and salt).

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: boyzoma

                                      It's coming down buckets on this side of town too, and you've inspired me to do something with the 5 cups of homemade chicken consomme that's been in the freezer. Don't know what yet.

                                      I've also taken the turkey out of the freezer, it's going to get roasted this weekend come hell or high water. Shrimp is on sale at Freddie's this week, and I had to make room in the freezer is going to be my excuse. :)

                                      1. re: RelishPDX

                                        Love it. I did turkey a couple of weeks ago. Got turkey stock in my freezer now! Looks like we have a great weekend for it. Stay dry!

                                      2. re: boyzoma

                                        Your soup sounds excellent--and so comforting! I never really thought about putting gnocchi in soup---always assumed they'd fall apart, but it's a good idea!

                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                          Actually they were really good. They didn't fall apart at all. I cooked per package directions in water and then drained and put into the soup right at the end which was already creamy. Worked perfectly and the soup was really yummy.

                                          1. re: boyzoma

                                            Actually had them the first time in Florence Italy early 80's...you might want to try other stuffed pasta lake tortollini in clear broth....be sure to cook them seperately first, about half wway, then finish them in your soup.

                                            1. re: PHREDDY

                                              Didn't think of tortollini in soup. Thanks for the suggestion! I'll have to try that!

                                      3. Is it Friday yet? One of those short/long weeks. Short in the sense that it's been so hectic it almost has gone by quickly.

                                        83degrees here today! Unfortunately I still have papers to grade so can't fully enjoy the weather except with my menu--oven brisket (I'm going to try this time, however, with one of my less favorable roast cuts) made into barbecue sandwiches, creamy roasted potato salad after all that potato salad talk, and strawberry shortcakes.

                                        1. Trying the Peruvian Roasted Chicken from the Cook's Illustrated cookbook tonight. It's only been in the oven for 20 minutes but the kitchen already smells amazing.

                                          Didn't have much luck with the spicy mayo though. Thy said to make it in a food processor but it didn't thicken at all. I then put it in a different container and blended it with my immersion blender. It thickened slightly but it isn't even close to what I'd call mayonnaise. Still it has excellent flavor so I'll drizzle it over the chicken and roasted potatoes I'm making to go with.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: Njchicaa

                                            Homemade mayonnaise is always a test of will for me. It's so temperamental!

                                            What's in the CI marinade (assuming it's marinated)?

                                            p.s. welcome to WFD!

                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                              DON'T GET ME STARTED ON MAYO/AIOLI!! Yes, welcome, NJchicaa! i'm curious how that chicken turned out. we usually get to-go peruvian chicken, because it's so good, but if i learn to make it at home ...

                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                This site has all of the information for the marinade: http://saltandserenity.files.wordpres...

                                                I loved the flavor of the chicken but the cooking instructions were a PITA and didn't really work for me. Next time I'll use the marinade recipe and then just roast the chicken like I normally would.

                                                1. re: Njchicaa

                                                  great, i'm definitely going to try, and I agree, i'd just roast it. thanks for the link.

                                            2. Pouring buckets all day here in SEA too, so going to make my solo dinner tonight some comfort food; some doctored bought bolognese with red wine and lots of mushrooms added, a nice mixed salad with my homemade blue cheese dressing, and a chunk of garlic bread. Simple, but delish:)

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                don't forget to pour some of that red into a glass too, gs! keeps your heart warm and healthy.

                                                1. re: rabaja

                                                  Exactly what I was going to say, rabaja!

                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                    LW and Rabaja.... thank you - there certainly was some red in a glass for me too. That was a tasty easy meal. Nice sometimes!

                                              2. Alone tonight. Roasting some grape tomatoes and zucchini and cauliflower chunks with garlic, olive oil, s&p, Italian seasoning, and a sprinkle of balsamic. Serving on some Chinese noodles I bought in Chinatown in SF when I was there last week. Get well soon, Mariacarmen!!

                                                1. A big bottle of cheap wine.....I had to euthanize my dear 15 year old cat, Clydene, this morning. She, however, enjoyed a beautiful breakfast of tuna on my balcony as I held her in my lap. So, as a true feline ChowHound, or wouldn't that be more of a ChowFeline, she went out with style & grace.

                                                  I bought her a rotisserie chicken last night, so I think I need to make a salad with the chicken for lunch tomorrow and then use it for dinner as well.

                                                  24 Replies
                                                  1. re: Barbara76137

                                                    So very sorry Barbara. I've been through that a couple times, it's just hellish.
                                                    Hope the wine soothes you. I'll drink a toast to you and Clydene tonight.

                                                    1. re: Barbara76137

                                                      I'm so sorry, Barbara. I'm sure she knows how much you loved her and that she was in peace. Please be good to yourself, too.

                                                      1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                        Thanks,weez . She is in a much better place. She really was a ChowFeline. She'd taste about anything I'd make, and always in the kitchen underfoot....I'll miss that.

                                                      2. re: Barbara76137

                                                        Thanks, LN. She is in a much better place. She really was a ChowFeline. She'd taste about anything I'd make, and always in the kitchen underfoot....I'll miss that.

                                                        1. re: Barbara76137

                                                          Barbara, I'm so sorry to hear about Clydene! I know the heartache you're going through; just know that she knows how loved she was...especially with the sumptious breakfast she enjoyed on your lap today. Many gentle {{{hugs}}} to you.

                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                            Thank you to everyone!! I nibbled on a bit of the chicken tonight and then instinctively offered it to Clydene.....this is gonna be tough.

                                                            1. re: Barbara76137

                                                              Oh, I know it is tough, Barbara. I lost my Scooter 2 years ago this July, and Jaspurr followed her 1 year ago this January. It took me awhile, but after I moved into my townhouse and I was ready, I've found two brothers who are hellions on paws! In fact, I came home tonight to the curtain rod holding the sheers in my bedroom bent about 3 feet down on one side (still attached to the wall hook things somehow). Alfie (a.k.a. Chubbsy-Ubsy) had to have jumped up on the sheers to climb them and his weight bent the curtain rod. :::Sigh::: I love 'em both, but holy frijoles. :-) There will come a time when you'll be ready for a new little love in your life. Meanwhile, just think of Clydene and how much you loved each other and smile at her silly ways.

                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                Thanks. Linda, for putting our feelings so beautifully. We remember hurting with you. We had to let our gorgeous 16-year-old Katu go four years ago and I still look for him every now and then. Mostly though, Barbara, the things rhat come to our minds now is not the sorrow of not having him, but the funny and sweet times. God bless and heal you.

                                                                (reading these notes to you, Barbara, through tears)

                                                          2. re: Barbara76137

                                                            Oh I'm so sorry to hear this, Barbara. I lost my 15-year old kitty two summers ago and know how hard it is. I'm sure she loved being with such a good ChowFeline mom. :)

                                                            1. re: Barbara76137

                                                              Aw I'm so sorry Barbara. It's always hard losing an animal. It's good that you got to spend a last morning together, though. I'm sure she appreciated the tuna and knew how much you loved her.

                                                              1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                So sorry to hear about your beloved cat...dang, everytime I hear about someone losing an animal, it makes me want to hug my 8 year old dog even more! I have to admire your courage and know it must have been hard to put Clydene down but rest in the fact that there is no more suffering. Be blessed!

                                                                1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                  So sorry to hear your sad news Barbara. How lovely to think of her eating tuna on your lap, she must have felt so loved. It is so awfully hard when you lose them but try to think of all the great memories you have, it does help a bit. Take good care of yourself!

                                                                  1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                    Sorry to hear of your loss, I've been down that road quite a bit myself, and am dreading the day when my family loses the current "old man of the house"-George a 24 year old(this May) Siamese mix cat! He rules the house with an iron paw. He didn't like the way the newest dog(a 50 pound Pit Bull) was sniffing him, so he turned around and smacked him in the face sending the dog running for cover! God, we'll miss him when he goes!

                                                                    1. re: oldfashionedcook

                                                                      WOW - he's 24 years old? Good for George! And I love the visual of him smacking the dog. :-D

                                                                    2. re: Barbara76137

                                                                      I am so, so sorry to hear about your baby kitty. My puppy is going on 15 so I know how you must be feeling. They will be our babies no matter how old they are.

                                                                      She was so lucky to have you give her a great breakfast. And obviously had a chow palate. They are our QA assistants, right? My best to you and hope you can get through a night's sleep. I'll raise a glass for Clydene tonight.

                                                                      1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                        Sorry to hear about your cat Clydene. It's so sad to lose a companion. Your goodbye breakfast with her sounds very lovely and serene.

                                                                        1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                          So sorry, Barbara76137. Hope it helps a bit to know Clydenewent out feeling so well-nourished, in every way.
                                                                          It's tough though. We lost the last of our cats recently, and I still can't bring myself to put his bowls away--though all they ever held was Purina cat chow: he was not the ChowFeline your Clydene was--no interest in tuna, chicken, or even catnip.

                                                                          1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                            So sorry for the end of Clydene, Barbara! We all life a glass with you to her long and happy life, and many good memories for you.

                                                                            1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                              So sorry to hear about your sweet Clydene, Barbara. It is so hard to let them go, and even harder to see them suffer. Sound like she had quite the life living with you, which is what we all hope for.
                                                                              May your pain be eased by all of the happy memories.

                                                                              1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                Oh i'm so very sorry Barbara. it's so hard to lose them. i lost two in 2010 - very old ladies both, as well, but much loved and still very missed. nurture yourself now, and as Linda says, you'll find a new place in your heart for a furry loved one again.

                                                                                1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                  Everyone else has said it better than I could, but I wanted to tell you how sorry I am for you. You seem to be a very kind and nurturing sort, and I'm sure that your kitty had a wonderful life with you.
                                                                                  *hugs*

                                                                                  1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                    Barbara may you be comforted by the happy memories and thoughts of mischievous moments that Clydene provided. I can certainly empathize. In July 2010 we lost our 21-year old feisty feline and needless to say he'd left an indelible mark on our lives.

                                                                                    I'll also add, almost a year to the day later, didn't an almost identical kitty show up on our porch .... skinny, scarred and such sad looking eyes. Yes, he came in, his scars healed and yes, he's still here stirring up his own brand of trouble at every turn.

                                                                                    Tonight we're dining on a sausage pasta and be assured we'll be raising our glasses w a toast to the lovely Clydene.

                                                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                      Thank you so much for all of your kind words. Haven't had much of an appetite but that's to be expected. I'm actually doing better than I thought, probably because I had been preparing for this.

                                                                                      I hope to read all of your WFD posts and that will perk up my appetite!

                                                                                      1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                        :)..... strength, and here is to a renewed appetite!

                                                                                  2. While looking for things to drop into an easy Asian soup for tonight, I discovered I had a 1/2-lb. bag of snow peas in one crisper drawer, plus another 1/2-lb. bag of snow peas in the other crisper drawer. Oooops. (Yeah, I'm a mess sometimes!)

                                                                                    So soup went off the menu (can do that for lunch tomorrow), and I defrosted a small chicken breast to make a Chicken Chow Mein of sorts, by cooking up chicken with snow peas, some shredded bamboo shoots, and a few baby bok choy to no particular recipe, but using sauce combinations I've liked from recent memory, then served it over pan-fried noodles. Even got it all on the table before 7pm. Totally delightful.

                                                                                    Bonus: The snow peas kerfluffle was a catalyst to go through the rest of the fridge and pantry to see what might be questionable prior to doing some shopping tomorrow. The refried beans from perhaps three weeks ago was starting to look funny and the thought struck me, why can't I freeze refried beans so I have them on hand when I want them, rather than wasting half a can all of the time? I'm going to start doing that, so the situation turned out all towards the good.

                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                      Well I think my 'throw it together' sauce really came out well. Thought I'd jot it down here to share and in case I ever lose it. :) It's not very sweet, but just a hint of sweetness comes through from the Lingham's sauce and the plum sauce. The sour notes are just about in the right ratio from the vinegar, and the level of heat can always be adjusted to taste. It wasn't extremely hot, just had a little bite. I think it's a good basis to work with, tweaking it a bit in the future, as nothing was overpowering. I'm sure this would be great with shrimp or scallops, but it's too light for pork or beef.

                                                                                      I hadn't eaten all day other than having some juice, tea, and a small bowl of fruit, so I ate the entire plate of this by myself!

                                                                                      I'm sure this dish would work well with a varied assortment of vegetables, the recipe below simply documents what I had on hand to make this tonight.

                                                                                      If you try it, I hope you enjoy it. In honor of the kindness, inspiration and support I've received here in my short tenure on Chow, as a tribute to you all, I hereby dub this dish:

                                                                                      "Home Cooking Asian Chicken"

                                                                                      Ingredients:
                                                                                      1/4 tsp baking soda
                                                                                      8 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
                                                                                      6 oz. snow peas, topped and tailed, strings removed
                                                                                      6 micro bok choy, halved (aka 'choy mui')
                                                                                      1/3 of a small can (8 oz. net) bamboo shoots (shredded strip style)
                                                                                      6 button mushrooms, sliced
                                                                                      2.5 oz. dry Chinese noodles for chow mein (thin wheat noodles)
                                                                                      Canola oil, about 4 TBSP

                                                                                      Marinade:
                                                                                      1/2 tsp Chinese rice wine
                                                                                      1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
                                                                                      1 TBSP oyster sauce
                                                                                      1/2 TBSP light soy sauce
                                                                                      1 tsp cornstarch

                                                                                      Sauce:
                                                                                      2 TBSP water (or light chicken stock)
                                                                                      1/2 TBSP plum sauce (Pantai brand from Thailand)
                                                                                      1 TBSP Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
                                                                                      1 TBSP Chinese black vinegar
                                                                                      1 TBSP Lingham's hot sauce with ginger
                                                                                      6 shakes of Frank's red hot sauce
                                                                                      1 tsp light soy sauce
                                                                                      Freshly ground black pepper

                                                                                      Sliced green onion for garnish

                                                                                      Directions:

                                                                                      Mix the chicken breast slices with the baking soda and set aside for 15 minutes. Then place the chicken in a strainer and wash off the baking soda, lightly patting it dry.

                                                                                      In a small bowl, combine the chicken with the marinade of rice wine, sesame oil, oyster sauce, soy sauce and cornstarch. Mix together well, cover, and set aside in the refrigerator.

                                                                                      In another small bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients, and set aside.

                                                                                      Bring a pot of salted water to the boil, at least 3 qts. Plunge the noodles into the pot, turn off the heat, and cook no longer than 3 minutes. Strain into small colander. Heat 2 TBSP of oil into a wok or large skillet set over high heat, and pan-fry noodles until GB&C (golden brown and crispy), adding more oil if necessary. When done, set noodles aside on serving plate and keep warm (preferably in a 150° oven, uncovered, so the noodles don't lose their crispiness).

                                                                                      Add a TBSP or so of oil to the wok/skillet and quickly sauté the chicken pieces, browning on both sides, about 2-3 minutes total. Remove the chicken to a clean bowl, and cover to keep warm. Add another TBSP or so of oil to the pan and add the mushroom slices, allowing them to get a little brown color to them, then add the snow peas, bok choy and bamboo shoots, sautéeing until snow peas begin to wilt. Add the reserved sauce, and stir briskly to coat all the vegetables. Add a few grinds of black pepper. After a minute add the reserved chicken and any collected jus back to the pan. Stir to coat the chicken with sauce and to reheat, about one minute, then plate over reserved noodles.

                                                                                      Garnish with green onion if desired, serve, and dig in. Bon appetit!

                                                                                      1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                        Thanks! It will be WFD soon. I need chapter and verse instructions for Chinese cooking so this is perfect for us.

                                                                                        1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                          The sauce is especially interesting. I'll have to keep this on the radar for a dinner sometime soon as well.

                                                                                          1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                            Sounds good, Relish. My mom used to make something vaguely similar (pretty sure she didn't cook w/rice wine, sesame oil, black vinegar, or Frank's hot sauce though) that we loved, but I strongly suspect yours is even better.

                                                                                            1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                              I'm making a trimmed down version using some pork and a stir fry veg mix from WF- thanks for going to the trouble to type this recipe! I love the concept- I'll report back in a few days as this is my last home cooking until after Easter!

                                                                                          2. Cobb salad with additions - iceberg and romaine lettuces, chopped egg & bacon, diced turkey and sliced pan seared chicken breast, avocado, tiny grape tomatoes. Ranch dressing and wheat thins. Sliced mixed fresh fruit (strawberries, mango, pineapple, oranges) for dessert if I get the hankering later.

                                                                                            1. Rain, and rain, and mud, and cold. No plans tonight so had ground sirloin burgers with sautéed mushrooms and onions, topped with gorgonzola and beautiful, thick, local, pepper bacon. Salad of greens and round things: baby bell peppers, cukes, and radishes. Somehow, it was just exactly right.

                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                Sounds perfect. I love your salad description - round things. Brilliant.
                                                                                                You mention mud, do you live in the countryside?

                                                                                                1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                  Thanks Frizzle!
                                                                                                  I live in a town that has a wonderful commitment to green space. So while I'm in a regular house by house neighborhood, my home backs up on a beautiful trail system.

                                                                                                2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                  boiguhs sounds yum.

                                                                                                  love "round things" - you way-with-words person, you...

                                                                                                3. A family dish with syrian origins was on the menu tonight, making the most of wonderful Aubergine available at present. It's really a mezze but for a night solo dining it's perfect as a meal. I don't have a name for it other than Aubergine and yoghurt.
                                                                                                  You slice the Aubergine quite thinly - less than half a cm and fry the slices in olive oil until they are good and golden brown. You add the fried slices to yoghurt that has been seasoned with salt, pepper and raw crushed garlic and stir it all up. To serve you tear some pita in half or quarters (depending on the size of the bread) and spoon the yoghurt Aubergine mix in. It's an eat with your hands type of dish and can be a bit messy.

                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                    I think you're dead on with the name since it sounds like you made the dish batinjan bil laban (aubergine with yogurt). If you cut the eggplant thickly before frying, you are very close to making the wonderful entree known as Fatteh al-Batinjan (aka Fattet al-Makdous). Usually the pita bread is also fried (or at least hardened), so you have a contrast of richly soft aubergine, clouds of whipped yogurt and crisp shards of pita (fatteh means crumbs or crumbled).

                                                                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                      Thank you! I've always wondered if this dish was known elsewhere or just an invention of my father's family. I never see it on any menus. It's probably my favourite meal and was always my birthday dinner request as a child.

                                                                                                      For the fatteh do you use tahini and lemon in the yoghurt mix? Is there a layer of chickpeas at all? What order do you put the ingredients in the serving dish? Sorry, lots of questions, I love fatteh but have only had it with just chickpeas, bread and yoghurt as a vegetarian version or with mutton or chicken. The eggplant version sounds divine.

                                                                                                      1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                        Fatteh is really a way to use up old ingredients so if I have extra chickpeas, I'll toss them into the dish. You can also use tahini in the yogurt sauce, but a little goes a long way and I would rather drizzle it on top so that I can have some bites with tahini, some without. Personally I like fatteh to be crunchy, so I'll put the meat or vegetable at the bottom, top with yogurt, sprinkle with chickpeas, drizzle with brown butter and finish with the pita chips and pine nuts or almonds.

                                                                                                    2. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                      ohmygoodness, that sounds so deliciously simple. do you season the aubergine with anything other than salt and pepper? they're not dredged in flour, right? i'll have to try this when I get some good yogurt.

                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                        Thanks Christina. I only season the yoghurt, the Aubergine go into the pan with nothing -although I might try seasoning them next time to see if there is a difference. I'm not sure a flour dredge would add much to the dish do I would skip this.
                                                                                                        I forgot to mention, I eat this as soon as it's finished but it's even better cold once the flavours have had a chance to mingle. The only thing I would suggest is not to have it on a work night, the garlic can be a bit anti-social.

                                                                                                      2. Two nights ago I made a simple tuna casserole with Dreamfields pasta. It was just the comforting thing after a day of feeling under the weather.

                                                                                                        Last night was a celebratory "welcome home" dinner, so I sliced and reheated a brisket I'd braised the night before according to Joan Nathan's recipe. I stuck to the recipe except for adding a bit of shallot and extra garlic to the braising liquid, along with a tablespoon each of hoisin sauce and ligonberry jam. I also pureed the solids to thicken the sauce and served it along with the meat. On the side, the carrots I braised with the meat and tossed with butter and parsley, and some roasted asparagus with walnut oil (which was surprisingly mild).

                                                                                                        I'd intended to make a no-knead boule on the side, but it was taking forever to rise and we were hungry. So that's WFD tonight, along with either leftover brisket or some leftover roast chicken that I'll turn into avgolemono, depending on what we feel like.

                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                          How is the combination of hoisin and lingonberry? I have both in the fridge and would not mind giving it a try on meatballs or a sandwich.

                                                                                                          1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                            I really liked it. Perfect balance of sweet and savory. Try it!

                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                              The combination of hoisin and lingonberry got jumbled in my head somehow so when I went to dress my watercress salad for dinner, I mixed mustard and hoisin for my vinaigrette instead. Realizing my mistake I tried to recreate a fruit flavor by adding sweet chili sauce and then topping my dressed watercress with a leftover pan roasted duck breast. It turned out rather well, but I can't help but feel that hoisin and lingonberry would've been superlative. There's always next time. To round out the meal, I had stir fried bell peppers with ginger, garlic and sesame.

                                                                                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                I thought about adding some lingonberry to my hoisin-sauced stir fry tonight, but held off. Too bad, it probably would have been even better (the hoisin was a little one-note salty).

                                                                                                                When I was young, my parents used to make a killer Americanized stir fry that involved blackberry jam and soy sauce. Sounds gross, but we loved it at the time. I'm guessing it was a sub. for plum sauce.

                                                                                                          2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                            Asparagus and walnut oil sounds lovely - must try it.

                                                                                                          3. A fish night (and we need to do more of those): grilled salmon w/ginger-lemon-chive butter, fat "Purple Haze" asparagus (had never seen these here before) roasted over high heat, carrots pan-roasted w/honey, butter, and rosemary (Batali recipe), sauteed spinach.

                                                                                                             
                                                                                                             
                                                                                                             
                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                love those purple asparagus! second LW's nom, nom!

                                                                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                  I'm in on that nom, nom, nom too! Looks and sounds great. Nice photos too.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                      This is my favorite prep; I usually find carrots pretty boring. All you do is put your carrots (the thinner the better) w/salt and pepper to taste (I like coarse sea salt, but any will do, of course) in a pan w/a little olive oil over low heat and cook, turning occasionally, until they're tender and starting to turn golden brown, 15-29 minutes. Toward the end of the cooking, add a couple of rosemary sprigs and some butter and honey (for eight carrots, I use about 1 1/2 tsp each), toss to coat and cook a minute or two longer. That's it.
                                                                                                                      Also good like this w/thyme.

                                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                        Thank you, I'm adding it to my carrot recipes :)

                                                                                                                        1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                          That should say 15-20 minutes, Frizzle--I've got to pay more attention to what I'm typing.

                                                                                                                    2. Making Harira (nat'l soup of Morocco) for the first time. I doubled the recipe- mistake - pot is full and there are more ingredients to go - this is making alot! Browned lamb and onions, added spice, added half water and half chick broth (4 litres) and when it boiled I threw in the canned chick peas and lentils. Recipe calls for 3 cups of tomato paste- will hold back 1 cup until later. Recipe also says to chop and add tomatoes but THERE ARE NO TOMATOES LISTED (arrggg) in the ingredients. Spices are lovely but no heat and no garlic. hmmm.
                                                                                                                      Going to let this sit and add lemon, parsley, s+p and pasta (ditalini or orzo depending how thick it is). I am on the fence about adding a flour slurry. What I am not adding because we do not like them: chopped cilantro and finely ground caraway seeds.

                                                                                                                      I'm also experimenting with artichoke crostini from Smitten Kitchen if I remember to buy olives.
                                                                                                                      http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/04/art...

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                        The artichoke spread is an absolute winner - no dairy no wheat - everyone could eat it and did they ever! I loved it- surprising what a few ingredients in a mini food chopper can do..

                                                                                                                        1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                          I've bookmarked that! Thanks. The only ingredient I'm lacking are the capers (and I think it would be fine without?). This would be lovely with pasta.

                                                                                                                      2. So the college kid asked if she could come home for dinner tonight. That means vegetarian so I am making a sweet potato and goat cheese galette and a squash and loads of veggies casserole. The latter might be from here and the former from Fine Cooking. First time for both recipes. I asked her what she wanted and she said lots of veggies, so that is what she is getting! I might make a composed salad on the side for even more veg. Plenty of leftovers for her freezer I should think.

                                                                                                                        She's got a full load plus works 30 hours a week so I think she should be rewarded with some good chow.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                          So all of the veggie stuff was pretty tasty. Glad I only added a small amount of the habanero cheddar to the veggie casserole. It packs a wallop!

                                                                                                                          The sweet potato galette was excellent. Next time I willl double the recipe. Simple too.

                                                                                                                          I also made a vegan rice, sweet potato, collard greens, black-eyed peas casserole for her to take home. She worked two jobs: 45 hours this week and had a full college course load. Not sure how she is doing it but I admire her determination.

                                                                                                                        2. Why are Fridays always so crazy at work? Grrr.... I had a lovely salad at work for lunch - a coworker has joined a Spring CSA, and is traveling today and all next week, so I get to share in her bounty with another coworker. We had a regular spring mix, a spicy mix (a blend of red Russian kale, mizuna, tatsoi, mustard greens, and komatsuna - not that I'd know what any of that is! LOL), some arugula, some baby bok choy leaves, baby tatsoi. (She also got potatoes, radishes, and brussels sprouts, but those didn't go into the salad, obviously!) I brought in some cooked chicken, grated carrots, red bell pepper, goat cheese, croutons, and a homemade honey-ginger vinaigrette (using that honey-ginger white balsamic vinegar I bought over the weekend). I think my CFO liked it all - he went back 3 times. LOL

                                                                                                                          So while I'm not overly hungry, I will be later. So I'll cook up a couple of the lobster cakes from BJ's in my freezer. I'll pan-sauté them this time, as the oven method doesn't get the outside crispy enough. Some of my coworker's potatoes will be oven-roasted, tossed with olive oil, s/p, garlic powder and paprika, and I have either broccoli or asparagus to use up - I'm thinking broccoli. I'll make a quickie remoulade for the lobster cakes of mayo, cocktail sauce, paprika, and Aleppo pepper.

                                                                                                                          And then hope for a win in the company MegaBillions pool where we have 85 chances to win tonight (as well as my additional personal 13). :-)

                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                            komatsuna was a new one on me!

                                                                                                                            lobster cakes! what is this BJs you speak of? love your remoulade...

                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                              BJ's Wholesale Club - similar to Costco and Sam's. And the remoulade was great - I just need to learn to make a LOT less when I make the lobster cakes. :-)

                                                                                                                          2. mamachef/Mark Bittman chicken again - this time the BF made it as i worked a bit late - and he did a great job of it. When i got home it was resting, and i threw together a greek-like salad of red leaf lettuce, cukes, radishes, shallots, toms, dill weed, goat cheese feta, with a lemon vinaigrette and a little bit of the pan drippings from the super kkkrispy chicken. but d'oh! no greek olives! chicken went over the salad. on the side were warmed heavily spiced pita-like things that turned out not to be pockets - just thick puffy rounds. i was drawn to them because they are called Zatar bread, but they had absolutely no flavor at all. how do you take the flavor out of zatar?? no matter, they were fine foil for the chicken, salad and leftover sweet potato skordalia. i just lurrrrrve that chicken.

                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                            14 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                              That chicken looks heavenly!
                                                                                                                              I don't know how you take the flavor out of zatar, mc. but I think you might know someone who would take it off your hands ; )

                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                if you're speaking of the boy, he was the first to speak up about not liking it! but, of course, you know it's been munched on since dinner by himself with some jack cheese and dips into the skordalia. i'm thinking of schmearing butter on it after a cocktail or two later on...

                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                  I was making a lame joke about your dear oldster (b/c you always crack me up when you talk about his aversion to "flavor").

                                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                    ahahahah! oh duh, NCW, i'm the lame one! yes, he probably would have loved it!

                                                                                                                                    speaking of, i cooked up two nice bland dishes for him - leftover penne and ground beef with sundried tomatoes and asparagus. just added milk and parm and cooked it down until the pasta's almost disintegrated, and then took some old rice and chicken and made it into a buttery bland fried rice....

                                                                                                                                    i've scarfed on fancy pastries and buttered popcorn all day and i'm feeling quite bilious.... not sure what dinner will be....

                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                      ahh, ooh (ouch!) to bilious days. Sad - but they happen, but better than GOUT!

                                                                                                                                      Love your 'bland dishes'; overcooked pasta with milk, and old rice and chicken? Just thro in a can of soup, and your there:)

                                                                                                                              2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                Beautiful meal, love the colors. The bread looks like it has quite a bit of seasoning on it, very odd that they didn't have flavor. Ha! Maybe Zatar is just a brand name!

                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                  it was the oddest thing. the texture was "i'm covered in herbs, no really, i am!" but the taste? nada.

                                                                                                                                2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                  That looks wonderful. I agree on the bread comments. How on earth do you make that much spice tasteless?!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                    The za'atar bread is also called manakeesh, though I more often hear people calling them just za'atar. For some reason they almost always seem to be flavorless even though they are topped with what looks like a fistful of herbs. Usually they sit out for hours at the baker and taste stale by the time I get to them so I only buy manakeesh when I see them being made at street fairs and the like. When you see a manoushe being grilled up and sprinkled with spices, you know you're in for something good.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                        Fresh manakeesh is delicious. I've never had it from a traditional oven but have had some made for me on a normal household oven. The lady did a combination of stovetop pan cooking and oven baking. I wish I paid more attention at the time. She served them hot with zaatar and sliced tomatoes and fresh mint. I got so excited reminiscing that I did my lazy version of it for breakfast this morning. You make a slurry with zaatar and olive oil, spread that on a pita and pot it under the grill (broiler?) until the oil is bubbling nicely. Throw on your tomato and mint fold in half and eat. Best eaten with a cup of black tea.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                            I think manakeesh is supposed to be made stovetop on a sajj, which looks like an upside down wok. I've not tried turning my wok upside down to make it, but I've certainly made my own lazy version on a pita before. The za'atar doesn't stick as well, but what does remain is delicious.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                              I think JM, sometimes, if the implement is not the 'de regeur", it still may suffice to make the flavor delivery vehicle. We CH'rs are all about improvising, non?

                                                                                                                                      2. I was going to do something jazzy with the pair of half-pound t-bone pork chops I defrosted for tonight, but hunger pangs got to me while at the store, and I ditched flash for speed, or so I thought. That was about the time I was hankering for a stuffed baked spud while in the frozen foods aisle.

                                                                                                                                        So while the potato baked, I made a salad to chew on of lettuce, marinated artichoke hearts, tomato and sliced carrot with a balsamic dressing. When it was ready, I stuffed the potato with butter like I could afford the calories, because unfortunately I can, cream, s&p, green onion, sausage meat and shredded cheddar cheese, topped with more butter, then baked it a bit longer while I chewed on the rest of the salad. I'm sure bacon would have been better, but I wasn't gonna bother the guy at the butcher block for two strips.

                                                                                                                                        Still undecided about what to do with these gorgeous pork chops, I checked the 'net. Smothered? Nah. Buttermilk with pork chops frightens me. Clicked on a few more. Nah. Then it happened. Please, oh lord, forgive me, for I have sinned. I clicked on a Rachael Ray recipe. Arrrgh!

                                                                                                                                        Well, it actually looked pretty good, Pork Chops with Dijon Glaze. So I risked being sent to the desert for however many nights they send you to the desert for nowadays for clicking on a Rachael Ray recipe, and I jotted it down and began to cook. No fresh tarragon, but I had dried, so no problem. Rachael's food police wasn't standing there! At least I wasn't creating a dreaded "sammy", now was I?

                                                                                                                                        Providence must have been at work, as when I was almost near the end of the recipe, I popped open the Grey Poupon, and there was *just* enough mustard in there to complete the dish. Whew. I was afraid I'd have to get out the French's for a moment there.

                                                                                                                                        Verdict: Actually dang good chops, cooked just right—the loin side was juicy and very tender with generous pieces of tenderloin on the other side. I'd say these were closer to a porterhouse cut. The glaze was very good and tasted much better than it looked or smelled as it was coming along. My glaze wasn't yellow like in the photo, but I would make this again with a tweak or two. Spuds were great! They held up well in the oven while I hemmed and hawwed over what to do with the pork. The salad was, well, salad. Crunchy. The brussels sprouts? Yeah, well, I forgot to make those. Started cooking: 7:15pm. Sat down to eat: nearly 10:00pm. WTH?

                                                                                                                                        Recipe if you dare: http://www.rachaelray.com/recipe.php?...

                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                          I love your renditions of food. Sounds good! I'd have dinner at your house!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                            Thanks! Perhaps we could do a Portlandia night for Chowhounders sometime. :)

                                                                                                                                            BTW, my nearby Grocery Outlet just got in a stock of more stuff from Miller's. Both polish sausage and bratwurst, but no more colossal dogs yet. I'm thinking of trying the brats, since the polish have an odd orange color to them. $5.99 for 30 oz. again.

                                                                                                                                            NCW: Hehe, I'm late again tonight too! Slept almost all afternoon and evening and I doubt if I'll eat tonight before midnight.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                              OK, I am taking the train down for a Portlandia marathon with you all, with Miller's sausages in good buns with a condiment bar, ( I am having a Polish AND a Bratwurst!). On tap some local micro's and fine Willamette valley vino.

                                                                                                                                              And I will plan a next-day field trip to voodoo donuts for the bacon-and-maple, and then to Meadow's for salt's and stuff, and to ApizzaSholl's....

                                                                                                                                          2. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                            Sounds fabulous, Relish. And we are partners in crime in the late dinner department. It's 7:45, and I've yet to get started.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                              Another fabulous-sounding meal from the Relish kitchen!

                                                                                                                                            2. We're having a bit of a fridge use-up.

                                                                                                                                              Main course is going to be some braised beef - we use the steak-like slices of beef that, in the UK, we call "braising steak" (don't ask me to get any more technical than that - that's what it's called). There'll be spuds of some sort - and carrot & swede mashed together.

                                                                                                                                              As a starter, there's supermarket haddock & leek fishcakes. They'll need no more than a blob of tartare sauce.

                                                                                                                                              And herself found an apple crumble hiding in the freezer. That should help see off the cream that's lurking in the fridge.

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                I know braising steak well from my MIL. She used to do a simple braise with lovely brown mushrooms. It was simple but delish! She was an excellent cook and a wonderful woman. I was very lucky to have a great MIL. I miss her.

                                                                                                                                                I am guessing that it is called round steak here but not 100% positive on that. I should ask an English butcher where it comes from on the animal next time I am over for a visit.

                                                                                                                                              2. Beans and sausages here tonight. The sausages were a bit disappointing and give me yet another reason to dislike my local butcher or 'providores' as he like's to be known as all style and no substance. Pork with porcini apparently. Zero hint for me of any porcini flavour. The beans were from a Silvena Rowe cookbook. White beans with caramelised fennel, parsley with a yoghurt & tahini sauce. I used canellini and cheated with canned beans. The flavour was nice (despite forgetting to add sumac) and as we eat a lot of beans I found the flavour a welcome break from the Italian or Spanish style we normally do.

                                                                                                                                                14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                  How do you find Rowe's food, generally?

                                                                                                                                                  When I've seen recipes in magazines, they've always struck me as often not really coming together. I know she was, until recently, executive chef for the Baltic Group - I ate at their flagship Baltic Restaurant some weeks back and was not overwhlemed by the food. (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/835442 )

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                    Harters, I giggled at your geography confusion in your review as I had the same confusion when I picked her cookbook out of the bargain bin. It's called Orient Express. For some reason I thought it was going to be Asian recipes.
                                                                                                                                                    I'ved cooked four recipes so far. An absolute disaster was the zucchini falafel. The fennel Cous Cous and the fennel beans we had last night were both good and helps use up some of the dirt cheap fennel we get here. The stand out so far has been a simple salad of grated carrot with yoghurt, cummin and raisins. She adds a spoonful of mayo which I think is pointless to the flavour. It's a perfect salad to have with BBQ lamb skewers.
                                                                                                                                                    So, until I cook a few more recipes from it I'm on the fence. It's a handy book for me as the ingredients she focuses on - sumac, zaatar, cummin, cinnamon are always in my pantry. The combinations are ok, a bit of a riff on traditional dishes. For $10 it was an ok buy. I wouldn't pay more than $30 for it.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                    those beans sound heavenly - could you paraphrase the recipe, if it's not too much trouble?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                      Slice and caramelise a bulb of fennel and an onion, add some lemon zest when done. Add in your rinsed beans (she recommended haricot). Add 1/2 tsp sumac and a bunch of chopped parsley. Season. Dressing is tahini, crushed garlic and lemon juice with water to thin it. I can't remember the amount of tahini as we were running low and used some yoghurt to bulk the dressing out. Just mix the dressing ingredients together and tweak until the flavour and consistency feels right.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                        Those beans sound heavenly, Frizzle.
                                                                                                                                                        I have a Rowe cookbook; it's lovely looking, but I've never cooked from it. I'll have to give it another look.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                            I made the caramelized fennel white beans tonight, after our dinner, for tomorrow. not being able to find the recipe online, but following your instructions, I am not sure if they are supposed to be served cold or warm, but since you used the word "dressing" i'm going with cold. i used dried canellini beans - cooked in water and chicken broth (they'd soaked all night, of course). i had all the ingredients you listed, except no yogurt, but i had plenty of tahini (i LOVE the dressing), and added more sumac because it looks so pretty. i can't wait to see what it tastes like tomorrow when the flavors have melded. Thanks again, frizzle!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                              The recipe is for warm - sorry for unclear instructions. I'm sure you are right though, a day of resting will make the flavours even better. Let me know how you find it cold as I might try it as well next time.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                Linda W. kindly directed me here - no problem. i had them for lunch today, room temp, and they were delicious. they seem so healthy too, light but substantial. great dish - i can see them going over well at a bbq or a picnic. thanks! going to try them warmed up tonight.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                          Oh my goodness Frizzle, your beans had my mouth watering! I'm sorry your sausages were disappointing. We "divorced" a local butcher who was the source of several disappointing meals but when the New Year's Day prime rib roast was as tough as old shoe leather....we knew our relationship was over.

                                                                                                                                                          We must have been on the same wave length in planning our meals as we're having beans & sausages tonight as well. In our case, I'm making a pasta with cannellini beans, sweet Italian sausage & spinach. It's a recipe from Todd English's Olives Table Cookbook. We'll keep our fingers crossed as it's the first time I'm cooking from this book!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                            My "standard" sausage & bean offering is from Nigel Slater's "30 Minute Cook" (as amended by whatever's in the cupboards. You brown the sausages in a pan and then put them into a casserole. In goes a couple of tins of beans (I usually use butter beans and whatever else next comes to hand), a jar of passata, couple of teaspoons of harissa, couple of tablespoons grain mustard, teaspoon of English mustard, and a couple of halved tomatoes. Goes in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes or so till everything bubbling hot. It's fine as it is as a complete dish - even better with some crusty bread to dunk in the spicy tomato sauce.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                              ooooh, Harters that sounds outstanding. I adore harissa and can just imagine how lovely this combination would be. I MUST try this. Thank-you so much for sharing.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                              I was just paging through my copy of that a few weeks ago. I've had it for years, but haven't cooked from it either. I'd be interested in hearing if you think the recipe holds up.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                The recipe definitely held up oadl. I'd highly recommend it. I'll post more info tomorow but it was a hit w everyone tonight.

                                                                                                                                                          2. Will be digging in the garden this afternoon (if we don't get the 80% rain forecasted!) so while out, I may as well light up the grill and throw on some burgers & sausages (I have some beef & jalapeno and spicy Italian). I have a ton of lettuces and other veggies for a salad so that will be the side. I may also parboil some red potatoes then slice, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of jerk seasoning and grill those as well.

                                                                                                                                                            And why not just throw some chicken on for tomorrow's dinner also?

                                                                                                                                                            1. grilled cheesy polenta with sausage, onion, mushroom,red pepper. Mesculin orange salad, chocolate pecan tarts.

                                                                                                                                                              1. Well, we do live in the NW and are on course for the wettest March EVER. And I think we'll make it because it has been pouring outside so far ALL morning. DH had to work for a few hours today but will stop at the stupidmarket on the way home (after a little stop at Penzey's). I found an app that I can make up a grocery list on my laptop and he gets it on his phone. So his shopping list will be up to date by the time he gets there.

                                                                                                                                                                I found a round steak in the freezer, so tonight the menu is going to be Swiss Steak with yummy onions, green and red peppers and lots of "tomato gravy". To go along with is mashed potatoes and honey glazed baby carrots. For dessert will be a chocolate/vanilla mousse cake DH found at Costco the other day! Oh, and there will be a nice red wine with dinner!

                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                  Perfect, Boyzoma. For me, the steak is the "gravy". It's all about the tomato gravy and mashed potatoes. Sounds like bites (large ones) of heaven. Of course I won't turn my nose up at the steak.

                                                                                                                                                                  We're having potatoes, summer squash from last year and onions, cut in fairly good-sized chunks and cooked slowly in a bit of bacon grease (since I'm out of bacon). Accompanied by pork chops and green beans simmered with chicken broth and minced dried onion.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MaryContrary

                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, that sounds yummy too! And you're right it is all about the gravy and taters. Gotta love it!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MaryContrary

                                                                                                                                                                      I love that your pork chops are "accompanying your summer squash and taters.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                      Oooh, Swiss Steak. I've not had that in eons. That's going onto my list of menus for April for sure. Almost anything that goes well with glazed carrots is a-okay in my kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                                                        I should have taken a picture but I forgot (too into the moment). It was sooo good. Had not had it in so long. Sauteed onions until caramelized, added red and green diced peppers, then a can of diced tomatoes that also had "peppers and garlic". Holly cow, Batman! And the glazed carrots - home run (now have to put honey on my shopping list!).

                                                                                                                                                                    3. Currently simmering a pot of lamb and barley soup in the Pakistani manner. Well, the soup pot is simmering, I'm currently leaning out my window for air since the spice mixture vaporized in the hot oil, effectively pepper spraying everyone in the kitchen. Still the apartment is filled with the lovely smell of warm spices bubbling away.

                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                        LOL! I was laughing at the visual of you leaning out the window to avoid the pepper spraying. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                          It was pretty bad. My roommate (who does not like spicy foods or the smell of Indo-Pak food) had to leave the apartment after a coughing fit. But it was not as bad as the Great Ghost Pepper Disaster of 2011 when I tried pickling ghost peppers in vinegar and inadvertently created an airborne weapon that flushed every living creature out of the house. As for the stew, I followed the directions on the back of the Shan box, but it didn't taste like the haleem I grew up with, so I will have to call home and ask for some specifics to get the homemade flavor that is so key to a good hearty stew unless I am lucky enough to get some advice from Fatima Aunty.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                            You had the Great Ghost Pepper Disaster of 2011, and I had the Thanksgiving Knife Incident of 2011. It was a very good year. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                              LOVE the Great Ghost Pepper Disaster - Vinegar is a powerful carrier! Thanks for sharing!

                                                                                                                                                                              Goggles! Highly reccomended at certain cooking junctures:)

                                                                                                                                                                        2. This recipe is dinner tonight, for the second time in a week, it's really to die for. Best eaten after an overnight in the fridge, it makes a huge difference. And after spattering my entire chicken last week, I used a very hot oven to brown the sausage and chicken pieces this week... wah lah! Recipe from Anne Burrell by way of Rao's: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/an...

                                                                                                                                                                          I took out all the pepper seeds, and this was mouth warming without killing off my non heat seeking friend... and had enough kick for us. Great make ahead dish for company, but I do have to clean my oven and the smoke alarm went off at 475, 425-450 was less incendiary.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. Coconut shrimp and chicken strips. I *think* the picky child will eat the chicken strips as long as she can dip them in ranch. I won't tell her that I bake them instead of frying.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. ‎::::Sigh::: All good plans go by the wayside, right? *Something* is going to trip you up, right?

                                                                                                                                                                              Sure enough, all my errands got done, I get home, start to work on replacing the curtain rod for the sheers in the bedroom..annnnnd the brackets are different. No prob. Get the drill, put it in reverse, remove one of the brackets. Go over to the other one....annnnnnd the screws that the former owner put in are stripped. I can't get them out of the wall, even with pliers. FARTKNOCKERS! So that task on my Honey Do list won't get done. This is when I need a Honey for my Honey-Do List. It shall fall to my BIL to figure out a way to get those damn things out of the wall without tearing a humongous hole in the wall (although I did get the suggestion of using a vise grip to turn them). And Alfie, so help me, if you jump on top of the new curtain rod after installation? Grrrr......

                                                                                                                                                                              I promptly went downstairs, put away the drill and pliers, and pour myself a glass of wine. (yeah, I know...you are all thinking "A" glass of wine? Suuuurrrre! OK, I had two. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                              So what was needed tonight? COMFORT FOOD. It's been gray and rather dank today - so mac & ham & cheese was on the menu tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                              Adapted (a good bit!) from a recipe my Mom used to make. A good sharp cheddar (I love Cabot's Hunter's sharp cheddar for this recipe) makes a great cheese sauce. And lots of ground mustard goes into the roux prior to cheesing up the sauce. A couple of Tbsp. of Lipton's Savory Herb & Garlic dry soup mix gets mixed into the Panko crumbs to top the mac & cheese (which has a healthy bit of chunked up deli honey ham that I ask them to slice 1" thick and I then chop up. Into the oven to go bakey-bakey. A small salad alongside with honey-ginger vinaigrette, and voila! It was dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                              I'll watch "Midnight in Paris" tonight, and deal with more on the Honey-Do List tomorrow, said Scarlett.

                                                                                                                                                                              12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                Some good cheesy mac, glassES of wine, however many are required, and MIP (I loved that film): seems like a good solution to your rough day, LW.
                                                                                                                                                                                I'm guessing you and your office did not win the megamillions last night--or you'd have hired someone to worry about the curtain rods . . . ; ) (Kidding aside, I find anything having to do curtains and rods among the most frustrating of household tasks.)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                  No, with 85 chances, we gotz NUTHIN! Grrrr.....

                                                                                                                                                                                  And glassES of wine. Yes that was it. :-) The mac & cheese and wine and salad were good; the movie was meh. I should have figured - I'm not a great fan of Woody Allen. The pictures of Paris were gorgeous, however!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                    Linda, i didn't want to say anything before you watched your movie, but i didn't like it either. and i AM a woody allen fan, but i thought that one was not one of his good ones. it's definitely a beautiful move to LOOK at, though!

                                                                                                                                                                                    thinking about mac tonight, myself....

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                      There's also something about Owen Wilson's voice that bugs me. I just don't view him as a "romantic actor". Oh well. C'est la vie. I picked up "Precious" and "The King's Speech" today. I haven't seen the former; have seen the latter but want to see it again and own it. LOVED "The King's Speech." I know "Precious" is a very deep and dark movie, but I still want to see it. So for $5.00, I figured I'd get it vs. find it on PPV.

                                                                                                                                                                                      And the guy in Home Depot found (hopefully!) an easy fix for my stripped screws - a magnetic nut driver drill bit that fits OVER the head of the stripped screw. Hopefully that'll remove them! We'll see in just a little bit. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                        If the magnetic thing doesn't work, borrow a Dremel tool from a friend and cut a new groove for the screwdriver.

                                                                                                                                                                                        And you have me seriously craving my homemade mac and cheese with broccoli tonight :) Unfortunately, I'm currently traveling... so bread, hummus, and cheese is more likely.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jennymoon

                                                                                                                                                                                          jenny, it worked liked a charm! Curtain rod is up (with a center hook that helps steady it as it's extended to about 72") and so are the sheers. I'm happy again. Now back to doing other stuff. Rehanging the damn curtains is now off my Honey Do list. Unfortunately, there's still a LOT more to be done - we'll see how I do before it's time to make dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                  FARTKNOCKERS Indeed LW!

                                                                                                                                                                                  FOTFL..... I imagine your great curtain caper was due to the kitty running up them, and your bent-rail conversation of a couple days ago. My sympathies.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I have no one in my life presently who can make a good handy-person; for love or dinner! Such sypathies for you. The Frenchman is too busy, Dad a bit too old and far away, neighbors either learing at me when visiting, and I think hoping to check in the panty-drawer while fixing something in the area of the MB toilet/ closet area.... Friends all busy with their own spreads and families. Sigh. Here is to NOT ripping a hole in the plaster - Courage:)

                                                                                                                                                                                  Good for you for making comfort food. Me to....

                                                                                                                                                                                  And just watched Midnight in Paris myself last night - perhaps the antidote to no honey-do... to think of being in a romantic city far away where there is a concierge for everything!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                    Well, I think I forgot to update, but I had a helper at Home Depot come up with a great solution (that only cost $1.97!) so sheers are up, jury-rigged tiebacks were made (using hoop earrings and beads from the craft store, of all things!). So we'll see how the sheer curtains fared when I get home. They're all tied back, so I'm *hoping* that will prevent Alfie from his climbing attempts.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                      Love the tiebacks of earrings and beads sounds like a creative solution:)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, well.....all good intentions and all that rot. I found one in the kitchen downstairs -both rings were broken. Found the pieces up under the sheers they had been holding back. One sheer was still held back; the other had been loosened but the tieback hadn't fallen. And two of the sheers had slight pulls in them, so claws definitely got caught. :::Sigh:::

                                                                                                                                                                                        So I'm back to nothing. I'll pull the sheers open tomorrow morning and hopefully that will take care of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                          LM, sounds like you have your hands full! hmmmmm.....see, this is why I need time after the loss of Clydene, but I'm thinking that when I'm finally ready I may give a great last few years to a geriatric kitty. Most people want a kitten and not an adult, older cat.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Tonight I had frozen artichoke raviolis. Boring, but still not inspired in the kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                                                                                            The feelings are still raw, Barbara. Yes, you definitely need more time. Adopting an older kitty who still has lots of love to give, is a great idea! And my two were already over a year old when I got them back in Thanksgiving - but I think that puts them at about tween stage, so the behavior is expected. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                3. An only semi-satisfying meal tonight: roasted chicken thighs w/tahini sauce, based on COTM recipe, were tough. I served those w/Thai red rice, brussels sprouts, pan-charred and tossed w/sherry vinegar-honey-sriracha-OO dressing, and roasted carrots w/pomegranate molasses (Melissa Clark) recipe. I enjoyed the veggies; the rest--meh. I'm not sure my dinner companion noticed what he ate, engrossed as he was in the Final Four.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Last night's dinner was more successful. A freezer forage yielded a ramekin of duck liver pate I'd made and forgotten, so we started w/that spread on toasted baguette slices, followed by pappardelle w/pancetta and tomato (again! that's twice in a week); balsamic-glazed brussels sprouts; more purple asparagus.

                                                                                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                    i wanna live at a house where a ramekin of duck liver pate gets forgotten!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, if you saw my freezer, you'd understand!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                        Love Brussel sprouts - both of your ways of cooking them sound delicious. I agree with mariacarmen on the duck pate too.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                          The Brussels sprouts sound great - and I got some from my coworker's CSA share this week, so think this will probably be a side for however I do my pork chops tonight for dinner!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                            hey Linda, i'm being lazy. i have chops defrosting, can you point me to or tell me again your method/recipe for chops in a maple/aleppo marinade? was mustard in their too? thx!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                              Let me see if I can find it, maria....I think it was in the previous thread...I was right - here's the permalink: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8403... Also note that I said the following after my original post: "...also added about 1/4 cup of chicken stock to the roasting pan about 5 minutes before it was done and whisked it into the glaze juices for a bit of a quick pan sauce." If you need proportions, it was about 1 Tbsp. of Dijon, 1/4 cup of maple syrup, a heaping tsp. of minced garlic, probably 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of salt, and maybe 1/4 tsp. or more of Aleppo pepper.

                                                                                                                                                                                              And it seems to be a "porky day" for many of us - I've got several bone-in pork chops that I'll season just with salt and pepper, pan-sear, and then finish in the oven. I'll top it with a sort-of pistachio gremolata - some finely chopped pistachios, minced garlic, lemon zest, and a bit of parsley.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Sides will be roasted potatoes (again - potatoes something I rarely get tired of - except when I was in Ireland), and ncw's pan-browned Brussels sprouts she noted yesterday in this mini thread just above.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Roasted turkey for tonight got pushed to Sunday. The bird hadn't thoroughly thawed yet when I checked it at noon, but I've goosed the thaw along by taking out the neck and giblets bag.

                                                                                                                                                                                          So swedish meatballs from the freezer stash to serve with buttered noodles and peas are defrosting now to sub in for a very late dinner tonight instead. It'll be my first food since last night's pork chops that I'm still thinking about. Napped almost all afternoon and most of this evening—hope I'm not coming down with anything. This was heavy-duty REM sleep, so I must have needed it.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Jeepers, I just skimmed back through a few of the earlier WFD threads—what a month of meals this has been! I've learned an enormous amount, everything from slow-roasting poultry to velveting proteins for stir-frys to that turmeric has an actual taste. I'm really looking forward to April now. These threads have surely kicked up my culinary skills in very short order.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Interesting site I just ran across: http://whereismymilkfrom.com/ The cream I bought last week seems to have been shipped all the way from a bit south of Stockton, CA. That's nearly 700 miles away, when there are plenty of cows here in Oregon.

                                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                                                                            I love the whereismymilkfrom site, Relish! In my fridge, I just checked some Horizon Organic 1/2 and 1/2 - from Mt. Crawford, VA. The Hood 1/2 and 1/2 and the Hannafords Nature's Place Organic 1% milk *both* come from the Hood plant in Oneida, NY. So I've got a 585 mile product and two 285 mile products. I don't think there are a lot of dairy farms left in MA, so if anything is going to be local, it would have to be VT, ME or NH for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                              I think it's fascinating! I'd missed the new tub of sour cream I bought last week, it's from outside Salt Lake City for the Fred Meyer house brand. That's another 700+ mile trip. Next time I go dairy shopping, I'm going to put a cheat sheet together of the two-letter codes for nearby states, and see what I can source that's at least somewhat close.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                                                                                Great site, Relish! I found my milk and yogurt are local (Clackamas) but my heavy cream comes from California (684 miles). Interesting. I like the idea of buying local too. Thanks for the info. Hope your Turkey is still on target for today!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yup, turkey's been in since 9am this morning. Doing a slow roast at 250°, so it should be ready mid-afternoon. Once I had it out to check on the thaw, I figured what the heck, let's roast this bad boy. Tummy rumblings for the drumsticks have already begun.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. A bit of a random meal tonight after an exhausting day trekking out to Cabramatta which is Sydney's Vietnamese area on public transport. We had some lovely pho for lunch and the giggles at my organ-fearing partner ordering the special made up for the three or so hours in transit. Of course tripe featured in his soup along with numerous other unidentified cow parts. I suggested he think of the each strange thing as a chance to make a new friend. He disagreed and said it felt more like he had strayed into a bad neighbourhood. It all ended up with us swapping bowls and him eating my more tame version.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Back to dinner...Agedashi tofu and an invented cucumber salad that was quite chinese in flavourings. Smashed Lebanese cucumbers with a dressing of chilli (called sate a purchase from a grocery store in Cabramatta), rice vinegar, light soy and sesame oil. If it wasn't a work night I think some garlic in the dressing would have been nice. The salad was a bit strong for the more delicate flavourings of the tofu in dashi, soy and mirin so I ate all my tofu first before having the salad. I've always struggled for what else to serve with agedashi tofu. My partner won't eat seafood or seaweed and I would like to find the perfect salad to serve it with. Any suggestions?

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Been having the most beautiful weather here. Lower-mid 80's for highs. Started off the weekend with a night out Friday. Boyfriend and I went to a tapas bar where we sat outside on the canal and drank sangria. The eats were: bacon-wrapped dates in cilantro oil, chicken empanadas, and a spanish cheese and meat plate. Then went to a movie and afterwards walked along the canal where we found a lighted swinging tables drink and cigar place. So we stopped in for a drink.

                                                                                                                                                                                              After a girls day of shopping with my mom and sister I had a much simpler dinner of hamburgers, chips, and honey-chipotle baked beans. Nothing special except I do love those baked beans. They pack some heat but the sweetness from the honey cuts it.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Today boyfriend and are going to the Thunder-Bulls game. Afterwards having friends over for a cooking-and-movie party. Tonight's inspiration is The Godfather. As such we will be making Spaghetti and Meatballs, Caesar salad, and of course, cannolis. And after all this it's back to the salt mines...for rest probably!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bblonde

                                                                                                                                                                                                Sounds like wonderful eating, bblonde! Tapas, burger, and spaghetti and balls! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. As I mentioned up-thread, last night I made a recipe from Todd English's Olives Table Cookbook - Country Shells (Spelt Rigatoni in our case) with Sausage, Cannellini Beans, and Spinach. This was the first recipe I've tried from the book and it produced a delicious dish. The only disappointment was our sausage. We'd picked it up at an Italian grocer that we'd never shopped w before and it was quite gristly. I'll definitely make this again with better sausage as the flavours of the dish were fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                No April Fool's tricks at Casa bc today...just tasty treats. Tonight it's pan-roasted pork chops w olives and sambuca-braised fennel along w some steamed baby new potatoes. I'm also preparing a few dishes from the COTM for weeknight meals. Rainy, cool and grey outside so it's a perfect day to be in the kitchen. Happy Cooking!

                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks for reporting back, BC. I should poke through the book again before this afternoon's market trip. My list always gets longer after I check in on WFD. Always.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                                                                                                                                    LOL, ain't that the truth! I quickly learned to keep a little 4x6 memo book next to the computer to write down meal plans and ingredients. Folks here come up with the most interesting ideas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Looks amazing, Bc! And it looks like it goes together quite quickly. A good weeknight meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks oadl, relish & Linda. This really does come together in no time and makes for a very satisfying meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Smothered P-Chops & Tasso.....
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Rice........
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Squash casserole.........
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tomato Aspic 'N Avocado Salad...
                                                                                                                                                                                                    A couple of Musgoes.....
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Chocolate Cake......

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. torn.... pork chops for sure, but not sure on prep yet, have inquired of LW, above, but i'm not sure if i want to make black rice i purchased recently - i was thinking of black rice risotto, saw a recipe online.... or Frizzle's fennel beans (sound so good), OR mac-n-cheese which the boy made sounds about last night. i have sharp cheddar and goat feta, which i think would make a good combo.... and I also HAVE to use up the chinese broccoli that's been sitting in the fridge. i have a bunch of celery too, maybe i'll braise those two together....

                                                                                                                                                                                                      ETA - i just looked at my rice package - it's vacuum-sealed and it says "Ingredients: STEAMED black rice." on it... does that mean it's already cooked??

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Two nights ago we made pureed cauliflower soup with harissa, cinnamon, fresh ginger, tomato, shallots, onion and garlic. Had that to start before tucking into pan-cooked trout filets seasoned simply with lemon pepper and a side of wilted arugula with orange zest, slivered garlic, and minced dried figs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Last night we had a friend over for dinner and more friends joined us later for drinks and dessert. Kicked things off with the house cocktail, Port Authority (applejack, honey syrup, ruby port, lemon juice, and bitters), and sat down to a salad of butter lettuce, farmer's market tomatoes, ricotta salata, toasted walnuts, syrupy aged balsamic, minced rosemary, pink salt, and olive and walnut oils. Italian Gewurztraminer to accompany.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Next was more of the brisket (so tender!) served over pan-fried cheesy polenta squares with glazed spicy honey-mustard carrots on the side. A surprisingly good loaf of almost no-knead bread (I let it rise for two or three days). A fruity Maryland malbec in our glasses. Dessert was my chocolate buttermilk cake (http://culinspiration.wordpress.com/2... ) with dulce de leche cream cheese icing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lots of homebrew was opened, including the bourbon barleywine, "The Marilyn" (buxom American blonde), rye IPA, and milk stout.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                          CM, both dinners are making my head explode with how good they sound... you are on a roll!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Could you part with the portions for the Port Authority cocktail? I've got a couple of bottles of calvados looking for more uses, and this sounds delish!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sure thing; it is quite similar to a Jack Rose, but just different enough :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              -2 oz. Laird's applejack
                                                                                                                                                                                                              -3/4 oz. ruby port
                                                                                                                                                                                                              -juice of 1/2 large lemon
                                                                                                                                                                                                              -2-3 dashes bitters (I prefer Bittercube Jamaican bitters)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1/2 oz. honey simple syrup (honey dissolved in an equal amount of water)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 strip of lemon peel, for garnish

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Chill a cocktail glass and shake together the applejack, port, lemon juice, honey syrup, and btiters. Strain into your chilled glass, rub the rim with the lemon, twist it over the drink, and drop in. Also excellent with homemade cocktail cherries, if you have any!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                              That cake looks wonderful, CM. And I like the use of the harissa and cinnamon with the cauliflower. I'll try that sometime.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Tonight is going to be Chicken Tikka Masala. I saw it on a cooking show a few weeks ago and wanted to make it but realized I didn't have Garam Masala. So DH stopped at our new Penzey's on the way home yesterday and picked up some. (I'm loving the look of my spice cupboard these days - A lot of Penzey's bottles. I also have a bin in my pantry with bags of refill items). But I digress.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                To go with the Tikka Masala will be some Jasmine Rice and steamed cauliflower (I thought about roasting it, but DH prefers it steamed - and considering he never used to even like cauliflower, I'll make it his way). Along with all this will be wine. Not sure what flavor yet, but there will be some!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Love Chicken Tikka Masala and love cauliflower. My husband too has only started eating these recently so I would not rock the boat either. We usually have tiny peas with our Chicken Tikka and Garlic Nam ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I prefer beer or a shandy with Indian food OR if it's available, a Pimm's Cup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I don't like wine with Asian or Indian food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    What kind of wine do you like with this type of food, if I may ask?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm going with a Gewurztraminer for this one since it pairs well with masala and ginger, let alone chicken (goes well with turkey, too). Hope that helps. I can't drink beer (or pop or champagne for that matter) as I rarely can tolerate anything carbonated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i would do the Gewrutz too, or a Riesling. both can pair well with indian/asian food.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        and your dinner sounds scrumptious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I love Pimm's cup! Totally forgot about it- think I'll buy a bottle next time I'm in a high end liquor store.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've never had Pimm's Cup, but after looking it up, it has soda in it so I can't have it anyway. But it looks good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I love CT Masala.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You are so lucky to have a Penzey's nearby.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Tonight will be squirrel liver quenelles, adorned with pyracantha berries, and a salad of raw stinging nettles.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Strawberry-clam-cola sorbet for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yum, yum, yum. Watch out for the itty-bitty thorny thingies on those nettles. They can sting like a you-know-what.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Well, we are joining the club tonight and having pork chops as well. I found some nice bone-in chops at WF Friday, and they are now seasoned and sitting on a rack in my fridge waiting to be grilled on this very clear, yet still cold day in April.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I hunted down some butternut squash yesterday -everyone's stores of winter squash seem to be dwindling! This won't bother me at all once the spring and summer produce start really coming on, but it's causing me to freak out a little bit right now...four different stores and then I finally found two smallish organic butternuts. I bought a kabocha and a red kuri just to feel like my bases were covered. I guess I've gotten used to squash at my meals...the butternut is 0 points!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Anyway, there will be butternut fries and some sort of veg. The better half wants a lobster roll appetizer too...we shall see...seems decadent.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Last nights take-out Thai pumpkin curry has me convinced I can make better, so that red kuri squashes days are numbered, AND I have 3.5 lbs of pork butt in the fridge destined to be more chile verde for the week. Better get off my duff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                why the hell do i keep forgetting butternut is 0 pts?? thanks for the reminder, rabja!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Lamb shanks. I just bought a whole lamb from a farm a couple of miles from here. It was butchered on Wednesday, cut-up and cryovacked on Thursday night, and I picked it up on
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Friday and got it right into the freezer. So tonight I'm starting with the larger shanks (it's kind of raw and rainy out.). They are smaller than wnat you see commercially because the animal was so young, so we expect them to be especially tender. I'll do an oven braise with garlic and rosemary plus stock and port wine. I guess I'll make wheat (bulgur) pilaf to go with that and a simple steamed vegetable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                One fun thing about buying this way was that besides the legs, chops, brests, etc., we also got the offal: kidneys, hearts, etc. from both ours and another butchered that day. Looking forward to doing those as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: junescook

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, my! Enjoy that! I'll have to make sure I get some lamb for next weekend. I don't "do" Easter, but I always like my lamb on that day anyway. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Tonight, there must be meat!! So Lamb it is, with chermoula sauce, grilled up with some zucchini and peppers and onions, and an orzo dish using even more of the chermoula 'cause honestly I could bathe in that stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I had to look that one up, never heard of chermoula sauce before. Sounds like something I'd really like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Try it - it's amazing stuff. Was super with grilled zucchini, and pretty dang good on the tomatoes, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Relish, here is a recipe for Charmoula sauce I posted from a previous thread on Moroccan food....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/814672

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        MC, Love Charmoula also! When I used to teach Moroccan cooking classes, that was one of the most popular items... people would email me later about all the other things they put it on. Delish!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Snausages -- 3 different kinds (white wine & parsley, pecorino and something, and another one I forgot... hey, it's been a week since I bought them at DiBruno's in Phila) -- will be pan-fried.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sides are leftover Caesar & leftover roasted cauli from yesterday. I could barely eat anything before the gig last night, so that's why we don't have to cook all that much today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Game of Thrones, Mad Men and The Killing on the tube. Square eyes, anyone?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hmm. I don't know, but I just haven't been very impressed with our sausage batch this time around. They are all rather heavy on the salt (and I say this as a salt fiend), and were lacking a bit of a wow factor. Neither one of us could finish the 3 halves we each had....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm hopeful that the hot Italians are gonna be better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It'll boil out some of the salty contents. Then, just brown them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Oh my goodness. Had a drumstick and most of the thigh from the turkey that slow roasted today, plus stuffing, hot potato salad, whole berry cranberry sauce, and gravy. A broth simmered on the stove with a leg I sacrificed from the package I'd bought to make Caveman Pops, and it really flavored the gravy well. I did the double-boil technique so the broth was extremely clear without any scum to skim.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Good thing I didn't plan on a vegetable, I wouldn't have a place to put it. Plenty of leftovers for open-face hot turkey sandwiches smothered in gravy for lunches all this week, stuffing and spuds subbing in for the bread. If this doesn't pack a few pounds back on me, I don't know what will!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Turkey, yeah, it's a good thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Make yourself some Kentucky Hot Browns with some of that turkey. Glad you had a great dinner. Has me drooling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              omGawd boyzome that is a fine, fine idea. Yum. Double yum, even.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hot Browns! What a great idea. I'd forgotten all about those and had to google it. I remember that Throwdown episode now about 5 years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the reminder. I'm always looking for something else to use up the turkey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I remembered the Bobby Flay throwdown the other day as I was watching somebody else do them this last weekend. That's what made me mention it since you have a whole turkey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Dinner tonight is the Cook's Illustrated Mushroom Lasagna. 3+ cooking/prep time because it is an involved recipe but also my first time going through it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It is cooking in the oven and smells divine..... reminds me of my beloved brie and mushroom fondue from Epicurious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Enjoy - and welcome to WFD - don't recognize your name, so I'm assuming you're new to this thread. LOTS of good ideas here. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, welcome and please let us know how that lasagna turned out!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, welcome, Njchicaa, and hope the mushroom lasagna, one of my favorites, was good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I attended a nice event this afternoon--BBQ & Bubbles (a wonderful combination, as it turned out), with live jazz, on the lawn of the city's original (I think) beautiful old library. I ate everything from a very fancy jalapeno popper to pulled pork taco to the most precious tiny chocolate-caramel bunnies and sampled my fair share of bubblies.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It wasn't like I really needed anything more to eat, but when I got home, DH still hadn't had dinner so I made him a grilled cheese sandwich--gruyere, ham, a little onion, and a smear of dijon. It looked so good that I said WTH and made a small one for myself. Oy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sounds like the perfect way to spend the afternoon!! And a little grilled cheese never hurt anyun.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Made mac-n-cheese after an alton brown recipe, but i used cheddar and goat feta, and orecchiete. i've never made m&c with an egg in it, and i personally like m&c a little soupier, but it was good. LW's maple/dijon/aleppo pork chops were good and very tender (grill panned and then braised in the marinade) but i wasn't bold enough with the aleppo, and was almost out of dijon so that flavor wasn't as evident as i would have liked. my local fancy-schmancy rapeway (because they rape your wallet) had an EIGHTEEN DOLLAR BOTTLE OF REAL MAPLE SYRUP, and a $4.95 bottle of "Organic Agave Maple Syrup". which do you think i went with? and it was actually really tasty. Salad of red leaf lettuce, toasted walnuts, radishes, scallions and shallots in a dijon vinaigrette on the side. I had wanted to make CM's salad of walnuts and walnut oil, but my walnut oil had gone rancid. hate when that happens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        <my walnut oil had gone rancid. hate when that happens.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        you've just inspired me to put mine in the fridge!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          yeah, i just wasn't using it often enough. bummer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            a shitload. the pork chops were HUGE, we ended up splitting one, and only about an eighth of the mac-n-cheese was gobbled down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Glad the pork chops came out well, mc! And that's a GORGEOUS mac & cheese! :::Nom, nom, nom::::

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Can you put the new walnut oil in the fridge to prevent rancidity?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i didn't buy any new walnut oil yet, but when i do I will have to make room in the fridge for it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              MC, isn't it unreal how pricey maple syrup can be (especially now, that sugaring was early and small this year).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I lucked into a store raid recently - at least that was how it felt - a really kind of crappy Albertson's store I don't shop at unless just for cat food, a can of something, was being converted to an even lower-rent discount grocery; they had 'closeout' tags in every aisle on all the products they weren't going to carry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I got a 32 oz jug of grade B maple syrup for $5.75!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Also, a lb. of wild rice for $3+, a 18 oz.bag of sun-dried tomatoes for $4.25, which I can re-constitue myself and put up in oil. A condiment steal:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i just never buy the stuff (not a sweets-breakfast gal), so i was shocked! i thought it was just my stupid store, but i had also heard that stuff is pricey. just didn't realize how pricey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                good deals you got there! even my fake maple syrup was $5+!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Grade B maple syrup is the ONLY grade I buy now - love the depth of flavor. Your prices are great!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Looks scrumptious mc! The first time we had m&c w egg was a couple of years ago in Barbados. Evidently it's customary there and they refer to the dish as macaroni pie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. It'll take me some time to wade through 4 weeks or so of posts since I was last here, but reading this one first was a good idea -- you guys are great. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The man and I split up in late February and I had to navigate that emotional minefield while working and planning a move without a car of my own to gather boxes or buy things just whenever. The man's mother then had a mini-stroke, which of course made things much more stressful for both of us (she is home, fine, now). So. I haven't been cooking much besides simple things: eggs, greens, whatever is in the pantry so I didn't have to pack it. BUT now I am moved into my new apartment, with the much better kitchen already 90% unpacked (oh, bless my sister who did this while I was running the truck back to the lot),

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So that's that. Now, to the food.. last night, my parents brought down some leftover sweet and sour spareribs, rice, and a zingy carrot salad they'd made for a dinner party the night before. All who pitched in were delighted to hoover this down along with a nice assortment of beer I'd picked up. I can't remember the last time I had ribs, but they were incredibly satisfying after a taxing day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But tonight, what's for dinner tonight? I'm giddy with possibilities: I'm off today, and I have to do a grocery shop after I shower and take a nap and unpack some proper clothes to wear in public (yes, I wanted my kitchen done before my clothes.. is this normal?).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Glad to be back among the living. Time to recall how to cook for one. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: megjp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sorry to hear about your breakup, but it seems like you are taking it well (or at least have had some time to move on...).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've always found cooking for one a bit challenging..... so much work & then I'd inhale the final product within 10 minutes :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This is a good time to make all the stuff your ex didn't like. Bonus on the better kitchen, too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: megjp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      oh mgjp.... so sorry.... big hug.... we all know how it feels, and it sucks. but it's wonderful you've got loving family and friends around to help you heal, and eat! take good care of that heart of yours; they DO mend, you know, and grow stronger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks, you two :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The split wasn't actually acrimonious at all so, although the intervening month has been stressful, it was the best possible not-together-forever end to the relationship (which DID last about 5.5 years..). And yes, my sister, my mother, and a few close friends have been there for me when I have weakened.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Anyway yes, eating is the ticket. If only I could find at least a hand towel so I could take a shower, I could get out into the sunshine and pick up some groceries!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: megjp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Put your hair in a baseball cap and go out and BUY a new towel! :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: megjp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We are very glad to have you back. Sorry for all you've no doubt been through, but you've always got a spot with us here at the table.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Looking forward to seeing your next culinary creations!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: megjp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Welcome back! Moving sucks, plain & simple. It doesn't matter the circumstances, but especially sorry about the break up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hopefully you'll find everything soon, and if you're a CH, nothing wrong about the kitchen set up before everything else! Before I was a CH, I remember my move into my horse property, and I hired someone to unpack my kitchen so I could concentrate on my tack room! Priorities, priorities!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: megjp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Megjp--was too tired to look for this last night, but thought of it as I read your post. Seems the perfect food poem for anyone going through a break-up:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://thegladdestthing.com/poems/da-...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: megjp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Guess it is a good time to move to a better "cooking" place in your life and no need to stress yourself with anything complicated at this point....but if you are on CH....then you need to get into that kitchen and cook.....Maybe a pot of some simple vegetable soup.....make about 2 or 3 quarts and then freeze the rest for other days....compliment that with maybe a baguette with a good soft cheese, lettuce and a thin slice of onion to complete it and you have a real comfort meal, with very little fuss....I start my simple soups with pre-made stock, fresh veggies and herbs....and then a reward..some crimini mushrooms, or pumpkin, some fava beans or what ever you like....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Remember foodies are all about living and eating well!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: megjp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Aww, meg, I'm sorry to hear about the breakup, but it sounds like you've settled into your new place quite nicely. And yes, it's normal to get the kitchen set up first. I always do that as well. :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: megjp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sorry to hear about your tribulation, that makes an already difficult thing (moving -it just sucks, doesn't it?) even more difficult. Sounds like you're doing well though, and you sound like you have a healthy perspective, which is great this early in the game.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have found cooking what I am craving during times like this is key. Spoil yourself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And yes, totally normal to do the kitchen first! Your sister is awesome too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: megjp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Prolly most CHs want the kitchen done first, that's what makes us, um, 'hounds. :) Sorry for all the stress you have been through, and I endorse the idea of making all the stuff the ex didn't like and you missed having. And sisters can totally ROCK, mine does too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: megjp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Welcome back, megjp, and wishing you well during the transitions. And, yep, I also think making kitchen a priority is completely normal. Now you need to get in there and make good things for yourself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Sunday's mid-day meal was pasta with artichoke and guanciale followed by baby lamb chops. Asparagus on the side, an Italian red to wash things down. Dessert was up on the roof-top terrace: apple tart washed down with prosecco/blood orange juice. We watched the sun go down and shadows settle over the Gianicolo, the Tiber, the Vatican dome and the Via Giulia. A late-night stroll through the neighborhood included a visit to Gelateria Frigidarium for a two-scoop fix. It was a good day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ah steve, you just took me back 7 years .... i am going to LOVE reading your reports. are you posting on the Italy board as well?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        and don't forget pics! of the food, of course. ( :

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh, how VERY nice steve! I was wondering how you and the Mrs. were doing. The prosecco/blood orange juice mix sounds wonderful with the apple tart. Enjoy the rest of your relaxing visit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi mc, LW:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chow mods will let me post home-cooked meals on this forum (Easter approaches and Deb is obsessing over the menu). The pure Roman stuff will get posted to the Italy board next month. I'd like to slip in the backstory to Sunday's meal because it's kind of cool in the "ho-hum, just another day in the hood" kind of story.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Best regards,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            --steve

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Perhaps "ho-hum" to those that live there; not so "ho-hum" to us! Can't wait to read. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Steve:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Not a jealous person generally but it's been 2.5 years since we were last in Italia and I am feeling more than a bit envious, I must admit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I will have to be content with living vicariously. *SIGH*

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Enjoy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The meal sounds lovely--as does the setting, the stroll, the scoops.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Can't wait to read about the Easter menu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Well, yesterday was a real cooking day - I hardly ever eat a full breakfast, lunch and dinner, but I did it up Sunday!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I just HAD to make pancakes to use some of that wonderful maple syrup I got for a steal. Made some fluffy cottage cheese pancakes with egg whites whipped up seperate to lighten, with a little cinnamon and orange peel. Delish, even if I only ate two small ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Out with a friend for lunch to a local awesome fast-quality local burger joint "Zippy's Giant Burgers', where I had a little-zip with bacon and blue cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yard work later - and I love to have something bubbling on the stove as I duck in and out, with the smells growing - so I put on a pot of soup. Clean out the fridge, so a ham hock, onion, garlic, 1/2 a can of diced tomatoes that needed using up, a big pinch of a a middle-eastern spice blend I get from Spice World in the Pike Place Market, which made it all smell exotic. Black lentils and some chopped cabbage.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A loaf of Bin5 rising/'cloaking' on the counter. So nice soup, fresh bread and salad dinner, with 'The Killing' on the tube. A good Sunday!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Lot's of leftover soup for the week, and 1/2 a loaf of bread to go with it, not a bad start to April!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I heard on the morning news this is National PB&J Day. So would someone please have 1/4 of a PB&J sandwich for me? I don't care for jelly w/my pb, just maybe a spoonful of the pb. And why the J? If all you have is preserves is it still a PB&J?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think a thick ham steak tonight with hominy, blackeye peas and spinach.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MaryContrary

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I will eat the pb&J for you, maryCon, but confess I have jam and preserves too, no jelly, as mine are all home-made, and I don't make jelly! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Appreciate it, gingershelly. What kind of jam or preserves did we have?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MaryContrary

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          MaryC, well, thanks for askin'!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Right now, we are at the end of the apricot/ginger preserves (which will be sorely missed one more english muffin from now) so sad. Getting busy with plum w/ armagnac and thyme, as well as a friend's gift of straight up blackberry, which is quite sun-kissed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This weekend, I hope to make a batch of tangerine 'marmelade' which isn't a bitter marmelade from what I read in the notes, just a lot of tangerine-y flavor with some lemon rind to brighten things up. You grind up whole tangerines in the food processor, and cook with just lemon peel, juice and sugar, then bottle. Gotta make that before the citrus takes a dive this month. Tho' I don't think I would eat that on a PB&J!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sounds wonderful gingershelley. Most of ours are gifted. We use about two small jars a year between us. My most memorable were a pear/Amaretto preserve and a grapefruit marmalade. And you can't forget fig.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: MaryContrary

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I had one today, if that still counts. I chalk it up to your power of suggestion :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Of coure it counts, CM. All help appreciated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Something about a turkey someone was making for WFD really got to me so last night I baked a whole chicken breast ('air chilled" - whatever that is I don't want to know- it was on sale at WF) also picked up at the regular Stop and Shop some Stove Top Stuffing (I know but the husband loves the stuff) and I made (real not from a box) mashed potatoes, a pan gravy and some squash. It was so good. Thanks to whoever made that turkey.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tonight looks like some boring lasagna that I froze a few weeks ago with some spinach on the side- hopefully the jarred red sauce will pep us this lasagna. I wish I was in Italy too. I haven't been there since before 9/11 - we got to board without being searched.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh, you're welcome! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I was just listening to some new program on public radio here from the CBC that my local station has begun to carry, and they had Bourdain on vs. some vegetarian. Bourdain was talking about how the smell of a stock simmering or meat roasting triggers our most primal instincts. Couldn't agree with him more! It's about as irresistible as the smell of bacon frying. I think just reading or thinking about it can do about the same in most people.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A bit off topic: I've always wondered why the white meat disappears so quickly off turkeys I roast. So today I broke down the carcass, carefully separating all of the untouched breast meat onto a plate, then weighed it. A 10.75# whole bird yielded a measly pound and a half of cooked breast. I was astonished. It's making the whole breasts, even up to $2 per pound, seem like a fine value throughout the year. When they're 99¢ per pound, it's a screaming value.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm a bit odd in my turkey preferences—I like dark meat from a freshly-roasted bird, but prefer white meat for leftovers. Since I ate mid-afternoon yesterday, I gobbled up the other drumstick before bed, and for lunch today I 're-roasted' the carcass upside down after pulling off the wings and breasts, then finished off the thigh meat in a hot turkey sandwich sort of deal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And ya know, I'm still not tired of roasted turkey yet. Give me a couple of days. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Relish, you have me going... I am trying to decide between roasting a turkey now, or making that Peruvian chicken, also upthread. Have that recipe open in my browser bar, but roast turkey and gravy sounds really good - Thanksgiving was a long time ago, and by next week end it will be all about grilled butterflied leg-o-lamb. Decisions, decisions....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: RelishPDX

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We're having the leftovers tonight- a fight over the gravy - broccoli on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I'm feeling kinda Greek today, so 2 kosher chicken breasts have been marinating in a mix of olive oil, a bit of lemon juice, oregano, paprika, rosemary and lots of black pepper & will be popped on the grill shortly. A few Dutch yellows are slowly turning into Greek lemon potatoes. A side of Greek-ish salad - romaine, kumatoes, cuke, red onion, French feta, dressed with olive oil, rvv, oregano.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Did I say "kinda" Greek? Calíi orexi.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That sounds yummy (reading and drooling while eating vicariously through CH Home Cooking..... I get to return to normal cooking tomorrow!!!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tell me more about these lemon potatoes....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                also interested in the Greek lemon potatoes. Are they roasted, boiled, grilled or what?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! The kiddos Mom got back in town early and picked her up so we get to eat real food with spices in it!!!!! I'm so excited!!! She's such a good kid but I've gotta have real food!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Now I'm REALLY interested in those potatoes!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (Barbara.... I'm glad to read that you're considering teaching another feline about the finer foods in life when you're ready,..... you're such a good kitty momma!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Barbara76137

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hey you two! It's really a very easy dish. I sorta kinda followed this recipe here:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://greek.food.com/recipe/elliniko...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    but not really, as I only made 7 potatoes (we're only two here, after all -- not counting the dude who isn't fond of potatoes -- and the recipe calls for 3 whopping lbs.).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I "marinated" (more like coated, as I once again hadn't read the recipe until it was basically time to throw them in the oven) the quartered taters with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic & oregano, then put in the oven at 400˚F. They came out browner and crispier than I am used to -- Greek lemon potatoes are usually more of a braise than a roast, which is why i added some water later on -- but still tasty. Chicken broth would be even better, but I'm lazy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    They were good, but could use improvement. I love crispy anything, so it wasn't a failure, but in this case, they should be softer. And lemonier. But I'm a lemon addict.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Tonight I made a quick stir fry of b/s chicken breast, white mushrooms, bok choy, scallions, celery, and purple eggplant. I velveted the chicken and made a sauce from shaoxing wine, hot bean paste, chicken broth, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, hoisin sauce, and corn starch. Served it over riced cauliflower with a sprinkle of chopped roasted peanuts and patted myself on the back for making such a veggie-rich meal. And with "my" salt-and-microwave eggplant technique (and dry frying the mushrooms), I managed to use only 3 teaspoons of oil in the entire dish (including the sesame oil in the sauce). Score!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                85% dark chocolate for afters.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  in addition to the chocolate, a gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and creme de cassis cocktail. "pink something something." good call by DH with the Bluecoat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    About to google 'velveting' it's a brand new term for me. Your dinner sounds great btw!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks! Velveting is a way of tenderizing and retexturizing meat for stir-fry. Another Hound (I think) explained it thus:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "Start by slicing your chicken (or other meat), pound it out if you want but not necessary. Combine the meat with soy sauce, sugar, salt (optional), sesame oil (optional), Chinese cooking wine, a mixture of corn starch & water, and egg whites. Egg whites are a base and they do the brunt of the tenderizing. They're also what gives the meat that "velvety" texture, which is why the entire process is often called "velvetting". Marinate for 30 minutes or longer if you have the time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Then cook as desired, usu. stir frying, but usually never with curry which just sounds odd to me."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Last night, I thinly sliced the chicken breast and marinated it in egg white, cornstarch, Shaoxing (Chinese rice wine), sesame oil, a pinch of sugar, a splash of water, and a tsp. of soy sauce. When you stir fry the meat, it ends up with a very thin film due to this coating, which is good for catching your sauce. And the meat just has a nice springy texture and mouthfeel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Quiet gnawing on turkey wings with reheated sides tonight. Wings are best eaten alone. Fresh limeade to drink. Time to give the turkey a break though. Tomorrow I need something else, and cut back on the salt for a few days.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dessert later: Supremes of ruby red grapefruit paired with crunchy Braeburn apple slices. I've really been hitting up the citrus lately before it goes out of season.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    On the tube tonight: "It Happened To Jane" with Doris Day and Jack Lemmon in honor of Day's 88th birthday on Tuesday

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Thanks again for so many kind words up-thread.. so heartening!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Last night I made a carrot-ginger soup spiked with red miso -- it was okay but didn't live up to expectations -- and stir-fried baby bok choy and shiitakes (the man wouldn't eat mushrooms!) with sesame seeds & toasted sesame oil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Last night was a disappointing eggplant & coconut curry. It just lacked something. I think if I had had it with some meat rather than as a standalone dish it may have seemed better.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tonight was a mushroom, tomato and egg soup from a book the in-laws gave me Soups of Italy. It's the best soup from the book so far for me although I did increase the quantity of garlic and used beef stock instead of water. I've found most of her recipes a bit bland for my taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Whole chickens have been on sale for 65 cents a pound this past week so the freezer is FULL of them- we can't even have ice its so full.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tonight will make good use of one of them as Doro Wat. It's a favorite around here that we haven't had in a while:) My mouth is watering in anticipation and it's only 8: 35 am. I'm not even done with my coffee yet!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            WOW! That's a great price! Enjoy the salivating all day and slaking that thirst tonight. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Yesterday turned out to be a beautiful day here, so pulled a lamb steak out of the freezer and marinated in garlic, oil, rosemary, lemon and mint. Grilled up MR, with a spinach and tomato tart on the side, (which will be breakfast the rest of the week), and a caesar salad. Simple, and delish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Now today I have to solve that dillema; roast a turkey, or make Peruvian chicken? We shall see what's on sale at the store:)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That sounds absolutely delicious. Tell us more about that tomato tart?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh, I just had a craving for something different in the starch department, and so just made a crust, mixed up some cottage cheese, some parm and diced gouda (clean out the cheese drawer) with some chopped drained spinach, eggs and cream, and topped that with a sliced tomato and a bit more parm, then backed. Like a very veg-heavy quiche, really. I didn't use a recipe, just went with my usual quiche ratio of 1 egg for every 1/2 cup of cream/1/2&1/2 ratio.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Got the Frizzle fennel/sumac/bean thing for dinner tonight - and it's a good thing because the BF polished off the 1/2 casserole of mac-n-cheese after i went to bed last night. Frizzle, if you see this, would you please let me know if the bean dish is supposed to be warm or cold or room temp? i'm thinking room temp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              with that I think i'll do some zatar-ed and/or aleppo-ed chicken thighs....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I read a post from Frizzle that it's supposed to be warm, mc. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Here's the comment from the earlier thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8413...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  oh, thanks, Linda! i just had a bit for lunch, room temp, and it was great. i can't wait to try it warmed up tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Dinner for tomorrow is made, potato and kale soup with sage sausage. Its really just a leftover gratin blended with milk and spices, and browned sausage.... I can't stand to waste food, and the gratin made enough for 8 servings (just 2 adults and 2 kids here), and soup is my go-to meal for using up any number of fridge finds. WFD is greek grilled pork chops with rice pilaf and asparagus. I feel bad because we had pork chops on friday also! Didn't plan that well!