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What's for Dinner? #139 [Old]

Aaaahhhh....a clean slate.

So, what home-cooked goodies are on your plate tonight?

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  1. reposting because i can't stop thinking about Jacques tonight....

    last night at the oldster's was delivery pizza. he was feeling MUCH more chipper last night than he has in a week, and ate a whole slice and a half of pepperoni and mushroom.

    myself, before the pizza arrived, i may or may not have gorged myself on sour cream and onion Pringles (my dad loves them). some of them may or may not have been schmeared with peanut butter first. the jeans and i are on a mini-break. please god it's mini.

    for his dinner tonight i made him salmon cakes with a sauteed tomato onion sauce, and a pot of rice. his appetite has been very decent, surprisingly, for which we are grateful.

    tonight it's out for dinner - seeing Jacques Pepin speak first!! but first, the best Thai place in the City. i bet Jacques would love it.

    31 Replies
    1. re: mariacarmen

      Hmmm. Pringles with peanut butter. That's a new one on me! I'm glad your dad is feeling better, and that Jacques thing sounds amazing. Please tell us about it!

      1. re: roxlet

        they were sitting on the counter next to each other. what was i to do?

        will do!

        1. re: mariacarmen

          this is the reason i seriously consider not keeping PB in the house at all. it goes on everything.

      2. re: mariacarmen

        mc I'm excited for you seeing JP tonight...give him our best!! I hope you have a lovely dinner afterwards, we'll be thinking about you!

        1. re: Breadcrumbs

          will do! shall i shout "Chowhounders love you! from the balcony? or should i be civilized? depends on if i have a glass of wine before at dinner, methinks.....

          1. re: mariacarmen

            Shout it out! Well, perhaps whisper it in the wind....

        2. re: mariacarmen

          Have met him , his wife (who is an absolute doll) at a memorial for Julia Childs...you will be amazed how personable he is...nevermind his food!!!!!!

          IF HE WAS TO VISIT YOUR KITCHEN ...WHAT WOULD YOU COOK WITH HIM?

          1. re: mariacarmen

            What's the Thai? Must go in the summer :)

            1. re: buttertart

              Lers Ros, on Larkin. Yes, you must! (check out my pics on FB).

            2. re: mariacarmen

              I'm glad the oldster is feeling a bit better and super excited for you about Pepin - do tell us how it went.

              1. re: Frizzle

                Thanks, Frizzle! (here's my review of the Pepin show if y'all are interested: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/844966)

                1. re: mariacarmen

                  What a fab write up. Shame about not enough Jacques. I gather from your clear review you didn't over-indulge in wine and do the chowhounder shout out :)

                  1. re: Frizzle

                    haha you're right - i didn't have wine with dinner because i tend to start drifting off the minute i sit down in a crowded, dark auditorium, and i didn't want to miss a word of Jacques!

                    and thanks!

                2. re: mariacarmen

                  I keep coming back to the Pringles with peanut butter and wondering how you managed to smear it on without breaking the Pringles. From memory they are rather delicate.

                  1. re: Frizzle

                    it was exceptionally creamy p-butter, at room temperature. and yeah, i had to use a knife, there was no dipping!

                    1. re: Frizzle

                      Pringles are an "interesting" product in the UK. Legally, whilst they may look like a crisp (or chip as Americans call them), they aren't.

                      It's all to do with our Value Added Tax (similar to a North American sales tax), which is incorporated into the price of many things we buy at 20%. Most foods are exempt from VAT but, for some reason, crisps are not. And, apparently, Pringles are made from less than 50% potato with miost of the rest being flour - legally making it into a dough so it is, effectively, regarded as a cake or biscuit on which VAT isnt charged .

                      1. re: Harters

                        If I lived in the UK I would probably weigh a lot less than I do because chips or crisps are my down fall and paying VAT would be a factor, I think. When you visit you have to try Cape Cod Potato chips- they have a factory tour in Hyannis. They are a love it or leave it chip - hubby leaves his for me as I love them and he does not. Your trip is soon isn't it?

                        http://www.capecodchips.com/about-us/...

                        1. re: Berheenia

                          Oh, thanks for that, Berheenia. We're staying a few days at Hyannis and have almost no plans for that part of the holiday - just going to be some chill out time before coming home.

                          1. re: Harters

                            You should befriend CapeCodGuy, a most knowledgable Hound on the Southern New England Board for ideas.Trying to link him to this

                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8443...

                            1. re: Berheenia

                              I'm actively reading the various New England boards for ideas.

                              We may actually do a bit of cooking on the Cape as we're renting a cottage. Although perhaps I shoudl ask for your advice for a seriously strong Cheddar and make Cheddar and Cape Cod Chips sandwiches for dinner one day.

                              1. re: Harters

                                Harters, you *might* be able to find that English Coastal cheddar at a Whole Foods or Trader Joes. You know that one that actually comes from near you? Gah - never mind. Whole Foods supermarket hasn't made its way down towards the Cape yet. You'd have to buy it while you're in the Boston area and bring it with you. Otherwise, Cabot Creamery has a good sharp cheddar - Hunter's Seriously Sharp - that, while probably not as sharp as some English cheddars, should do in a pinch. :-)

                                1. re: Harters

                                  Before you head down to the Cape you should make a pilgrimage to one of the Formaggio Kitchens -- Cambridge or South End of Boston -- to get cheeses and other items for la pique nique down on the Cape.

                                  1. re: Harters

                                    Trader Joe's has a good selection of cheeses at a price that won't make you wince if you have to leave some in the rental bin when you leave. Very decent grass fed New Zealand Cheddar. I like a good rat cheese myself- sometimes there is a cheese lady selling it at the local farmers markets. Check with Cape Cod Guy or Phelena or Cyclista for best advice. If you see a raw milk cheddar, buy it!

                                    1. re: Berheenia

                                      The Canadian cheddar Trader Joe's sells is not to be sneered at (except by me, who has a 6-yr-old aged cheese connection...). It was my mainstay before I got lucky.

                                2. re: Harters

                                  Cape Cod chips are *seriously* amazingly good chips, Harters.

                              2. re: Harters

                                I enjoy telling people that pringles cost more than regular chips because it takes a long time for the manufacturers to find so many potatoes the exact same shape.

                                1. re: Frizzle

                                  think 'Pressed' foods - meats, etc.
                                  Could that possibly be? No, I don't think so, but it has a mind wondering.

                                2. re: Harters

                                  Pringles should have a VET - Value Extracted Tax.

                            2. It was my birthday yesterday, but we're waiting until Friday to go out to dinner, so I threw together a quickie pseudo-laab with some lean ground pork I had hanging out in the freezer. Used lemon juice 'cause I didn't have lime and the whole thing turned out surprisingly well. Ate it lettuce wrap style with some steamed rice. Sparkling lemonade over ice to wash it down and reduce the burn (I used more of those little chilies than the recipe called for), and more of that homemade rocky road for dessert. Not sure about tonight yet.

                              29 Replies
                              1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                Awesome birthday meal, if I may say so. I'll have to make laarb sometime at home, seems easy enough to make, and I love it -- one of my favorite Thai dishes .

                                1. re: linguafood

                                  Thanks! This was my first time making it and it was even easier than I thought it would be. Lightly cook the meat, stir in everything else, eat.

                                2. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                  Happy birthday, BBL. An ice cream maker has been on our to-buy list for quite awhile. As the weather warms, it moves steadily toward the top of the list.

                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                    I got mine from a thrift store and it may be the best $6 I've ever spent (it's the ice-and-salt kind, but has a motorized churner). It is particularly wonderful to have it in the summer!

                                  2. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                    Happy B-day BBL, and happy Laarb-ing as well. That sounds good...

                                    1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                      Happy belated. And, though you had to make it, it sounds like a fantastic impromptu birthday dinner. I adore laarb, but never get to have it.

                                      1. re: roxlet

                                        Thanks! It was really good, and one of the easiest dinners I've made recently.

                                      2. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                        happy belated bda, BBL! mmm... i'm having duck larb tonight, tho not homemade... glad you had a good night!

                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                          Thanks mc! Duck larb sound fantastic, homemade or not.

                                        2. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                          Happy Birthday BBL!! I hope you have a wonderful celebration on Friday! You know, I don't think I've ever had sparkling lemonade but what a terrific idea! I've been addicted to sparkling blood orange juice these days but for some reason this just never occurred to me. Thanks for the inspiration!!

                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                            Thanks! This particular sparkling lemonade was manufactured by Martinelli, but I've made it myself too by just switching out the water in lemonade for sparkling water.

                                          2. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                            Happy B-day! Enjoy your dinner out!!
                                            I have never thought of making laarb at home before. this sounds intriguing, and delish!!!
                                            thanks for the inspiration :)

                                            1. re: justme123

                                              Thanks! You should try it -- it's super easy and turned out great.

                                            2. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                              Hope you had a great birthday yesterday, and have a great birthday dinner "out" on Friday, BBL!

                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                Thanks Linda! I'm looking forward to Friday. We're going to try the Mexican restaurant we once walked 2 hours to get to, only to find it had just closed. This time we're calling ahead and taking the bus!

                                                1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                  A much better birthday ride than your feet, BBL. ;-)

                                              2. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                Happy Birthday--and your dinner sounds delicious. And homemade rocky road--yummmmmm.

                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                  Thanks! I didn't mix the marshmallows in very well, so the first few times we ate it, it was what my boyfriend referred to as "marshmallows in frozen fudge sauce" and now it's more like chocolate ice cream with almond chunks. Delicious, though (a David Lebovitz recipe)

                                                  1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                    Either way, it sounds very, very good to me, BBL. And Happy Belated Birthday!!

                                                    1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                      Happy birthday! Laarb is wonderful isn't it? What a great sounding dinner.

                                                      1. re: Frizzle

                                                        Thank you! I even managed to slip about a tablespoon of fish sauce into the mix with no complaints from the seafood-hating boyfriend!

                                                        1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                          You know strangely enough my seafood hater is ok with fish sauce. If I try and sneak an anchovy into something like a sauce for lamb he notices it straight away and hates it. It doesn't make much sense.
                                                          I'm thankful they both are ok with fish sauce. A life with fish sauce-less laarb and Thai salads would be grim.

                                                          1. re: Frizzle

                                                            It's a fine line with mine. If I get the balance just right, he doesn't even notice it's there. If I add too much, it makes him physically ill. I've only tried anchovies once and he didn't notice, but I think if he knew I was using them, he'd start looking for the taste and I'd have to stop.

                                                      2. Tonight is 'kitchen sink' pasta. (AKA time to clean out the fridge). I think I have some leftover italian sausage, some broccoli, I may add in some oven-dried cherry tomatoes from the freezer and I may have some roasted peppers lurking in there as well. We eat this about once a month, and it's never the same, but is always...good? Well, I haven't killed anyone yet anyway :)

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: justme123

                                                          can't go wrong with those add-ins. love repurposing leftovers and saving things from the depths of the crisper.

                                                          1. re: justme123

                                                            sausage pasta is a house favourite here justme...enjoy!!

                                                          2. Usually when I make pasta with yogurt sauce, I top it with minced lamb which is flavorful enough not to need any extra seasoning. I can't say the same about ground beef, though. In the past I simply added seven spices to flavor the ground beef, but in the end, always ended up with something tasting heavily of cinnamon and allspice. This time, though, I relied more on onions and garlic, some bitterness from parsley and the sharp bite of lemon to flavor the mince. A little of my spice blend ended up being more of an assist, rather than the dominating flavor. Went beautifully with yogurt, dill and garlic and a generous sprinkling of Aleppo pepper and sumac.

                                                            11 Replies
                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                              You've got my mouth watering. These sound like similar flavors to Turkish manti. Was that what you were aiming for, or was another tradition in sight? Any melted butter drizzled over top?

                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                Good eye, Christina. You're spot on with the inspiration. When I use lamb, I am pretty much making deconstructed manti. I buy 80/20 ground beef, so I forgo the decadent browned butter with that and sub dill for the mint in the yogurt sauce. Even without the butter (which is oh-so-good with the lamb), this is one of my favorite cheap, 30-minute meals.

                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                  I am so curious about this 'butter on yoghurt' thing. Been reading the COTM books, and find several lamb/ other preps that end with yoghurt and melted butter over top.

                                                                  It sounds delicious, but have - I confess - never eating that. What is the distinction of adding the butter vs. not JM- or others willing to contribute to my ignorance. Which, I plan on rectifying. How could I have lived all this time, a lover of middle-eastern food, have not had yoghurt with butter running down it?

                                                                  1. re: gingershelley

                                                                    I know--doesn't that sound delicious. Oh heck, butter running down just about anything sounds delicious to me.

                                                                    1. re: gingershelley

                                                                      Have you not yet tried browned butter on fatteh? If you have ever drizzled a good olive oil on yogurt, browned butter is the next step up. The warmed butter perfumed with toasted Aleppo pepper is nutty and fruity and complements the lamb. I could be wrong, but I think this technique is common to Turkic cuisines as you find butter used to perfume dishes in both Ottoman and Mughal cooking.

                                                                      1. re: JungMann

                                                                        I've had hot ghee on fatteh but not browned butter. Next time I'll give it a whirl.

                                                                    2. re: JungMann

                                                                      Yum! Can you tell me a tad more about the spicing (including amounts) you'd recommend with beef? I'm gonna have to make this....

                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                        I sauteed half an onion until translucent and then added 2 cloves of minced garlic. For about a pound of beef, I used about a tsp. of allspice, 1/2 tsp. each of cumin and coriander, 1/4 tsp. each of nutmeg, black pepper and sumac, 1/8 tsp. of cinnamon and a pinch of ground cardamom. Measurements are rough since I use a demitasse spoon, but the proportions should be about right. If you have a trusty kebab recipe, you can use that spice blend instead. Once the beef was done, I simply drained off the fat and finished it with a tbsp. of chopped parsley and the juice of half a small lemon.

                                                                        For the yogurt sauce, I just combined pureed garlic and chopped dill with strained yogurt.

                                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                                          Thank you for directing me to tomorrow night's repast, JungMann! This sounds fantastic, easy, and crowd-pleasing, so it's in the bag!!

                                                                  2. re: JungMann

                                                                    wow, that sounds like a great pasta topping... seriously drool-worthy.

                                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                                      Totally agree w the others JM, that sounds outstanding. What a great combo!

                                                                    2. Grabbing more mushrooms than I can use has become a habit of mine, apparently. I've settled on a sort of French onion and mushroom soup for tonight. I've no red wine, but have used a mixture of red wine and balsamic vinegars to deglaze the pot with success before. Three onions, some button mushrooms, a huge bag of creminis, roasted garlic, thyme, and that no-beef broth. I plan on running the immersion blender through the pot lightly at the end to thicken it just a bit. I'll give the boyfriend the choice between the baked version of the soup, or having grilled cheese instead. I'm leaning toward the baked version myself, but my ramekins are on the small side, and it's kind of a pain to do a tray of mini soups. I have some vintage soup mugs that are the perfect size, but have *no* idea if they're oven-safe. Would they explode? Or just leach something unpleasant into the soup? That isn't the kind of suspense I need.

                                                                      You know, I've attributed my sore throat, body aches, fever, and nausea to this trying to quit smoking thing . . . but when my nose started running this morning, I realized that I've had the flu. It made me laugh. And I feel better today, but toxic soup isn't something I want to chance.

                                                                      Since I have to work tomorrow, I'm going to throw together an orzo salad for the boyfriend to eat after work. Roasted broccoli, marinated tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, olives, feta, and whatever else I can dig up that would appeal to him, tossed with a vinaigrette. I made a similar salad a few weeks ago, and it was the first time he ever declared orzo delicious. This made me happy.

                                                                      11 Replies
                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                        First of all, that orzo sounds super-yummy! Also, sorry you're not feeling well oadl but HUGE congrats on quitting smoking...good for you! FWIW, years ago I heard a homeopathic doctor interviewed on a radio program who said his patients had enjoyed the greatest success in quitting smoking if they started their day with some carrot, orange, ginger juice. I was a smoker at the time so the next morning I thought I'd give it a try. I never looked back. Not sure if it was the juice, or a commitment I'd made to myself to quit or, a combination of both but I quit cold turkey that day and haven't smoked since. After the first week, I wasn't even tempted. I thought I'd share this since you're feeling under the weather anyway, maybe you'd like to give it a try. To this day, if I have a carrot orange ginger juice I feel quite virtuous!! I happen to love the flavour combo as well which doesn't hurt.

                                                                        All the very best to you on this journey and I hope you're feeling better tomorrow.

                                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                          Thanks, BC. When I was at the cafe, I used to love fresh carrot, tomato, and cucumber juice. Though I do remember that they are a bit expensive, maybe I'll poke around online and see what the current prices are.

                                                                        2. re: onceadaylily

                                                                          aww sorry you have the flu, but what a grand surprise to learn the non-smoking trials and tribulations were not kicking your butt as much as you thought they were! solider on!

                                                                          that orzo salad sounds light and perfect. i'm embarassed to say i've never made orzo.

                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                            I know, right? Turns out I was pushing all the wrong fluids. ;)

                                                                            I like the texture of orzo. It's . . . slippery. I like it best in room temperature pasta salads, but it was nice in chicken and lemon egg drop soup as well.

                                                                            1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                              slippery - that's a good descriptor, and makes me want it even more.

                                                                              never forget that the juniper in gin has healing and mystical properties.

                                                                          2. re: onceadaylily

                                                                            First off.....mushroom anything and I am on board....

                                                                            GIVING UP SMOKING, WHICH I DID ON MY FIRST FATHERS' DAY 28 YEARS AGO...WAS THE BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE....I STILL RUN 5K ,3 TIMES A WEEK @ 57 YEARS OF AGE...but CHindg...is a great alternative!!!!
                                                                            TRY A LITTLE RED PEPPER FLAKES IN THE WONDERFUL BLENDED "CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP"

                                                                            1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                              Thanks, Phreddy. Trust me, aleppo pepper will go in after the puree. I'm fanatical about the stuff.

                                                                            2. re: onceadaylily

                                                                              Orzo with chciken and lemon soup...great for a cold....great on a romantic night....

                                                                              1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                Kind GF to make an orzo salad so -delish sounding for the partner while you are working. Nice job:)

                                                                                I hope you feel better, both from flu, and that the tiny 'gild-the-lilly (hehee) things that make the quit-smoke better make a difference.

                                                                                Gild that LIly!

                                                                                1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                  Hey oadl, don't use the vintage cups in the oven. I don't know what the glaze is, but it could contain lead, which is never a nice addition to one's beautiful soup. If they pre-date common microwave useage, they are absolutely not oven/mw safe unless they're pyrex or stoneware specifically for oven use. Generally oven-safe ware is specifically labelled on the bottom.
                                                                                  The orzo salad would have given me the happies too. I adore roasted broccoli, and combined with the tomatoes, it souonds just great.
                                                                                  Feel better, oadl. : )

                                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                                    Thanks, mc, and that is exactly what I was thinking: lead. The mugs are from the mid-seventies, if not earlier, stoneware, do have a glaze on them, but only say 'Japan' on the bottom. I wound up doing the pot of soup with grilled cheese, even though it wasn't as satisfying.