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May 8, 2012 03:43 PM

What's for Dinner #143 [OLD]

We're well over 300 on the previous thread, so it's time to start a new one - what's cooking this Spring week in your house? Are you dealing with dreary rainy weather, as we are in New England, or bright sunshine elsewhere (and I'm hoping a lot warmer than it is up north!).

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  1. As for me, I've had a bit of upset stomach since the middle of last night/this morning, having it get me out of bed 3x in the space of what I think was a half hour - I refused to look at the clock as that would have just woken me up fully. It's still a bit grumbly, so I'm going with a plain baked potato. Well, I'll have *some* butter on it (and salt and pepper), but will try and jazz it up a bit without adding too much stuff that might upset the tummy even more - some finely chopped cooked broccoli and grated cheddar should make it more of a meal.

    1 Reply
    1. It's pretty warm here. Grumble, grumble.

      Yesterday, an acquaintance gave me a lot of squash blossoms b/c she knows I love them. (Well, I do like them, but they are such a PITA that "love" is more what my husband and sister feel when they are served them.) So I stuffed them, half w/cheese (fontina, chevre, parmesan, roasted garlic) and half w/pureed corn, chevre, parmesan, roasted garlic, shallots and minced chanterelles. They got dipped into an egg white and seltzer batter and fried, then sprinkled w/lemon juice, parmesan, and chopped parsley. I ate two of the cheese-only version, realizing there are some carbs in the batter, but after all that work, I wasn't abstaining completely. DH and Sister scarfed the rest--a lot--in short order. Dinner was shrimp w/garlic (a COTM recipe), pan-roasted asparagus drizzled w/sherry vinegar, tomatoes and shallots in vinaigrette, and wild rice. The others had bread for sopping; I did manage to abstain from that.

      Must get off my duff and start thinking about tonight's dinner. Pork chops will be on the menu, but not sure how they'll be prepared or what alongside.

      22 Replies
      1. re: nomadchowwoman

        Mmmm... those pics look tasty.... I was just out in the garden watering the squash (and the neighbor just brought over 3 plants she doesn't have room for, 2 yellow crookneck and 1 dark green- I'm incapable of turning down more veggie plants even though I already have 12 squash plants for a household of 2!)

        You've inspired me to make stuffed blossoms... soon, very soon..... maybe for Mother's Day. I doubt his Mom has ever had them.

        1. re: weezieduzzit

          It is SO exciting to me that you guys have viable squash plants allready? We don't even put ours out into the garden in SEA until about, well, now. And I won't see any blossoms until late June.... so different peoples abilities to grow things where they are. Sigh.

          I am so impressed you all have squash blossoms to stuff!

        2. re: nomadchowwoman

          May I be adopted and come to your house for squash blossom night? That sounds so wonderful.

          How kind of you too, to fix them for others when you are trying not to eat them yourself. We cooks like to bring love to others, don't we?

          Shrimpies sound great too!

          1. re: nomadchowwoman

            <half w/pureed corn, chevre, parmesan, roasted garlic, shallots and minced chanterelles. >

            dear lord, woman. you're killing me!

            1. re: ChristinaMason

              I didn't even taste one of those--as mc says, waaaah. But I was told they were the favorite; I enjoyed my plain cheese ones though.

            2. re: nomadchowwoman

              I am lusting after your squash blossoms. I love them, and yours look delicious! And gingershelley is right, I didn't even see them around here last year until very late in the summer, maybe even August!

              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                Those stuffed squash blossoms look and sound wonderful. I've never made them, nor ever even tasted them, but I've always wanted to. I don't fry things very often. I wish I could be virtuous and say that it's a health choice; it isn't. It's a laziness choice! I never know what to do with the leftover oil! But I think I will try them out this summer - and that cheese combination will be what I try, certainly.

                1. re: auburnselkie

                  I hate frying too, but I have not found a good alternative for squash blossoms. I tried baking them once; they just weren't as good. Since I don't do these very often, I usually fry the. What a mess it is, however.

                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                    I almost never fry, either, but some things must deserve the love... I would put zuchinni blossoms in that category. Only things I ever fry are revered great veggies in season, like said blossom, or perfect zuchinni or mushroooms for tempura.

                    A great product, sometimes, deserves a giant mess! I appreciate those willing to do it, and great CH's like CM, that found an oven-alternative!

                    1. re: gingershelley

                      Okay, okay! As soon as my farmer's market opens I'll get some, bust out the oil, and report back. ;) You are right, of course, gingershelley.

                      1. re: auburnselkie

                        I was trying to convince myself as well Auburn!

                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                    I've never eaten a squash blossom, well, a cooked one, and I'm craving them, and the rest of your dinner. Good grief, NCW!

                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                      I love squash blossoms too, but don't expect to see any for another month or so, and then hopefully in my own garden, since we are finally in a place with lots of direct sun!
                      One way to cook them without frying is to stuff them with herbed cheese, whatever you fancy, then drizzle them with olive oil and stick them into a hot oven until they get a bit crispy. Let them sit a minute and halve or quarter and sprinkle with some nice salt. This is a great horse devour , but lighter fare than your average stuffed blossom. -don't get me wrong, I LOVE the fried ones, but the roasted ones work better with my bikini.

                      1. re: rabaja

                        Ooh thank you for the tip! Now I can't have any objections, can I? Yum.

                        1. re: rabaja

                          I'll have to try again on the oven method. High heat, you think?

                          It seems early for squash blossoms, even here, but everything is early this year. Blueberries and peaches are out too, and it's definitely early for those.

                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                            You are so Lucky Lucky Lucky! to have a proffusion of blossoms to fry.... sigh. Great for you!

                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                              I think around 375-400F, iirc. I'll make some when I get some blossoms and let you know.

                          2. re: nomadchowwoman

                            Good god, woman! that's it. i'm moving in.

                            i made them only once, in Italy, where they grew and were sold on every corner in abundance, but often it was so hot and as we were at the mercy of bus schedules, that we often couldn't get them home in time without them getting all wilty.

                            1. re: mariacarmen

                              MC, let's take our jeans over there and move into the spare room, while trying to stay on the weight watchers thread, we can eat stuffed squash blossoms for an evening, washed down with good Italian fruity whites.

                              Then go back to the 'program"?

                            2. I spent the last two days packing up my old office and unpacking in the new. I do not feel like much so a grilled Havarti cheese sandwich is it tonight.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Chazz27

                                Sometimes a simple comfort food like grilled cheese *works*, Chazz.

                              2. Last night was arepa with bbq chicken and salsa..

                                ..ditto tonight. I didn't get home until late & it's already been an awful work week. I didn't have any food, leftovers, or clean dishes. I do now, but I remain unsatisfied until I can cook tomorrow.

                                BUT! This G&T helps quite a bit, frosty and cold in the weird muggy warmth. Looks like I'm Even Steven.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: megjp

                                  G&T, yay! Cold and frosty is only proper. Hope your week improves.

                                  1. re: megjp

                                    Sometimes, Meg, a G&T smoothes over all those issues of clean dishes, dinner, etc. But - to a better week, and great meals. You deserve it:)

                                    1. re: megjp

                                      It's cold and rainy again now but I see that as no reason to stop me cooking myself a G+T tonight!

                                      I'm still sans kitchenware, and the thoughtful landlord used my one pan to collect the leaking water under the bath.

                                      So tonight is a BAT sandwich - bacon, avocado and tomato, with toasted sourdourgh, sauteed cherry tomatoes and garlic and chilli squished into one slice of bread, bacon grease on the other, and lovely ripe avocado in the middle. And the G+T :)

                                      1. re: gembellina

                                        Sounds like the perfect thing to me! (I had another one with my other can of tonic tonight.. thankfully tomorrow is Friday and will end this work week!)

                                    2. I was on my own for dinner tonight, as the boyfriend has his nose buried in his stats book and claims to not be hungry. So I threw together a frittata with red onion, broccoli and pieces of chicken breakfast sausage. A thick slice of toasted potato bread on the side, and some sauerkraut with mustard (weird, I know, but so good with eggs, especially when there's sausage involved).

                                      10 Replies
                                      1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                        I'd love your recipe for potato bread, if you're sharing. For a splurge sometime...

                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                          Here ya go. I believe it is an adaptation of a Nigella Lawson recipe I found on a blog somewhere. It makes the most wonderfully soft, moist loaf with a slightly chewy crust. It's a little dangerous to have around the house.

                                          1 1/4 cup mashed potatoes
                                          5 to 6 cups bread flour
                                          1 T salt
                                          2 1/2 t yeast
                                          1 T buttermilk or Greek yogurt
                                          1 1/4 cup lukewarm water

                                          Mash the potatoes and mix in about 4 cups flour and salt. Stir yeast into lukewarm water and let sit for about 5 minutes, then stir in the buttermilk. Slowly add the yeast mixture to the potato mixture. Tip out dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 12 minutes, adding in flour as needed. As much as 2 cups extra might be needed.

                                          Place dough in large greased mixing bowl, cover with cling wrap and set aside for about an hour to double in size. It can also be set aside overnight in the fridge.

                                          When the dough is risen, punch it down and knead for about a minute. Form into a loaf in your preferred shape, either on a greased baking tray of in a lightly greased loaf pan. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise until almost doubled in size, about 40 minutes.

                                          While bread is rising, preheat oven to 450F. Place risen loaf in oven for about 20 minutes and then turn temperature down to 325F and bake another 10 minutes.

                                          1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                            I usually make croquettes with leftover potatoes, but this recipe looks great. Thanks, BBL.

                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                Ooh, I should add that this recipe makes an enormous loaf that balloons out of my (smallish) loaf pan. Last time, I double the recipe and then divided it into 3 loaves and it fit into my pan perfectly. Plus I get the added bonus of having pre-made dough in the freezer to thaw out whenever I'm short on bread (which is, uh, right now, 'cause we ate the last loaf in about 2 days).

                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                    I wouldn't wish my first, misshapen balloon loaf on anyone! (Although it did still taste good.)

                                                  2. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                    You can FREEZE the dough, and make later? that sounds interesting, BBL, do tell....

                                                    1. re: gingershelley

                                                      I've found I can freeze pretty much any yeast dough and it ends up indistinguishable from the original (or sometimes better!) I just portion it up into loaf-sized blobs, usually after the first rise (or whenever the recipe tells me to put it in the fridge overnight, if it does happen to tell met that), oil the blobs up and plop them into freezer bags. Then I thaw in the fridge and pretend I was just making a dough that was supposed to be refrigerated. Before I killed my sourdough starter through neglect, I would make massive batches of pizza dough and freeze it in pizza-sized chunks. It's nice to be able to make homemade pizza in just a few minutes.