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May 29, 2012 02:14 PM

What's for Dinner #147 [OLD]

With the sudden appearance of post Memorial Day summer weather, I am too enervated for energetic cooking. Dinner tonight will be some pasta with already-made pesto, a side of left-over smoke roasted salmon, and a salad. That's all I feel I can manage, and tonight, I am definitely sleeping with the air conditioning on!

Is it hot where you are, and has the appearance of hot weather influenced your dinner plans?

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  1. Oops. I'm reposting from the old thread. Thanks, MC.

    I've been cooking only a little, and lurking a lot. All of you make me laugh, and drool, every day. Which sounds as if we're wardmates, but I mean this in good way.

    Our schedules have not been kind lately, but I've made two meals that I've been asked to repeat (they are a bit similar, as we've been unable to get to the market). The first was a baked sandwich: a sauteed mix of *lots* of baby bellas, kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, peppers, and onions with feta and mozzarella. Stupidly simple, but the boyfriend keeps bringing it up, so I think I'll make them again soon. The other was a just-for-him pasta: tri-colored campanelle with chopped and sauteed summer sausage, olives, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, and a mushroom ragu, with a little parmesan. I sprinkled a little ground fennel and cayenne into the sauce. He really enjoyed it. He proclaimed it to be salty, smoky, and delicious.

    Tonight tests my pantry. I think I've settled a cheesy polenta, with white beans, spinach, sundried tomatoes, garlic . . . and maybe a little fennel-up fake sausage. There's a new-to-me brand I've been playing with, and the texture is *almost* perfect when crumbled in a skillet. There will be bread involved. And tomorrow we'll get to the produce market--the real one, not the damn big-box.

    16 Replies
    1. re: onceadaylily

      Isn't it furstrating when the thing they rave most about is a sandwich!? Yours does sound good tho!

      I'm still on the lookout for polenta in my new 'hood, so far I've only seen ready-made in a squidgy casing.

      Tonight is chicken, asparagus and lemon cassoulet from the Leon cookbook. Chicken went in to marinade in lemon, garlic and thyme last night so tonight i just need to fry an onion, chuck in a can of beans and some asparagus, add stock and chicken and pop in the oven. Then I can nip out and buy a fan...

      1. re: gembellina

        Haha, I know. And that cassoulet sounds good! I've been trying to get a few last wintery dishes in before it becomes too hot to even glance at the oven.

        1. re: onceadaylily

          It was actually fairly summery with the asparagus and lemon, quite a misleading title I think as it was nothing like any cassoulet I've ever tasted, apart from having beans in it!

        2. re: onceadaylily

          that's the second time I read 'summer sausage' on CH today! I have to ask... what is it? How is it different from any other season's sausage?

          1. re: Klary

            Summer sausage is a cured meat, Klary. It's fully cooked, and doesn't require refrigeration (though I stick it in the fridge after it's been opened), and it can vary quite a bit from brand to brand, as to what types of meats and cuts are included. I usually get the Klemet's brand, as they sell it next to where I work. It smells beefy to me. Many people just eat summer sausage with crackers and cheese, but you can cook with it as well.


            1. re: onceadaylily

              OADL is right. It is also sold by Hickory Farms. Years ago, when my ex was a hunter, we used to have it made with elk meat too. I like to eat it with Triscuts, sweet hot mustard and a slice of cheese. Great snack.

              Hickory Farms is here:

          2. re: onceadaylily

            What is the fennel sausage you use? I love soyrizo already; I would love to add an Italian flavor to the repertoire for healthier preps.

            1. re: JungMann

              I've been using the Field Roast Italian Sausage. It's sold in links, but crumbles fairly well (I add extra ground fennel after I've crumbled it). You have to watch it though, it can go from almost-there to burnt in the blink of an eye. It holds its shape in a sauce much better than anything else I've tried, owing to the fact that it is made with vital wheat gluten, instead of soy.

              1. re: JungMann

                JM...I assume you are referring to Chorizo sausage....a colombian or mexican type of sausage...

                1. re: PHREDDY

                  Soyrizo is a soy-based version of Mexican chorizo that I surprisingly prefer over pork as it is less greasy and infinitely healthier. Other pork chorizos across the Latin world, although often less fatty, do not have the same addictive heat and sour flavor that I find so beguiling in the Mexican style.

                    1. re: JungMann

                      Jm .. Have heard of it but have never tried it....where do you get in NYC?

                      1. re: PHREDDY

                        Trader Joe's has it in/around NYC

                        1. re: PHREDDY

                          Trader Joe's is the only place I know of. I haven't even seen it at Whole Foods around here. Back in Chicago I used to be partial to the Melissa's brand, but the Trader Joe's soyrizo in NYC is pretty good, too.

                2. all this talk of low carbs and grilling makes me wish i was having a grilled fatty bloody ribeye with composed butter, and a head of broccoli with olive oil, salt & pepper, but.....

                  dinner is up to the BF tonight. i have a feeling the main is a rice dish... sigh....

                  someone please have a steak for me tonight! thank you.

                  1. It was slightly humid when I left work today, but it's definitely cool north of Boston. We'll be getting rain tonight and overnight, but not the heavy hailstorms and thunderstorms that northeastern NY state, Vermont, and southern NH/western MA have gotten or will be getting later tonight!

                    As for my dinner, it needed to be something soft. I woke up this morning with my right jaw aching - as if I were grinding my teeth overnight. Well, I might have been doing so - but I wear a bite guard so I'm not sure why my right jaw hurts! I checked - it's not the teeth - it's the jawline. Ouch.

                    So I thought I had taken out some meat sauce to have with spaghetti. After it defrosted, I realize it's chili. Oh well. That still works. I'll serve it over some leftover spaghetti (I usually serve it over elbow noodles) with sour cream and grated cheddar on top.

                    And hopefully my jaw won't hurt tomorrow morning. :-/

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      chili over spaghetti w/ sour cream and cheddar is excellent. what a fortuitous mistake :)

                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                        It did the trick of taking the hunger pangs away AND was soft to eat. My two goals for dinner last night.

                        Even better is that my jaw doesn't hurt this morning. So I'll actually be able to chew on both sides of my mouth for lunch and dinner.

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          I'm certainly not averse to chilli with spaghetti, or mashed potato for that matter. don't tell anyone! Glad you're not in pain this morning :)

                          1. re: LindaWhit

                            good to hear that was temporary pain only, LW!

                        2. re: LindaWhit

                          Sounds like Cincinnati Chili to me. Or at least that is how we call it. Used to serve that every superbowl sunday! Everyone loved it.

                        3. SO NOT hot hear, Roxlet; et al. all WFD posters (whom I love)...

                          Tonight, the let-down from the fabu weekend is in full-force. Deeply tired, and not so motivated to cook. All y'all who read the last thread know of my Sunday shinanigan's and last night's early grillaxin'.

                          The tuna grill last night was AWESOME; clean, tasty, sharp and light. Tuna in a veil of toasted fennel seeds/ Corriander seeds/ blk Pepper, with a bed pf spinach, some quartered tomatoes, and that tang of the food 52 strong dijon/caper dressing. We really enjoyed it. Dogs for the boy, and relaxing around the patio was all we could do....

                          Tonight, after a busy day working on stuff here, I am so focused on a MR burger for just me (!), and an ear of corn. Super simples. Saved frozen chuck patty, with a little onion and spice ground in. On the grill for a few, on a bun. Avo, dijon, slice of tomato and pickle and that's about it.

                          Over salted/butterd fresh new corn to satisfy my carb craving; then just sleepy me with a movie I probably won't manage to finish...

                          Knowing that I am missing tonight, crise de grouilles feed tonight at the lovely Al Fresco (possible, but might still be too cool out) resto JF's family goes to for the frog leg feed. Nothing but plates and plates of froggy legs, sauteed up in garlic and lemon. Served with white wine and bread. Not much more. Everyone eats till the table groans with bones. SO good! Can't wait till Sept. when I am there again.

                          Now I cook my burger, and wish:)

                          Tomorrow, on to new bright tasks, and fresh energy in the short week coming up. Energy and peace to all my CH, n WFD hounds!

                          1. With a house full of guys and a driveway full of hot rods all weekend (the guys are getting cars ready for a show at the end of June,) it was impossible to cook so it was pizza on Friday and out to dinner on Saturday. Sunday was the obligatory holiday weekend grilled chicken and veggies so tonight it's back to normal in the kitchen.

                            I'm still obsessed with baby carrots cooked in coconut oil so tonight I will add snow peas, scallions, broccoli and shrimp to them. Lots of sriracha on the side (or on top...) I guess I can make the man some rice if he wants some, I'm looking forward to something light. Its pretty warm here.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: weezieduzzit

                              "...a driveway full of hot rods all weekend."
                              very cool. car people and boat people are cut from the same bolt of cloth.