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What's for Dinner? #155 - Dog Days of Summer II Edition [OLD]

LindaWhit Jul 15, 2012 11:36 AM

And the heat continues, although I heard some of the parched areas are getting some much needed rain. So what's cooking in your heat? Your rain? Your heated rain?

  1. roxlet Jul 19, 2012 03:52 PM

    Let's move the discussion here:


    1. tiffeecanoe Jul 19, 2012 10:07 AM

      All these tomato posts - can't wait for ours to be ready!

      We're getting ready to go out of town for the weekend so this is another use whatever is in the fridge until Friday so nothing is sitting and rotting.

      Last night I made a mustard and coriander crusted pork tenderloin and a broccoli, potato and cheese mash (it's the Dutch in me, I can't resist mashing everything together some times!) and we just had the same for lunch. The meat is so delicious cold.

      Tonight, that's a very good question. Will look through here for some inspiration!

      1. Bacardi1 Jul 19, 2012 08:45 AM

        Yesterday one of our local farmers markets had gorgeous, perfectly-ripe tomatoes, so for last night's dinner we chowed down on nothing but luscious BLT's. They were wonderful!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bacardi1
          EM23 Jul 19, 2012 11:08 AM

          On Monday I picked up my first summer tomato (from Jersey as Long Island tomatoes are not ready yet) and then waited very patiently and with great anticipation for it to ripen just a bit more. Last night I rewarded myself for living through yesterday's violent storms with a "luscious" BLT too. On slices of fresh ciabatta with thick sliced applewood-smoked bacon - just heaven on toast! And an ear of L.I. bi-color corn - more heaven, but with butter!

        2. h
          Harters Jul 19, 2012 01:46 AM

          Upcoming.....very simple......very delicious.

          Smoked haddock, poached in milk. New potatoes. Peas

          Classic accompaniment to smoked haddock is a poached egg, forming a sauce.

          Fish was bought at the local smokehouse and is usually a quite heavy cure. The sort of thing I imagine arsonists really loving for dinner.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Harters
            tiffeecanoe Jul 19, 2012 10:08 AM

            This sounds delicious. Smoked fish and a poached egg - delicious for sure!

            1. re: Harters
              GretchenS Jul 19, 2012 10:23 AM

              Not an arsonist but I would really love that dinner too.

              1. re: Harters
                mariacarmen Jul 19, 2012 11:20 AM

                poached egg forming a sauce for smoked haddock sounds divine, Mr. H.

              2. b
                bblonde Jul 18, 2012 07:42 PM

                Tonight sis and I put together a "tomato feast" dinner. I guess the tomato crop has been plentiful this year because neighbors are handing them to us left and right. Started out with a simple tomato bruschetta, except I used sourdough crostini. I also left out the basil on accident but it was still simply delicious and we made up on the basil on the main dish of caprese chicken. I took out a jar of pesto I froze last summer (when that crop was abundant--now that we have tomatoes wouldn't you know ours hasn't grown any!), marinated then baked the chicken breasts in that, topped with slices of fresh tomato and last minute sprinkle of mozzarella. On the side was a corn, tomato, scallion salad, and the myrecipes tomato watermelon salad. I think that was my favorite because it was totally unexpected and incredibly good. Really highlighted summer's best tomatoes and watermelon. Good enough to be dessert! White wine to wash it down. For dessert I quickly stirred up chocolate snack cake and topped with remaining chocolate ganache I had just waiting in the fridge. Not bad for a dinner 'thunk' up at the grocery store!

                2 Replies
                1. re: bblonde
                  GretchenS Jul 19, 2012 10:22 AM

                  Wow, what a celebration of the summer's best!

                  1. re: bblonde
                    gingershelley Jul 19, 2012 03:29 PM

                    Sounds very summer and delish! We probably have several weeks to go before tomatoes come in around here.... sigh. Lucky you!

                  2. letsindulge Jul 18, 2012 07:13 PM

                    Had some smoked salmon to use up so tonight's dinner is tortelleni primavera with a smoked salmon alfredo sauce. If I don't overindulge it shouldn't be a gut bomb. :)

                    1. GretchenS Jul 18, 2012 05:05 PM

                      My fish share today was striped bass, I cannot tell you how excited I have been all day. And it was just as amazing as I expected sautéed simply in a bit of oil and a bit more butter, spooning the hot fat over the fish to help it cook on both sides. I didn't add anything else as I wanted to savor it. Some baby bok choy on the side. Pure heaven. And I have another piece for tomorrow. I am most pleased.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: GretchenS
                        LindaWhit Jul 18, 2012 05:17 PM

                        I liked reading "I am most pleased." ;-)

                        1. re: GretchenS
                          gingershelley Jul 18, 2012 05:30 PM

                          Nothing better than perfectly fresh fish cooked simply! Good for you!

                          1. re: GretchenS
                            Berheenia Jul 19, 2012 04:02 AM

                            That's what I had for dinner last night at the restaurant in Truro- perfectly cooked striped bass with the skin still on. The waitress made a point of mentioning the skin but I have always liked big fish cooked with the skin on- it keeps in the fat and flavor better. It's like eating chicken on the bone- you don't actually eat the bone. An expensive but delicious fish!

                            1. re: Berheenia
                              GretchenS Jul 19, 2012 10:22 AM

                              Yep, the skin was on mine too. Stripers must be running right now. Seriously yum!!!

                            2. re: GretchenS
                              nomadchowwoman Jul 19, 2012 07:16 AM

                              When it comes down to it, fish always seems best in the simplest preps.

                            3. nomadchowwoman Jul 18, 2012 04:59 PM

                              Last night the shrimp got sauteed w/garlic, OO, and butter and sprinkled w/chopped parsley. Made a couple of salads as sides--our usual avocado, tomato, vidalia in sherry vinaigrette and also a watermelon, feta, red onion sprinkled w/lime juice, OO, and some minced Thai chile (why don't I do that more often? so refreshing). I also ended up sauteeing some corn (originally intended for the avocado salad, but not up to going naked in anything) w/onion and thyme.

                              Tonight I'm trying another fish prep (from COTM): swordfish gets slathered w/tandoori paste and grilled (we'll be inaugurating our brand new grates on our old Weber--woohoo). Keeping w/the Indian theme, I've repurposed Sunday's yogurt sauce into a raita and made Madhur Jaffrey's eggplant "in the pickling style," which I love cold, as well as my new favorite dal recipe.
                              Love this recipe--unconventional in that Naomi Duguid adds asparagus, but what a delicious use of those skinny asparagus (green beans would work here, too, or nothing--the other flavors are wonderful on their own). This is also a great addition to the vegan/vegetarian repertoire.


                              2 Replies
                              1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                steve h. Jul 18, 2012 05:03 PM


                                1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                  gingershelley Jul 18, 2012 05:30 PM

                                  All sounds great! Will borrow that dal recipe - love having another use for my tamarind paste that's taking up real estate in the door:)

                                2. m
                                  mchutch Jul 18, 2012 04:29 PM

                                  Here in Seattle, it's warm but still cloudy and strangely for here slightly humid. Anyway, because of the weather with the slight spritz of rain instead of grilling I opted make a beef and oyster sauce stir fry and a stir fry of the first of the snow peas from the garden. You can see pics on my Castii as well as other things people are making. https://castii.com/c#cast/561

                                  1. steve h. Jul 18, 2012 04:27 PM

                                    Back from the Bronx.

                                    Yanks demolished the Blue Jays in a rain-shortened day game at The Stadium. My buddy from Albany showed up on time: we traded stories, barbs and indulged in a little character assassination (directed at others) where appropriate. I caught the 4 to GCT, bought a small "junior's" cheesecake at the lower-level food court, had a delicious vodka gimlet (double) upstairs at Cipriani's. No bar stools available when I arrived but my favorite bar lady caught my eye, took my order and served me way in advance of other, more deserving, folk. Top of the world.

                                    Small plates tonight: deviled eggs, carrot spears, celery slices. Cured meats and cheeses are standing by but I don't think they will be necessary. I cribbed the deviled egg recipe from Chow (http://www.chow.com/recipes/26653-che...) and sent it to Deb. She's running with it so it should turn out pretty good.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: steve h.
                                      LindaWhit Jul 18, 2012 04:34 PM

                                      Goat cheese and asparagus in those deviled eggs? Very nice.

                                      And don't you just love being a regular? Top of the world, indeed. :-)

                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                        nomadchowwoman Jul 18, 2012 05:05 PM

                                        Yes indeed on those eggs!

                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                          steve h. Jul 19, 2012 02:14 PM

                                          Deb is wise. She added hot sauce (Tabasco) to the mix. I rained a little salt and fresh pepper on the finished product. Nice, very nice.

                                      2. re: steve h.
                                        Berheenia Jul 19, 2012 04:18 AM

                                        I love that little food court- always thought it was one of the better kept secrets in midtown. I usually just get my Penzey's fix and dabble with the others as we are days/hours away from our home kitchen when we are there.

                                        1. re: Berheenia
                                          steve h. Jul 19, 2012 11:50 AM

                                          Grand Central Terminal was on life support late last century. Now it's a destination for tourists, film crews, architecture buffs and shoppers while simultaneously serving tens-of-thousands daily commuters/slackers like me. The market on the main level is pretty good, too. The new Apple store is simply amazing.

                                          1. re: Berheenia
                                            JungMann Jul 19, 2012 12:43 PM

                                            That Penzey's sadly closed. There is now an expensive spice and tea purveyor in the same location, but I have yet to try their wares.

                                        2. LindaWhit Jul 18, 2012 04:16 PM

                                          Houston, I *have* my deck back. Finally. The decks are being replaced within the entire complex, and this week was my row's turn. I was last in the group to get it back up (along with 2 others in my row of 10) so I was seriously glad to see the deck up and most of the construction stuff moved on to the next row of townhouses.

                                          CSA pickup day - LOTS of good stuff today! Mesclun lettuce, arugula, basil, summer squash, baby cucumbers (6 of them!), salad turnips, beets, lots of large carrots, and red cabbage. Looks like we didn't get eggplant or scallions in our half share (my CFO was disappointed in no eggplant, but I'm OK with that).

                                          So I'm using up some CSA veggies from last week's' CSA as a side dish for tonight's dinner.

                                          I took a b/s chicken breast (non-Franken) out of the freezer to defrost, and seasoned it with olive oil, salt, garlic powder, and Aleppo pepper and did a quick high-roast in the convection oven for about 20 minutes. Turned the heat down and added some chicken stock and lime juice; have been basting the chicken breast with that until it's done.

                                          Rice pilaf, and sauteed greens - Swiss chard, Savoy cabbage, and a few bok choy leaves will be sauteed in some olive oil, along with some minced garlic, fines herbes (a Penzey's blend of chervil, minced parsley, chopped chives and tarragon. Not like Spice Islands blend, but it'll work.

                                          1. inkedgal Jul 18, 2012 01:15 PM

                                            Teriyaki chicken leg quarters (brined and grilled) and cold sesame noodles with summer veggies. Cold watermelon for dessert.

                                            1. Uncle Bob Jul 18, 2012 12:56 PM

                                              Fried Chicken........
                                              Berled Okra......
                                              Corn Puddin.........
                                              Squash Medley......
                                              Kone Braid........
                                              Zucchini Bread for D-Zert

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: Uncle Bob
                                                mamachef Jul 18, 2012 03:56 PM

                                                What a rascal you is, you old houng dog you. :) Would you kindly tell a gal the receipt for Unca Bob's kone puddin? Thank yew!

                                                1. re: mamachef
                                                  Uncle Bob Jul 18, 2012 04:44 PM

                                                  Ifin I had one I would sho share it wit you...I/we go by the seat-of-our-pants.. and is very simple an basic.......

                                                  One package of Corn out of the freezer...'bout three cups or so... in this case Funks G90 that ya cut the cob off a while back..(Merit is good too),,,(Pencil Cob is even mo better).A spoon full of sugar, a small/medium fresh pullet egg from the hen house, a splash of milk..(don't get it so thin)...Salt, Pepper, and a few dots of butter scattered here and there... Grease up a casserole dish wit a little bacon fat, butter, Crisco etc....bake at about 350* ...30 minutes or so...It's purty good...I like it just as well...prolly better... just "fried" on the stove, but sometimes the little brown-eyed gurl wants to do sumpin different....

                                                  1. re: Uncle Bob
                                                    mamachef Jul 18, 2012 08:00 PM

                                                    I don't know what kind of corn it's going to com off, but I know I'ma make this ASAP. Either this or the fried. That's gotta be so sweet..I can see it with a side of sliced ripe tomatoes and maybe some German potato salad. Yum and thank YOU!

                                                    1. re: mamachef
                                                      Uncle Bob Jul 19, 2012 08:03 AM

                                                      If ya go the stove top/fried/cream style in a CI skillet route...Omit the egg(s)....You may not want to add sugar either....I don't. ~~ Shoot, this ain't your first rodeo..you know how to do it.

                                                      Have Fun!

                                              2. JungMann Jul 18, 2012 09:12 AM

                                                Tonight was supposed to be fried green tomatoes night, however storing the green tomatoes in a bag with ripe tomatoes exposed them to ethylene which has since turned my fryers an alarming shade of orange. Perhaps they may be at such an early point of ripeness where I can still grill them with nettle pesto and toss them with zucchini noodles, feta and mint. I'm hoping...

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: JungMann
                                                  gingershelley Jul 18, 2012 09:36 AM

                                                  Yum! that zuchinni pasta sounds great!

                                                  1. re: JungMann
                                                    mamachef Jul 18, 2012 03:55 PM

                                                    That pasta sounds really, really good, JM.
                                                    I've made fried ripe (and semi-ripe) tomatoes before and they were really, really wonderful....give those a try some time.

                                                  2. BananaBirkLarsen Jul 18, 2012 09:09 AM

                                                    Last night was burrito night. Bottom round sliced into thin strips, against the grain, onions, green pepper, garlic, marinated in some New Mexico chile powder I picked up yesterday, along with salt, pepper, a touch of sugar and a squeezed lemon. Cooked slowly enough to keep the meat tender, and added some soaked, pureed NM chile and dried chipotle pods part way through. Served in flour tortillas (all of which seem to be super fresh around here) with a dollop of sour cream (no crema in the house at the moment), Rice and galicky black beans on the side. Some of the cake we forgot the night before for dessert.

                                                    I also made some of that roasted strawberry buttermilk ice cream that's been talked about lately, except that I used apricots instead of strawberries. I have yet to churn it, but initial taste tests lead me to expect good things (although the apricots were not as obvious in the mix as I thought they'd be).

                                                    9 Replies
                                                    1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                                      gingershelley Jul 18, 2012 09:35 AM

                                                      BBL, let us know how the apricot turns out. I expect to see great apricots at Farmer' market tomorrow, so if that works in the roasted strawberry/buttermilk Jeni's recipe, I will give it a go too. With maybe some chopped candied ginger added as well...

                                                      1. re: gingershelley
                                                        BananaBirkLarsen Jul 18, 2012 10:28 AM

                                                        I just had a terrifying moment when I thought that the motor on my ice cream maker didn't make it through the move... but then I realised it was sticking because I'd packed the thing with too much ice. Now that I'm breathing a sigh of relief (I got this thing for $6 from a thrift store and it makes perfect ice cream every time -- it's pretty much irreplaceable), I'll definitely update you on the results.

                                                        1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                                          BananaBirkLarsen Jul 18, 2012 11:30 AM

                                                          UPDATE: The ice cream is delicious. Not quite as apricot-y as I'd hoped (I might add some chunky roasted apricots next time along with the puree), but delicious nonetheless, and with a beautiful, light, creamy consistency. I did make a couple changes -- I used tapioca starch instead of corn starch, which thickened the base to a gelatinous glue. So I added extra buttermilk to counteract the tapioca, and used all of the apricot puree instead of the 1/2 cup called for. I would definitely continue to up the apricot in future versions, since apricots are more delicately flavoured than strawberries. Also, I scraped a couple vanilla beans into the apricots before roasting. I like your candied ginger idea, though, and might give that a try next time.

                                                          1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                                            gingershelley Jul 18, 2012 05:21 PM

                                                            Sounds good BBL! I am definitely making this. When I made the roasted strawberry, I had quite a bit of puree left, so I layered it in with the churned ice cream before ripening it. Vastly improved the ice cream IMO with the berry swirl, so would hope to do this with apricots as well. Just add in some chopped candied ginger into the swirl when packing. Hope those apricots are in tomorrow!

                                                      2. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                                        mamachef Jul 18, 2012 03:53 PM

                                                        "Cake we forgot the night before for desser."
                                                        BBL, huh? I mean, I found a box of thin mints that I'd hidden from me behind a bag of cornmeal a few weeks ago, and practically got religion. I think if I "found" a whole cake (even from the night before) I'd just about start speaking in tongues and handling snakes.
                                                        :) Cheers!

                                                        1. re: mamachef
                                                          LindaWhit Jul 18, 2012 04:00 PM

                                                          Speaking of which, I have two boxes of Thin Mints in the garage freezer. A good place to keep them so I forget about them until absolute desperation time. :-)

                                                          1. re: mamachef
                                                            gingershelley Jul 18, 2012 05:21 PM

                                                            LMAO!, mamachef!

                                                            1. re: mamachef
                                                              BananaBirkLarsen Jul 19, 2012 09:24 AM

                                                              Oh, believe me, it was only forgotten the one time, and only briefly. Now it's mostly gone! :D

                                                              1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                                                mamachef Jul 19, 2012 01:29 PM

                                                                Good, because the snakes were getting closer....

                                                          2. b
                                                            Berheenia Jul 18, 2012 08:36 AM

                                                            Waiting for the promised thunder storms which will bring in much needed rain as well as a cold front so high humidity and high 80's temps will be gone. We went for an early walk on the beach and came back before 10 am hot and needing showers. So scratch the beach today. I buzzed up the leftovers from the Sunday cookout (linguica, and grilled onion, mushrooms and peppers) and made my own Portugese scrambled eggs with some hastily cut up monterey jack cheese. (Need to buy a decent cheese grater or remember to bring one next year). So brunch is over and the restaurant we had hoped to eat dinner at is wildly popular and to get a reservation you call in the morning with your requested time and party size and they call you back after 4pm to let you know if you got lucky or not. I would usually balk at this but even the yelpers love this place and it's right up the country road from us rather than 10 minutes on the highway to Ptown. Leftover pizza may be WFD. We'll see.

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: Berheenia
                                                              LindaWhit Jul 18, 2012 10:57 AM

                                                              Now I'm dying to know which restaurant this is, Berheenia!

                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                Berheenia Jul 19, 2012 04:11 AM

                                                                The newly popular Blackfish in Truro. We did get in but I think it was only due to the horrendous (think Humphrey Bogart in Key Largo) thunderstorms that happened between 4 and 5 here when they were calling the lucky diners. I think a lot of people said 'we're not going out in this weather' so we got the call at 5 of 5 for a 6:15 reservation. We had a glass of wine, put on our flip flops and rain gear and drove over after the storm at 6. I had the expensive special and hubby had 3 apps because he really wanted scallops and they only came as an app. We shared his foie gras (mmm) and I loved my sea bass, couscous (the big fat kind) and swiss chard. Next time is Napi's- more laid back and lots of scallop pasta entrees to choose from.

                                                                1. re: Berheenia
                                                                  LindaWhit Jul 19, 2012 06:41 AM

                                                                  Yes, I was wondering when that storm came through down there. Glad you got into the restaurant! We got that storm earlier in the afternoon, although not as bad as the Boston area (microburst in Arlington! A friend's daughter's car was crushed by a tree - luckily she was *not* in the car). And now it's gorgeously beautiful through the weekend - looking forward to my trip to Falmouth for a party on Saturday afternoon. :-)

                                                                  1. re: Berheenia
                                                                    mariacarmen Jul 19, 2012 11:17 AM

                                                                    wow, that's sounds like a meal worth wading storms through!

                                                                2. re: Berheenia
                                                                  nomadchowwoman Jul 18, 2012 04:10 PM

                                                                  Fingers crossed for you, Berheenia!

                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                    Berheenia Jul 19, 2012 04:12 AM

                                                                    As you can see the tropical storm like weather got us in!

                                                                3. mamachef Jul 18, 2012 07:46 AM

                                                                  Yesterday morning's drizzle (brief enough) fooled me into thinking the whole day was going to be like that, so I got busy and made a cream of potato soup: started with diced onion, celery and carrots that I made a sort of battuto out of - after it was almost-caramelized, I added the chicken stock to let it all meld. I boiled russets and mashed them plain, and then whisked the resultant batch of not soup yet. Put it all into the trusty Vita-mix and gave it a good whir, and it came out creamy, but it needed some enrichment, so at the end I added a good splash of cream, salt and pepper. Served it with shredded sharp cheddar, sliced green onions, diced tomato and crunchy bacon, and some breadcrumbs I browned in butter 'til they were crispy so folks could garnish to their taste. Not super-right for the weather, but delicious anyway. Leftovers need to be used quickly, so whether it's hot or cold, it's on today's menu too. At any rate, I stuffed some cuke boats with leftover chicken/artichoke/caper salad, and it was gooood stuff. Leftover chocolate cake or watermelon for dessert.

                                                                  14 Replies
                                                                  1. re: mamachef
                                                                    GretchenS Jul 18, 2012 08:20 AM

                                                                    I love cuke boats, thanks for that reminder. The soup sounds wonderful too.

                                                                    1. re: GretchenS
                                                                      mamachef Jul 18, 2012 03:39 PM

                                                                      That soup has been a potluck savior, Gretchen. I used four large Russets and made enough to feed about 8 people as a main dish, so if you do the math.....and there's something about do-it-your-own-damnself garnishing that people love. (my absolute favorite part was the breadcrumbs.)

                                                                      1. re: mamachef
                                                                        nomadchowwoman Jul 18, 2012 04:16 PM

                                                                        Toasted breadcrumbs are the perfect finish to so many things; just love 'em.

                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                          mamachef Jul 18, 2012 07:51 PM

                                                                          I didn't realize how good those little devils were until I started sneaking them from a jar, w/ a spoon. Must be the browned butter.

                                                                    2. re: mamachef
                                                                      Harters Jul 18, 2012 08:43 AM

                                                                      I'm usually a great fan of Marci's food - but aren't cuke boats soooooo 1980s?

                                                                      1. re: Harters
                                                                        prima Jul 18, 2012 08:56 AM

                                                                        Speaking of the 1980s, shrimp salad in an avocado would hit the spot right now. Too bad I'm out of avocados. Might try shrimp salad in a cuke boat.

                                                                        1. re: Harters
                                                                          gingershelley Jul 18, 2012 09:33 AM

                                                                          Harters - so old their new again! Mamachef, that sounds like a good turn for my leftover roast chicken; I may play 'copy' over here:)

                                                                          1. re: gingershelley
                                                                            Harters Jul 18, 2012 09:39 AM

                                                                            Ahhh. Retro, then ;-)

                                                                            Retro's the new black, I gather.

                                                                            1. re: gingershelley
                                                                              mamachef Jul 18, 2012 03:41 PM

                                                                              I can't think of a better use, gingershelley. I forgot to mention that I threw a large handful of crushed salted cashews into the mix....not necessary, but the contrast w/ the rest of the ingredients was GREAT.

                                                                            2. re: Harters
                                                                              mamachef Jul 18, 2012 03:34 PM

                                                                              John, Like, oh m'god!!!
                                                                              I thought twice before I even mentioned it. Guess why?
                                                                              Nice to see you!

                                                                              1. re: mamachef
                                                                                Harters Jul 19, 2012 01:41 AM

                                                                                LOL, Marci.

                                                                            3. re: mamachef
                                                                              LindaWhit Jul 18, 2012 10:57 AM

                                                                              It sounds VERY good, mama-c! Love the retro cuke boats as well - if I get some in my CSA today, I might make them tomorrow night!

                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                mamachef Jul 18, 2012 03:43 PM

                                                                                LW, my CSA and a monster overshop at the Farmer's market is what has me running around trying to figger out what to DO with all this!! You should see my fridge. I have pickles of every stripe and variety. Can't wait to see what's coming next!! :)

                                                                                1. re: mamachef
                                                                                  LindaWhit Jul 18, 2012 03:59 PM

                                                                                  There were 6 baby cukes - I took 2 of the larger ones, leaving 4 for my CFO, with whom I'm sharing the CSA. But I won't be doing anything with them tonight. But I got salad turnips, lots of carrots, beets, mesclun lettuce, arugula, basil, and summer squash along with those cukes. I'm having problems fitting it all in my fridge as well, so I'm planning dinners around the CSA the next few days, as I'm away on Saturday evening at a party on the Cape.

                                                                            4. Bacardi1 Jul 18, 2012 07:27 AM

                                                                              Last night was a favorite easy, quicky, but still delicious favorite around here - "Aglio e Olio" (spaghetti tossed with extra-virgin olive oil, chopped garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, & a dash of salt & seasoned dry bread crumbs (to help it all stick together). Green salad & nice crusty bread was all that was needed for a nice meal on a hot night.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Bacardi1
                                                                                gingershelley Jul 18, 2012 09:31 AM

                                                                                One of my favorite pastas, up there with cacio a pepe....

                                                                                1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                  nomadchowwoman Jul 18, 2012 04:08 PM


                                                                              2. h
                                                                                Harters Jul 18, 2012 05:48 AM

                                                                                There's something of an air of celebration Chez Harters.

                                                                                For the first time in the best part of twenty years, I've bought a brand new car (usually we've looked for ones a few months old). But this was a bit of a bargain. It's currently still in the Czech Republic but should be here in a couple of weeks or so.

                                                                                For dinner, we've big, fat juicy prawns. They're going to get coated in a yogurt/turmeric/garam masala mix before being slipped onto skewers and bunged under the grill for a short while on each side.

                                                                                There'll be a yogurt/cucumber/mint/lime juice raita. And some salad leaves. And chappatis and labash bread to wrap everything in.

                                                                                And there'll be a Nigel Slater inspired dessert. We'll have a nectarine each - halved, a little butter dropped into the stone cavity and a drizzle of honey. A few minutes under the grill for them. With vanilla ice cream.

                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Harters
                                                                                  LindaWhit Jul 18, 2012 05:56 AM

                                                                                  Enjoy the new "baby" when you get it, Harters! I do have to say it sounds odd to at least me to hear your car is coming from the Czech Republic. Usually if cars are being "shipped in" in the States, they're coming from a dealer in the next state. ;-)

                                                                                  Enjoy your bunged prawns and heavenly-sounding nectarines!

                                                                                  1. re: Harters
                                                                                    twodales Jul 18, 2012 07:40 AM

                                                                                    It must be a Skoda?

                                                                                    1. re: twodales
                                                                                      Harters Jul 18, 2012 08:01 AM

                                                                                      It certainly is a Skoda Octavia. I shall be sorry to say goodbye to my Toyota but times move on.

                                                                                      There was a time when Skoda had a lousy reputation but since they were taken over by Volkswagen they've become well thought of - particularly for value for money and reliability - it's the car of choice for taxi drivers in these parts (the brother in law did about 400k miles in his).

                                                                                      Hopefully I'll have it for a little trip we're doing in the middle of next month to celebrate an important anniversary. Needless to say, it involves food - three meals....six Michelin stars. I may need to take up bank robbery to pay for it.

                                                                                      1. re: Harters
                                                                                        gingershelley Jul 18, 2012 09:30 AM

                                                                                        Well, you learn something new every day! Have never heard of a Skoda.... looked it up. Congratulations Harters!

                                                                                  2. JungMann Jul 18, 2012 05:46 AM

                                                                                    Last night's quick dinner might have been named the Orient Express for all the stops it took throughout the Eastern lands to gather up its flavors. The main dish was a large salad fixed as fattoush but dressed with a Greek mint vinaigrette (with the addition of sumac and Aleppo pepper) and topped with za'atar spiced chicken breasts done up with The Kitchn's fool proof method for BSCB (word to the wise: the breasts were done after the first 10 minutes). On the side pickled daikon radishes and a kimchi so old and crotchety I thought it was going to take me outside for a switching. For dessert, more black sesame custard.

                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: JungMann
                                                                                      Harters Jul 18, 2012 06:05 AM

                                                                                      Damn, that sounds good, JM.

                                                                                      I really am going to have to try and track down Aleppo pepper - an excuse to go wandering round the local middle eastern shops.

                                                                                      1. re: Harters
                                                                                        JungMann Jul 18, 2012 06:28 AM

                                                                                        As much as I enjoy the subtle heat and salty citrus flavor of Aleppo pepper, I don't think it comes anywhere near the winey raisin flavor of Urfa / Isot pepper. It tastes like an Homeric epithet and works in both sweet and savory applications. I could certainly see it working with your nectarines this evening.

                                                                                        1. re: JungMann
                                                                                          GretchenS Jul 18, 2012 08:18 AM

                                                                                          JM that salad sounds incredibly delicious. I completey agree that urfa pepper is preferable to Aleppo although I do use and like both. Also love maras pepper.

                                                                                          1. re: JungMann
                                                                                            nomadchowwoman Jul 18, 2012 04:06 PM

                                                                                            Do you think Urfa would be likely available in any middle eastern market?

                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                              GretchenS Jul 18, 2012 04:57 PM

                                                                                              Not really sure. I got it at a Turkish market, have not looked in my more generic middle eastern markets.

                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                JungMann Jul 18, 2012 06:59 PM

                                                                                                Not necessarily. I don't seem to have trouble getting it from the Middle Eastern markets in Chicago, but the community in New York seems either smaller or more spread apart so I have to buy it at markets that cater to the Turkish community (which are conveniently closer to me than the Middle Eastern market). But there's always online shopping.

                                                                                          2. re: JungMann
                                                                                            mariacarmen Jul 18, 2012 08:19 AM

                                                                                            The idea of the kimchi taking you out for a swiching is a great way to start of the morning. thanks, JM!

                                                                                          3. EWSflash Jul 17, 2012 07:51 PM

                                                                                            I campaigned to go out for dinner tonight, but DH had some questionable offerings for a potluck lunch and doesn't want to end up vomiting up a good dinner because of a bad lunch (some history there). So tonight is catch-as-catch-can and tomorrow we'll go out. I'll probably have cheese and crackers and some leftover broccoli

                                                                                            1. prima Jul 17, 2012 07:41 PM

                                                                                              Italian sausage and quinoa stuffed zucchini and fresh peas. Peaches and raspberries for dessert.

                                                                                              1. ChristinaMason Jul 17, 2012 06:53 PM

                                                                                                Last night we took a friend of mine visiting from Istabul out for dinner at our favorite local restaurant: http://rippledc.com/pages/menus

                                                                                                The food and drink were better than I've had in a long time, and not for lack of eating out! My fazoletti with Romano beans were esp. killer.

                                                                                                Dinner tonight was a simpler affair that DH put together while I worked late: b/s chicken breasts coated in Walkerswood jerk paste and sauteed in butter, sliced and served over a salad of Romaine, tomatoes, carrot, and probably other things I can't remember. Reduced-fat Thousand Island (Wish Bone--surprisingly not bad) as dressing and a cob corn on the side.

                                                                                                Bing cherries looking promising for dessert. Trying to resist the call of the dry bar so my jeans don't abandon me.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                  GretchenS Jul 17, 2012 07:20 PM

                                                                                                  Your salad sounds fabulous, CM, I love Walkerswood jerk and cannot find here anymore, I love the idea of jerk chicken on top of salad, plan on stealing that idea as soon as possible....

                                                                                                2. GretchenS Jul 17, 2012 06:12 PM

                                                                                                  One of the things the posh deli sometimes offers is small containers with a few slices each of several different salami-type things (salumi?). This was one of those times so I grabbed one. It's a grab bag and you are kind of out of luck if you adore something since who knows what it is, but lots of fun. So that dictated tonight's dinner: a chopped antipasto salad, with chopped romaine, giardiniera (spicy pickled cauliflower, carrot and hot pepper), tomato, grilled artichoke, black and green olive, and various salumi, with a shallot vinaigrette. As with all chopped salads, there was a symphony of tastes in each bite, and each bite was different. Really wonderful except I should have omitted salt from the dressing (luckily I didn't use much) as the salumi and olives supplied plenty. The other pic is the chicken liver mousse and funky goat cheese from the other night. I am so thankful I stocked up at the posh deli -- it has been fabulous to just eat from the fridge in this heat.

                                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                    ChristinaMason Jul 17, 2012 06:48 PM

                                                                                                    Awesome-sounding salad. Love pickled veg. and salumi/charcuterie!

                                                                                                    1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                      gingershelley Jul 17, 2012 06:59 PM

                                                                                                      Great use of 'posh deli" (great name, BTW) salumi for your yummy-sounding salad. Creative cold non-cooking on your part. Kuddos.

                                                                                                      I would like nothing better than to be the salumi-maker/pate producer for my own darn posh Shelley-deli someday, as I just got my copy today of Charcuterie by Micheal Ruhlman today in the post. Sigh.

                                                                                                      I could eat some meat thing that is potted, salted, pressed, preserved, encased or smoked every day..... and I write up the list of projects to tackle over my glass of wine now, and make crafty plans!

                                                                                                      1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                        GretchenS Jul 17, 2012 07:31 PM

                                                                                                        If you start a Shelley Posh Deli I think we will all be lining up.... That might have more legs than your moules and frites restaurant IMO but of course I am allergic to shellfish so clearly biased. :)

                                                                                                        1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                          gingershelley Jul 17, 2012 08:05 PM

                                                                                                          Perhaps the "Shelley-Deli" (renamed in some posh way, of course) items will be first course choices for the moules frites. Kind of part of the plan. At least a couple items:)

                                                                                                      2. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                        mariacarmen Jul 17, 2012 10:45 PM

                                                                                                        both those pics make me hungry all over again....

                                                                                                        another fatal FLAW of the BF's - he doesn't LOVE pate!

                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                          GretchenS Jul 18, 2012 05:16 AM

                                                                                                          He has an awful lot of good points, mc, not so sure about fatal flaws... :)

                                                                                                          1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                            mariacarmen Jul 18, 2012 08:17 AM

                                                                                                            it's true.... i guess i'll keep him.....

                                                                                                          2. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                            gingershelley Jul 18, 2012 09:25 AM

                                                                                                            That's not a fatal flaw.... MORE for YOU!

                                                                                                            1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                              mariacarmen Jul 18, 2012 10:28 AM


                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                nomadchowwoman Jul 18, 2012 04:00 PM

                                                                                                                Or you can send me his share.

                                                                                                        2. d
                                                                                                          Dirtywextraolives Jul 17, 2012 06:02 PM

                                                                                                          Still eating down the fridge in prep for vacation mode. Steamed some pee wee & new potatoes the other day and used them in a frittata as well as with bread crumb, bacon, cheese & butter. Served with some honey lime baked chicken wings, corn off the cob & leftover baby back ribs from the weekend. Tonight is the rest of the wings with a chicken breast parmigiana & ziti from the freezer. Lots of salad to finish off as well.

                                                                                                          1. gingershelley Jul 17, 2012 05:03 PM

                                                                                                            Tonight is going to be soup and salad. This morning I whipped up some 'cream of greens' soup. Too many fresh greens in the fridge that are heading south, so mixed some baby arugula (wilted), 1/2 a head of romaine past it's salad-best, a handful of asparagus, handfuls of spinach. Wilted that all down in butter with a sauteed shallot, added a handful of chopped chives and some tarragon from the garden, a glug of heavy cream, chicken stock, and got out the stick blender. Quite tasty!

                                                                                                            Planned on thinning it out tonight and eating cold, but hasn't warmed up as much as expected today, so may eat it warm with a dollop of yogurt and more chives. Big wedge salad with cukes, tomato, avocado, crumbled blue cheese and leftover rare steak strips. Some croutons and fried shallots up top. House vinaigrette.

                                                                                                            Sounds good to me!

                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                              ChristinaMason Jul 17, 2012 06:45 PM

                                                                                                              Mmm, that soup sounds heavenly. That's some nice crisper-rescue action!

                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                gingershelley Jul 17, 2012 08:09 PM

                                                                                                                It was eerily like my 'lettuce soup' recipe card I wrote from an experiment from when I was 12....

                                                                                                                Simmer lettuce with green onions, butter and stock, add milk, thicken. Thin if needed. Best if with fresh garden lettuce". VERY FRESH! it says.

                                                                                                                Add 30 something years. Good ideas, are apparently apparent. Many, many others have made this also. Necessity is the mother of soup.

                                                                                                                1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                  nomadchowwoman Jul 18, 2012 03:54 PM

                                                                                                                  I'd never thought to do that--great idea (although it's a long way to soup weather).

                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                    gingershelley Jul 18, 2012 05:14 PM

                                                                                                                    Lettuce soup is great cold. Liquid creamy salad:)

                                                                                                            2. LindaWhit Jul 17, 2012 04:13 PM

                                                                                                              I thought I was going to be taking my sister out to dinner for her birthday, but she came home from Maine a day early (yesterday), and wasn't up for a drive today. So I had nothing planned. I *had* thought about heating some meatballs with sauce, but upon opening a pantry closet to pull out a can of tomato sauce, I saw a few bakers.....voilá. Baked potato, butter, some chopped cooked broccoli, salt, Aleppo pepper and sour cream, and it's dinner. Easy enough.

                                                                                                              Tomorrow is supposed to cool down, so I'll cook something then, especially since it's CSA delivery day tomorrow, and the CSA blog has told us that we're going to get LOTS of veggies (fewer greens this time. Yay!)

                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                Berheenia Jul 17, 2012 04:30 PM

                                                                                                                WFD is today we went to a farmers market in Chatham and have a lovely salad of red lettuce and cuke and tomato but better that that we went to a local restaurant and ordered a pizza to go at the bar and while we were waiting had a huge glass of white wine from the vineyard across the highway. Life is good

                                                                                                                1. re: Berheenia
                                                                                                                  petek Jul 17, 2012 04:42 PM

                                                                                                                  Hot Italian sausage w/dad's spicy fried peppers,green olives and red onions s/w Romain,marinated veg,Parmigiano Reggiano and red wine vinaigrette...

                                                                                                                  Just happen to have a couple photos here :D

                                                                                                                  1. re: petek
                                                                                                                    GretchenS Jul 17, 2012 06:03 PM

                                                                                                                    petek, is there a sausage under there? ;) nice...

                                                                                                                    1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                                      petek Jul 17, 2012 07:11 PM

                                                                                                                      <petek, is there a sausage under there? ;) nice...>

                                                                                                                      Oh ya..it's under ther somewhere.I loves me my toppings! :D

                                                                                                                  2. re: Berheenia
                                                                                                                    gingershelley Jul 17, 2012 04:58 PM

                                                                                                                    Sounds like the vacation is going great - good for you!

                                                                                                                    1. re: Berheenia
                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Jul 17, 2012 06:51 PM

                                                                                                                      A good week to be at the Cape - enjoy!

                                                                                                                      1. re: Berheenia
                                                                                                                        nomadchowwoman Jul 18, 2012 03:51 PM


                                                                                                                    2. steve h. Jul 17, 2012 04:04 PM

                                                                                                                      It's pretty hot here on the sou'west shore of Long Island Sound.
                                                                                                                      Pasta with a house-made red sauce is on the menu. Sweet Italian sausage, properly browned, will be added to the sauce maybe a half hour or so before serving. Aged parmigiano reggiano will be grated on top of the pasta. Fresh-cracked pepper will be added to taste. A light house salad on the side. House red to wash things down. Yanks and Blue Jays will be on the plasma after NCIS concludes at 9 p.m. (Deb insists).
                                                                                                                      Yanks have a day game in the Bronx tomorrow. High temps/thunderstorms are predicted. I'll be there.

                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                        twodales Jul 17, 2012 04:16 PM

                                                                                                                        Late arrival of the Brit this evening due to after work cocktails. 101 on my car therm in the shade but there is a lovely breeze. Compressors gone on our a/c and in my car. Grrrrr.

                                                                                                                        Tonight I was thinking Greek Meze, but that entails a visit to the shops so instead I will attempt a Vietnamese salad with some leftover chicken. Made a white Sangria (for a change) with a Pewsey Vale dry riesling, peachcello, fresh oranges and pineapple. Will top it up with a little club soda and some mint. That dry riesling is one of the few whites I like. Covert Affairs goes to Barcelona tonight. The only travelling I'll be doing for the moment.

                                                                                                                        1. re: twodales
                                                                                                                          steve h. Jul 17, 2012 04:24 PM

                                                                                                                          I'm kind of fascinated by your barkeep skills. Well done.

                                                                                                                          I'll be in the Bronx tomorrow. A dubious distinction.

                                                                                                                          1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                            twodales Jul 17, 2012 05:39 PM

                                                                                                                            Happy Trails to you Mr. "Dubious". As for the Cocktails, they provide a bit of pleasure at the end of the rather dull day, as they lately seem to be unfurling. No travelling in sight and life is getting more and more expensive. 2 more years of tuition. GAH!

                                                                                                                            I am usually more of a red Sangria gal but this one appealed to me today with our intense heat:

                                                                                                                            1 bottle of dry riesling
                                                                                                                            6 oz each pineapple juice and peachcello (instead could also try vodka and peach juice? I am not a fan of flavored vodka)
                                                                                                                            simple syrup to taste or agave nectar
                                                                                                                            Slice up an orange
                                                                                                                            Chunk up a pineapple
                                                                                                                            Top up with club soda before serving
                                                                                                                            Garnish with mint and orange slice or pineapple spear if you wish

                                                                                                                            Enjoy those dubious Bronx travels and stay cool as you always are!

                                                                                                                            1. re: twodales
                                                                                                                              gingershelley Jul 17, 2012 06:12 PM

                                                                                                                              2dales; I LOVE a good white sangria, and yours sounds wonderful! Like the 'peachcello'... is that homemade?

                                                                                                                              Agree on flavored vodka - weirdly fake tasting. Don't see how that has proliferated like it has. IMO it must be a young/inexperienced drinker fad.

                                                                                                                              Try a mellon twist on white sangria... orange and nice ripe cantaloupe makes a fantastic combo as a fruit base for w. sangria - a small bit of Midori - very haunting and different, refreshing :) Best if you let it macerate for a few hours with the wine. This one, I serve VERY cold in chilled glasses if I can fit them in the freezer. Sparkling water on top too.

                                                                                                                              1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                twodales Jul 17, 2012 07:05 PM

                                                                                                                                Sounds interesting.

                                                                                                                                I forgot to mention I tossed in a diced nectarine too. I have made limoncello but not peach. Mine was purchased. It's nice in Prosecco too.

                                                                                                                              2. re: twodales
                                                                                                                                nomadchowwoman Jul 18, 2012 03:48 PM

                                                                                                                                That sounds lovely, so refreshing--I much prefer white sangria myself, so perfect for my tastes.

                                                                                                                        2. nomadchowwoman Jul 17, 2012 03:59 PM

                                                                                                                          It's always a bad idea to read these posts while one is hungry.

                                                                                                                          My second attempt at Thai-style Mussels (from COTM) this past weekend was a great success. We dunked baguette slices into the lime-y, coconut milk broth spiked w/chiles and spooned said broth over grilled baby bok choy. Also had a not bad Asian noodle salad purchased from WF.

                                                                                                                          We had a big dinner here Sunday, with my sister visiting and several other guests. Sis wanted fried fish so we had that "chicken-fried" (COTM recipe) with green tartar sauce, fresh baby limas and rice, asparagus in vinaigrette, and a big tossed salad of lettuces, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, and feta. Dessert was peach cobbler, homemade ice cream, and Mom's chocolate chip cookies.

                                                                                                                          But the piece de resistance, imo, were the zucchini fritters I made (after mariacarmen and her sister planted that craving last week) as an appetizer, the first successful zucchini fritters I've ever made. The recipe is from the May issue of Food and Wine


                                                                                                                          The fritters have bits of feta in them and mint, dill, and parsley, and they are fantastic. I could have made a meal of them. I served them w/the yogurt sauce, but jazzed it up a bit. We sipped a few different sparklies brought by one of the guests.

                                                                                                                          Out last night for sushi, and as for tonight, still TBD (though it will involve shrimp, which I must go and shell).

                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                            steve h. Jul 17, 2012 04:15 PM

                                                                                                                            Your kitchen is a cool place (heat notwithstanding).

                                                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                              gingershelley Jul 17, 2012 04:47 PM

                                                                                                                              NMC; all of that menu sounds wonderful! I have that magazine around here... will have to look that recipe up. I made some ok zuch fritters (like little patties) a week or so ago, but this recipe must be much better. Thanks for sharing!

                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                GretchenS Jul 17, 2012 06:01 PM

                                                                                                                                Lots of great food chez ncw as usual! The fritters looks fabulous.

                                                                                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                  ChristinaMason Jul 17, 2012 06:39 PM

                                                                                                                                  Those fritters are going in my to-make file for our next vegetarian guests! Yum. Mouthwatering.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                    JungMann Jul 17, 2012 07:27 PM

                                                                                                                                    I actually have zucchini and feta in the crisper to follow your lead later this week. My recipe sounds similar to yours, save the addition of chopped walnuts for texture.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                      nomadchowwoman Jul 18, 2012 03:44 PM

                                                                                                                                      Oooh, yes, walnuts sound like a good addition.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                      mariacarmen Jul 17, 2012 10:22 PM

                                                                                                                                      i'm glad our failed attempt inspired you to make good ones! will have to check that recipe out.

                                                                                                                                    3. roxlet Jul 17, 2012 03:25 PM

                                                                                                                                      We have quite a bit left over smoke roasted salmon from the other night, so I will make an aglio olio with salmon, and with that we'll have a salad.

                                                                                                                                      1. BananaBirkLarsen Jul 17, 2012 09:18 AM

                                                                                                                                        I made a really quick broccoli-cheese soup for dinner last night, served with whole wheat bread, butter and a few slices of ham. I even made a yogurt bundt cake with cream cheese glaze for dessert, but we didn't get around to eating it.

                                                                                                                                        Even though it isn't dinner, I should probably also mention the awesome tuna sandwich I had for lunch yesterday. Tuna was mixed with a bit of mayo, yogurt, capers, dill, chopped onion, a touch of sambal and s&p. Piled onto toasted slices of the same ww bread we had with dinner, topped with a couple strips of havarti and broiled until the cheese was melted. The only thing that would've made it better is tomato.

                                                                                                                                        17 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                                                                                                                          mariacarmen Jul 17, 2012 11:23 AM

                                                                                                                                          that tuna sandwich sounds amazing.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                                                                                                                            GretchenS Jul 17, 2012 11:48 AM

                                                                                                                                            Wow, cooking and baking up a storm in your new surroundings, BBL, way to go!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                                                                                                                              weezieduzzit Jul 17, 2012 04:49 PM

                                                                                                                                              Soon you will be growing your own tomatoes... and there's nothing better than a still-ripe-from-the-sun homegrown tomato.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                                                                                                BananaBirkLarsen Jul 18, 2012 08:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                You have no idea how excited I am about growing my own tomatoes! When I was little, my parents would grow more than we could eat and ended up selling them at the local food co-op a couple of years. But since then, the closest I've come to homegrown tomatoes are some amazing ones I found at a local Southeast Asian market last year (which I assume came from someone in a similar position to my parents). Come to think of it, I got paid today and might just take a walk to the nursery down the street later this afternoon to see what they have in the way of tomato plants...

                                                                                                                                                1. re: BananaBirkLarsen
                                                                                                                                                  weezieduzzit Jul 18, 2012 09:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                  I'm excited for you! I'm spending a good portion of today in the garden/ yard (while the weather is nice enough to do so... it's supposed to heat back up starting tomorrow,) and I think about how much I missed having a veggie garden all the years I lived in a climate where I couldn't garden year 'round and the places I lived where I couldn't garden at all and I don't want to be in that situation again- I love it too much and in addition to amazing organic produce and varieties that you can't buy in the store, it really helps to have a peaceful place to retreat to when everything else is out of hand. Digging in the dirt is crazy good therapy.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                                                                                                    Harters Jul 18, 2012 10:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Oh, I'm so envious of folk who can grow edibles.

                                                                                                                                                    We have a fairly large garden by UK standards (about 36 foot x 24 foot) but it's not big enough to have an area for food crops. The best I can manage are herbs grown in amongst the flowering plants or in pots on the patio (so they have to be decorative as well as tasty).

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Jul 18, 2012 10:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                      I would think that 36 x 24 is certainly large enough for a few plantings of tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, courgettes and/or aubergines, no?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                        Harters Jul 18, 2012 10:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                        We did tomatoes and courgettes in pots last year. Not a wild success, unfortunately.

                                                                                                                                                        Trouble with trying to grow veg in amongst the other plants is that they have to look decorative and "in tune" with the spirit of the garden. Could be done but it'd need a complete remodel of the plot.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                          LindaWhit Jul 18, 2012 11:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Hmm...perhaps a separate plot for just veggies? Or split the plot - half veggies, half decorative flowering plants?

                                                                                                                                                          (And I knew I had spelled courgettes wrong but couldn't figure it out myself; fixed it in my other post.)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                            weezieduzzit Jul 18, 2012 11:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                            You'd be surprised at how well they can blend. My zucchini, kale and my herb garden are all out front, right by the sidewalk, with flowers mixed in. I sit at the diningroom table and work and can hear people wonder what the big green leaves with the big yellow flowers are. :)

                                                                                                                                                            Then, in the evening, people walking their dogs and little ones are amazed that I'm picking dinner out of the front yard!

                                                                                                                                                            Herbs on the left, veggies on the right (they are MUCH larger now.)

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                                                                                                              mariacarmen Jul 18, 2012 11:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                              adorable house and garden! nice car, too....

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                                                                                                                LindaWhit Jul 18, 2012 11:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                OK, that house is just WAY too cute, weezie!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                  weezieduzzit Jul 18, 2012 11:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks- I'm trying! I want to re-do the side that doesn't have the porch but we have a nest of baby birds under the overhang and they're being kicked out of the nest to learn to fly so we try to stay out of that area (Mama bird yells at us if we're on the porch at all!) I'm thinking a dwarf meyer lemon.... mmmmm... yum!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Jul 18, 2012 02:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    :::::BIG sigh:::: A Meyer lemon tree. ::::::ANOTHER BIG sigh::::

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                                                                                                                      mariacarmen Jul 18, 2012 02:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      AWWW on the baby birds!

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                                                                                                                    twodales Jul 18, 2012 01:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Cool idea!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: weezieduzzit
                                                                                                                                                                      gingershelley Jul 18, 2012 05:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Super cute house! See the hot rod too:)

                                                                                                                                                      2. h
                                                                                                                                                        Harters Jul 17, 2012 07:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Regular readers will know that herself and I are usually keen on buying high welfare meat. And none more so than when it's piggy, which we almost invariably insist on it being free range, if not organic. However, I was seduced by some "outdoor bred" strips of pork belly that were near to the "use by" date in the supermarket and were very, very cheap. Now, "outdoor bred" has no legal definition in the UK but, broadly speaking, it means they were born outside and remain in the fields until they are weaned - then they're brought inside for probably a not too happy remainder of their lives.

                                                                                                                                                        However, you know what it's like when seduction has been involved. There's some guilt, but the fun takes over. And so it's about to be.

                                                                                                                                                        The slices will get slow roasted so the fat melts away. I'll turn the heat up for a few minutes at the end to crisp the skin. There'll be mashed spuds. And thinly sliced cabbage, stir fried, with a few juniper berries and a slosh of gin. And a really sharp apple sauce that I made in the autumn and froze in meal sized portions.

                                                                                                                                                        Herself will not have to suffer the piggy guilt as she's out on the razz with a couple of ex-colleagues. I gather it's pizza for dinner for Mrs H.

                                                                                                                                                        23 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                          LindaWhit Jul 17, 2012 09:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                          "You know what it's like when seduction has been involved. There's some guilt, but the fun takes over. And so it's about to be."

                                                                                                                                                          This would SERIOUSLY be a great first 3 lines of a novel, Harters! :-D

                                                                                                                                                          Enjoy your piggy belly.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                            Harters Jul 17, 2012 09:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                            I somehow sense that a good marmalade might put in an appearance in the first couple of pages. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Jul 17, 2012 10:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                              I wonder what a chapter from a book would look like if written by various 'hounds, each one taking a paragraph or so? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                Harters Jul 17, 2012 11:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                At your service, Ms W


                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                  LindaWhit Jul 17, 2012 11:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  I LOVE THIS!!! Just added my few paragraphs. This could get messy if people start to post willy-nilly, but it'll be fun. :-D

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                    Harters Jul 17, 2012 11:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    I've done this on another board (not food) and it shouild be fun. Love ya post.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                      GretchenS Jul 17, 2012 06:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      the both of you done good...

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                      kubasd Jul 17, 2012 04:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Love it!!!

                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                      gingershelley Jul 17, 2012 11:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      What a fun idea! Perhaps a food-centric mystery of sorts? A Who-done-it?

                                                                                                                                                                      "Miss Mary was found in the library overcome, but she had cleaned the plate before passing out. There was nothing left but a wilted sprig of parsley and a chicken bone.... As she came too, she whispered under her breath, "I believe someone poisoned the pàte!"

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit Jul 17, 2012 11:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        Have to go over to that link, gingershel, and add to the story that Harters started and I added to. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                          gingershelley Jul 17, 2012 06:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Regrettably, it seems to have already 'jumped the shark' (or, er, the buffet?)... narrative not making lot's of sense so far.

                                                                                                                                                                          Mulling on how to pull the threads together that have been introduced to this point... a glass of wine may help the noggin.... :)

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                            LindaWhit Jul 17, 2012 07:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, I noticed it died on the vine. So good luck with the noggin-joggin' glass of wine. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                              steve h. Jul 17, 2012 07:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Don't give up on the concept. I think it's a cool idea.

                                                                                                                                                                              Consider starting with a more generic (hokey) lead and perhaps restricting responses to one sentence. Allow for forks where someone can pursue one train of thought that others abandon. Goofy food responses need to be encouraged.

                                                                                                                                                                              At the end of the day, the concept just requires a bit of structure to make it stand tall. Give it a shot and see where it goes.


                                                                                                                                                                              "It was late and I was tending the embers in the great room when I heard a faint knock at the door..."

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                gingershelley Jul 17, 2012 07:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                With you Steveh, on the ideas to reprise this, and get a better result. It's a great idea.... but requires an 'internal' mod to manage those who simply don't read what went before(like, well, today?)...

                                                                                                                                                                                I like the concept of forks, and goofy food responses. Alternative endings? 2 sentence additions.

                                                                                                                                                                                Just how to limit the odd turns in the novella....?

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                  gingershelley Jul 17, 2012 08:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  "Faintly, I heard the knock at the door.... I stirred from my restless dreaming on the castle drawing room couch in front of the great fireplace. What made me so sleepy that I barely heard the knock at the door? Was I right that it seemed something ELSE was an ingredient in the food on the groaning buffet tonight?

                                                                                                                                                                                  I realized who might be at the door, and wondered where the rest of tonight's guests might be now in the warren of rooms they had been invited to for the celebration....."

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                  mariacarmen Jul 17, 2012 10:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  well, i just played!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Jul 19, 2012 07:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I liked your addition, mc. But it seems it went off the rails. I gotz nuthin'.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                      gingershelley Jul 19, 2012 03:24 PM


                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                              PHREDDY Jul 18, 2012 06:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              The Plumber did it!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: PHREDDY
                                                                                                                                                                                gingershelley Jul 19, 2012 03:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                I'm sure you did!

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                        GretchenS Jul 17, 2012 11:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        And how were the piggy bits?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                          roxlet Jul 17, 2012 03:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          That sounds delicious, but not something we could make in this fecking heat. At 6:30PM it's still 93 out, and no roasting is going on in this house! At least, no roasting of FOOD.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                            LindaWhit Jul 17, 2012 04:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah, same here. Thank goodness for my convection toaster oven so I don't heat up the house tonight! Stay cool!

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Pata_Negra Jul 16, 2012 10:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          seal, minke whale and reindeer. :D actually twice minke whale today, first was for lunch, bbq'ed in front of a glacier. too warm to get polar bears so maybe if i return in the winter.

                                                                                                                                                                          greetings from Spitsbergen!

                                                                                                                                                                          ps: seal is my fave out of the three ;)

                                                                                                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Pata_Negra
                                                                                                                                                                            ChristinaMason Jul 17, 2012 06:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            so tell us, what do all three taste "like"? I'm curious.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                              gingershelley Jul 17, 2012 06:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Now why didn't I think to ask that? Great question CM.

                                                                                                                                                                              Please elaborate Pata - and what are you doing up at the ceiling of the world anyway?

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                Pata_Negra Jul 19, 2012 12:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                (please see my reply to CM)

                                                                                                                                                                                i have been to bottom of the world, end of the world, roof of the world, and now naturally i must visit ceiling of the world. joking aside, i must be in the nature and mountains at least once a year. without the wilderness i probably go insane :D

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                GretchenS Jul 17, 2012 07:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, I would like to know that too.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                  Pata_Negra Jul 19, 2012 12:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  all 3 taste game-y. meat is very dark and thus not photogenic but i did make some photos. i have had Swedish reindeer several times in the past but this is Svalbard reindeer, they live right here in Spitsbergen. they wander freely e.ve.ry.where, yes also in the streets. minke whale is nice too, especially on the barbie. yesterday i saw them in big chunks in the supermarket, in the fish section. normal arctic food it seems. seal is tender and succlent like pata negra! lol... my other half doesnot like seal so more for moi mwahaha.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Pata_Negra
                                                                                                                                                                                    twodales Jul 19, 2012 07:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    "...seal is tender and succlent like pata negra!"


                                                                                                                                                                                    Have you tried surströmming? Not recommended BTW. Turtle wasn't bad though, I must say...and no...it didn't taste like chicken...it tasted like veal.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: twodales
                                                                                                                                                                                      steve h. Jul 19, 2012 11:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Turtle, in the hands of a skilled chef, is a delicacy. Some say Commander's Palace in New Orleans makes a good turtle soup. K-Paul's, back in the day when Prudhomme was in the kitchen and K worked the front of the house, was the best: sweet, tasty, satisfying.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit Jul 19, 2012 11:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        I had amazing turtle soup at a jazz brunch at The Court of Two Sisters in New Orleans.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                          JungMann Jul 19, 2012 12:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Creole turtle soup is a total revelation. So much better than the thin snapper soups I've had up North.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                          nomadchowwoman Jul 19, 2012 03:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          People still rave about CP's turtle soup, but I'm not one of them. That's one taste I've never acquired although my dad could wax on about the glories of turtle soup. (As a child, I always feared our pet turtle would turn up in a pot! Same reason my husband won't eat rabbit.)

                                                                                                                                                                                2. prima Jul 16, 2012 09:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  My fridge isn't working, so I had bagels, chocolate and cherries for dinner tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: prima
                                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Jul 17, 2012 06:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    While I like your dinner :::grin::: I hope you didn't lose everything in the fridge/freezer. :-(

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                      prima Jul 17, 2012 06:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks, LindaWhit ;-) I lost everything I had in the fridge and freezer, but I'm seeing this as an opportunity to turn a new leaf, and restock with exactly the kind of stuff I currently want in my fridge. Luckily, I wasn't that attached to anything I lost! ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                      I have a running list of stuff to buy, to replace the dozens of bottles and jars of spreads and condiments I discarded, with some help from some of my Chowhound friends, including Scorned Woman hot sauce, Supi Cucu Diablo's Fuego, Cholula, tahini, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: prima
                                                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit Jul 17, 2012 07:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        There's always that silver lining. Getting rid of the jars/containers of stuff that got shoved to the back and restocking with those "Ooh! That sounds good!" items you've read about. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. q
                                                                                                                                                                                    Querencia Jul 16, 2012 07:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    During a hot spell I like to make a variety of Middle Eastern things that are eaten cold and keep for a week in the refrigerator. I make tabbouleh without tomato and cucumber as it holds better---just bulgur, scallions, a lot of fresh mint, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil. Hummos. Baba gannoj. Sliced cucumbers and onions in vinegar (not a big fan of yogurt but that would be an option). Bean salads. Sliced tomatoes. Add a rotisserie chicken from the store...cheese, good breads, cold drinks. All of this goes well with non-ME like pickled beets, jello salad, broccoli salad, coleslaw, potato salad, pasta salads, tuna salad. The idea is to be able to put a plate of stuff together without having to cook---let the refrigerator be your smorgasbord.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Querencia
                                                                                                                                                                                      twodales Jul 16, 2012 09:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Right up my alley Q.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Querencia
                                                                                                                                                                                        prima Jul 17, 2012 07:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        what a great idea.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. mariacarmen Jul 16, 2012 07:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        FINALLY, the bbq chicken. Exceeded expectations, which were quite high on my part. couscous salad, and slaw were perfect matches. Summery dish on a grey, drizzly July day.

                                                                                                                                                                                        sorry for the fuzzy pics - but after yapping about this dinner so much i had to show the results, right? between the blazing red chicken pic and the one that makes the chicken look burnt, therein lies the truth.

                                                                                                                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                          gingershelley Jul 16, 2012 08:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Wel, glad you got to 'sink your teeth into it' girlfriend, and wow, looks tasty! Love the blazin' chix pic, since I guess that it is the color of BBQ? And, may I say, that corn dish had me salivatin' more than the slaw. Just me, just saying.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Here's to getting up at midnight for cold chicken, etc. when you just meant to get a glass of water. :) He he.hee

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                            mariacarmen Jul 16, 2012 09:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            thanks! i just need to get a better camera - or learn how to operate this one.

                                                                                                                                                                                            it's not corn - couscous! with cukes, dill, mint, yogurt, olive oil, s&p. it was/is delish, and shall make it to my lunchbox tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                            kubasd Jul 16, 2012 08:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            yummmmm!!! So I'm guessing my invitation just got lost in the mail? lol It all looks fantastic.... I'm drooling JUST a bit :P

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kubasd
                                                                                                                                                                                              mariacarmen Jul 16, 2012 09:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              dammit, and here i was, cursing you for not showing up!

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Jul 17, 2012 06:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              That looks AMAZING, mc!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                GretchenS Jul 17, 2012 10:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Wow, mc, that looks fantabulous!!! Totally worth waiting for!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                  nomadchowwoman Jul 17, 2012 03:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, worth waiting for!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                                    mariacarmen Jul 17, 2012 09:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    and yummy for leftovers tonight! made another big batch of the slaw with sliced cold chicken breast over the top, and a small scoop of the couscous salad. soooo good. just something about the combo of the smokey paprika-ness of the chicken with the cool sweetness of the thousand island slaw....

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                      GretchenS Jul 18, 2012 05:14 AM


                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                                                                                                                        LindaWhit Jul 18, 2012 05:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Double mmmmmmm.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. GretchenS Jul 16, 2012 05:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tonight was a slice of duck pate from the posh deli, with some cornichons and a nice hunk of crusty bread I "grilled" on the panini press, and my favorite simple salad of endive and radish, dressed tonight with a splash of blackberry vinegar (which I thought would go nicely with the duck and did), a tiny sprinkle of sea salt and a drizzle of my best olive oil. Very nice indeed but I must confess I prefer my own pate, must make a batch as soon as the weather breaks and I can even THINK about turning the oven on (would rather go hungry than do that right now). There is a very nice cheese if I need some afters in a bit but feeling quite satisfied at the moment....

                                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                                                                                                                    gingershelley Jul 16, 2012 08:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    GretchenS - oh! to pate and salad and good cheese.... these are things that meal can be made of anytime, but especially when it is warm out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I, too, prefer most often my own pate. But, it is a bit of work to have it, so hope the salad, the bought version, and the nice cheese did the trick till' you get there to your own rendition:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                                                                                                                      ChristinaMason Jul 17, 2012 06:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mmm, Gretchen, that sounds like a perfectly-balanced, decadent meal. Is blackberry vinegar more akin to balsamic, white wine, or red wine vinegar?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                                        GretchenS Jul 17, 2012 07:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        CM, it is labeled Sparrow Lane Blackberry Balsamic Vinegar and the label says "luscious blackberries combined with our dark balsamic vinegar". I bought it on vacation in OR last summer after sampling it. I am deeply cynical about all vinegars and what they claim to be, but this is very tasty when you need a lot of fruit. Which I rarely do so it will probably be around forever. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                                                                                                                          LindaWhit Jul 18, 2012 05:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Gretchen, I *HIGHLY* recommend you check out the Boston Olive Oil Co. - they've got a store on Newbury St. I *love* their honey & ginger white balsamic vinegar.


                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                            GretchenS Jul 18, 2012 07:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            LW, I am laughing because anything with honey & ginger probably just leapt into your basket like metal shavings to a magnet. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Jul 18, 2012 10:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              How did you know the baskets used at Boston Olive Oil Co. are metal? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. roxlet Jul 16, 2012 04:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Woke up at the crack of dawn this morning (4:45) to get my son off to a physics outing to Jones Beach, so I didn't have a lot of energy for dinner, and he was starving much earlier than usual, so it was just burgers and dogs on the grill tonight. Period. End of story.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                                                        steve h. Jul 16, 2012 04:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        <<...so it was just burgers and dogs on the grill tonight.>>
                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm trying hard to find a flaw here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          twodales Jul 16, 2012 04:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          True Steve H.... 8P

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            gingershelley Jul 16, 2012 08:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            No flaw, simples is GOOD!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. JungMann Jul 16, 2012 11:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I finally found time to buy groceries so this week's cooking should be a lot more delicious than the slapdash efforts of the past few weeks of warmed over leftovers. The week started with last night's quick mapo tofu, made with hand minced pork that I thought had a much better texture than the ground packages I'd normally pick up. Tonight we're doing Thai basil chicken with a fried egg and tiger vegetables salad to use up a bunch of cilantro I've got lurking. If I can manage to make it to Costco for cream, we may have a black sesame custard to look forward to as well. Otherwise we will make do with a bit of bread and butter pudding with cardamom.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          20 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                                                                            twodales Jul 16, 2012 04:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            98 here. We will be starting with Skagen shrimp over toast tonight made with lashings of fresh fragrant dill from the garden.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            A shared rib-eye. A baker for the man and a nice, veggie laden sald. Lemon sherbet for afters with a sprinkling of raspberries. And something rummy I think?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Last night it got too late for the steak so it was spinach and cheese ravioli by Monterey Pasta...not bad for a pre-made quickie. Topped with a fresh tasting marinara by Gianotti.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: twodales
                                                                                                                                                                                                              steve h. Jul 16, 2012 04:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Very nice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: twodales
                                                                                                                                                                                                                JungMann Jul 16, 2012 07:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am dreaming of your shrimp over toast. My dill plants seem to wilt almost as soon as I put them in the planter, foiling my hopes of light seafood meals this summer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  twodales Jul 16, 2012 09:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Until this year, I have not had great luck with coriander/cilantro or with dill. This year I purchased fairly well established potted plants and I water them sometimes twice a day. So far so good. Keeping my fingers crossed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: twodales
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    JungMann Jul 17, 2012 06:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I can't tell if I am overwatering the dill or if there are bugs getting at the roots as something seems to have also decimated the easy-growing tarragon that was once dill's neighbor. I may have to settle for dry herbs since I am now on my second and third transplants respectively.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ChristinaMason Jul 17, 2012 06:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You need an Earth Box! It's what keeps fresh herbs in our kitchen 6 mos. out of the year...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        gingershelley Jul 17, 2012 06:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Earth Box? Do tell CM.... I also have trouble with the more delicate herbs here, and it's not even hot in SEA! Tarragon, culinary dill, cilantro never seem to thrive....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ChristinaMason Jul 17, 2012 07:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.earthbox.com/EARTHBOX-Gardening-Systems/departments/5/ :


                                                                                                                                                                                                                          or make your own: http://www.seattleoil.com/Flyers/Eart...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            gingershelley Jul 17, 2012 07:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Great ideas, CM (although the author gets a bit wild about possible configs on the Earthboxes possible...), especially great ideas for my cool climate summers; keeping water/food available, using dark containers to up the heat, etc. Of Course that is a SEA idea:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for sharing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          JungMann Jul 17, 2012 07:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think the bigger question is can the Earth Box protect my herbs from blackfly and my clumsy roommate; both of which are suspect in this particular case of herbicide.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I would be rather interested in learning, though, if the Earth Box can really sustain plants with different watering needs in the same container. I was going to plant moss rose in the container where I'm growing sweet peas, but the hot weather makes me think I'm going to have to keep the container a lot wetter than the moss rose would like if the sweet peas are to survive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            gingershelley Jul 17, 2012 07:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            JM, you might try posting in the CH 'gardening" thread... I should have myself for my issues with tender/bolting herbs:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  gingershelley Jul 16, 2012 08:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  For 'just making do' your doing very well JM! It all sounds yummy, and would like to hear more about that possible black sesame custard?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    JungMann Jul 17, 2012 06:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Black sesame custard is simply about 1/2 cup black sesame seeds toasted in a hot pan and then ground in the blender and worked into 3 cups of thickened custard base and a splash of toasted sesame oil if so desired. If one can keep their hands off the custard overnight, i makes a mean frozen custard after processing. Growing up in an Asian household, I loved starchy/nutty flavors like black sesame and purple yam ice cream, in addition to plain old vanilla and whatever neon flavoring constitutes Superman.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      gingershelley Jul 17, 2012 11:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sounds intriguing....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ChristinaMason Jul 17, 2012 06:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Those both sound wonderful. Come cook for me anytime :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      EM23 Jul 19, 2012 10:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I would be more than happy to "make do" with your cardamom bread and butter pudding! Actually your whole meal delights me. I have been planning to make mapo at home - do you have a favorite recipe, JungMann? And the desserts - any chance that you might share your recipes?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: EM23
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        JungMann Jul 19, 2012 12:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cardamom bread and butter pudding is nothing more than generously buttered pieces of toasted bread baked (or microwaved) with a cardamom custard sauce until set. You can top with chopped almonds and sultanas. The traditional version of this dish (Shahi Tukray) would have me fry the bread in butter, reduce milk with saffron, rosewater and cardamom and then combine it with the bread. I was a little too impatient. Luckily mapo tofu is quick enough that it needs no shortcuts.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mapo Tofu
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 c chicken stock
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 T Shaoxing wine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 tsp sesame oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 tsp soy sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 tsp sugar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ½ lb. fatty ground pork
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 large leeks, white parts thinly sliced at an angle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4 cloves minced garlic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 inch ginger, minced
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 T doubanjiang
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 T hot chili paste (I use Lao Gan Ma)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 T black bean sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 lb. firm tofu, cubed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed with 2 tablespoons water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 tsp ground Sichuan pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 scallion, green parts sliced at an angle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Combine the first 5 ingredients for the sauce and set aside. In a hot wok, heat a small amount of oil and add ground pork. Render fat and fry until almost crisp before adding leeks, garlic and ginger. Add next three ingredients and stir fry until fragrant. Add your reserved sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Add tofu and stir to coat in sauce. Simmer for a few minutes. Make a well in the center of the wok and add the cornstarch slurry. Stir until thick. Serve mapo tofu topped with ground Sichuan peppercorns and scallions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          EM23 Jul 19, 2012 07:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the recipe JungMann. I will report back when I make the mapo and the pudding – rosewater and saffron sound like lovely additions.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          For the mapo you said that you hand minced the pork. What cut did you use? I would like to try it this way as well. Cheers!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: EM23
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            JungMann Jul 20, 2012 05:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That was also an exercise in laziness. The closest grocery to me had no minced pork, so I hand minced a boneless loin chop and ran my cleaver over it until it had the consistency of sausage meat. Because those pork chops are so lean, I added a handful of the ground fatty pork that I keep on hand for sausage and dumplings until it was nearly 70/30. You can get similar ratios using pork shoulder or butt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JungMann
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              EM23 Jul 21, 2012 07:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks JM!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. gingershelley Jul 16, 2012 10:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Went out for a nice lunch with the Frenchman to our fave casual French spot yesterday; shared the always awesome pork rillettes (I have been trying to duplicate them for going on 3 years now - close, but not quite right yet...), and then broiled easy eggs with ham n gruyere.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Heavy food left me not hungry for dinner at all last night, so didn't roast my chicken (like MC!). Just had some iced radishes and celery sticks dipped in my blue cheese dressing, and a dab of frozen yogurt with raspberries. Sometimes being single is liberating - if I don't want a proper dinner, I don't have to!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      So that will be WFD tonight. Took out of the brine, and now drying in the fridge with dry rub, so should be pretty well-flavored throughout by the time it hits the bbq later on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Leftovers will be cobb salads for lunch this week!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Harters Jul 16, 2012 10:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nigel Slater's very excellent rillettes recipe:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Worth a try - although I guess you're near to perfection with whatever recipe you do yours to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          gingershelley Jul 16, 2012 08:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the link, Harters. That is a nice, but very 'simplice' recipe for rillettes... This recipe/prep that we order at Cafe Presse is maddening to me; you can see tiny mince (nearly microscopic, but there) of carrot in the unctuous slab they send you, and a fine (for me, non-edible) snowy cap of pure pork fat on top - pressed into a terrine - very different than traditional, but I am sure they send it out all day by the slab... It is the spicing that really gets me - I can taste a bit of allspice, some wee whiff of garlic, thyme, and of course, loads of flavorful pork fat in the whipped and pressed mix.... It shall drive me to distraction till I make one at home that tastes like that. Haunting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Only condolence, is that the Frenchman's Uncle Bérnard, said "these rillettes are the best I have ever tasted!", when I sent a couple pots over a couple years ago for his families pre-Christmas celebrations. Someday, I will surpass Cafe Presse, that is my vow!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ChristinaMason Jul 17, 2012 06:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            <It shall drive me to distraction till I make one at home that tastes like that. Haunting.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Love it! And I can sympathize.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              gingershelley Jul 17, 2012 06:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              CM, thanks for the support. I will get back on this recipe in the fall, when it is more the season for a simmering pot of pork and pork fat. Not for the faint of heart in the heat of summer.... but a lovely treat from humble beginnings!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          twodales Jul 16, 2012 04:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mmmmm...Yum. We were introduced to Rillettes when we stayed with some Froggie friends outside of Paris. I can get nice Duck Rillettes nearby but it costs dearly. I need to learn how to make them myself or go broke. I do pretty good escargot so hopefully can master the former.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks Harters for the link and gingershelley for the inspiration.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: twodales
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            gingershelley Jul 16, 2012 08:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            TwoDales! Rillettes are kind of a thing in the newer 'bistronomic" places in Paris, and spreading.... now you do get the duck, the sardine, etc. as well as the traditional porc rillettes. I would LOVE to try some duck version, but have not had it to emulate. It is pretty dear in most places for any rillettes; which is a bit of a mystery, since it is simple base ingredients, plus time, effort, care - it should NOT cost $20 a pound! Perhaps for duck, but still, really?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Recently made one version of sardine Rillettes, with slow- simmered fresh fish with some peppercorns, anchovy, champagne vinegar, plus chive, tarragon, lemon peel and clear pork fat. Mixed feelings. I can't quite figure out what the "fixing' fat is for it.... I think it must be fish fat, but what?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Any ideas, send them this way....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              twodales Jul 16, 2012 09:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Duck Rillettes cost $16 for 7 oz here in Chicago. Definitely needs to be a treat at that price.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: twodales
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                gingershelley Jul 17, 2012 11:22 AM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Harters Jul 16, 2012 10:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We're off to a nearby city for dinner. Folk may have heard of Brit sleb chef, Marco Pierre White.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well, 'tis his name above the door of this steakhouse. Although, reading between the lines, it seems pretty much the extent of his involvement is to have his name above the door. I hope to be surprised. Surprised that is, that the food isnt overpriced and underflavoured.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LindaWhit Jul 16, 2012 10:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I hope it's as good as one with expect with MPW's name over the door, Harters!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              gingershelley Jul 16, 2012 07:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Harters, looking forward to your take ON MPW, have many mixed impressions here on his Celeb-chef status, as well as his ingenious ideas, when he is actually cooking. Good luck on a fine outcome there! Do tell!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Harters Jul 17, 2012 04:39 AM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LindaWhit Jul 17, 2012 06:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sounds like it's a one-off visit. But this made me laugh: "although the fecking big photos of MPW that adorn the walls do nothing to aid digestion." :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But are you correct in stating the plural version - "photos"? One is not enough?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Harters Jul 17, 2012 10:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Photos. Plural. Fecking enormous things.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Herself spent the evening looking at the one on this link that was about 5 foot square - http://www.clickliverpool.com/living/....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    While I spent the evening looking at a slightly smaller different one hanging on the wall behind my beloved.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LindaWhit Jul 17, 2012 10:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Good lord. That would be enough to put me off my feed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        gingershelley Jul 17, 2012 11:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LW - perfectly said! +1! That photo gave me the willies....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        twodales Jul 17, 2012 11:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the laugh Harters. I needed that....big time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          kubasd Jul 17, 2012 04:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          yikes.... he looks like he's stabbing himself, and I'd want to do the same to myself if I had to stare at that all during dinner.... and yes, as LW said, it'd def put me off my feed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        GretchenS Jul 17, 2012 09:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Enjoyed that review immensely, John, thanks for linking it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Bacardi1 Jul 16, 2012 08:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Since we dined out Saturday night, last night I made our belated "Bastille Day" dish - Coquilles St. Jacques. Rich, winey, & delicious. All that was required to round it out was a nice green salad & some crusty French bread. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bacardi1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      twodales Jul 16, 2012 08:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Coquilles St. Jacques......smiling at the thought.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bacardi1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        gingershelley Jul 16, 2012 10:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sounds delish Bacardi1... surprised more CH'ers didn't celebrate Bastille day with a French menu...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mariacarmen Jul 16, 2012 10:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          i had reservations to go to our local french bistro but had to cancel. sniff.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            gingershelley Jul 16, 2012 07:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Here, only went by one party late, as there is quite a Bastille crush at Frenchy resto's in town on the 14th... Regretably, we lost 2 of our most favored boit's in the last 6 weeks. One, Le Gourmande, closed after 14 years of very precise, inventive cuisine. Owner/chef in the house EVERY night. He needs a break.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The second, Chez Chea, it is not clear why they closed, but buzz around town about raised rent. Lovely room, service, and seasonal NW ingredients in service to French food ways. Will miss this one most.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I too cooked at home for Bastille. And damn the new taxes and lowered retirement age coming... France is messing with itself, and sending it down in quality and ability to do Vivre. Heaven help the Euro at this rate. At least, the food is great!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              NoodleQueen Jul 19, 2012 10:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              GS! As a fellow Seattle-ite, I was wondering what your take is on Toulouse Petit?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: NoodleQueen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                gingershelley Jul 21, 2012 11:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I like it - but we should discuss on SEA board... :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bacardi1 Jul 17, 2012 07:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks. I make it every year for Bastille Day. While I'm not really into frou-frou French food, I love bistro/country/peasant stuff, but when the heat index outside is 108, somehow Coq au Vin doesn't really do it for me - lol!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bacardi1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              gingershelley Jul 17, 2012 11:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm with you there Bacardi! Summer French food here is quickly sauteed fish or scallops, composed salads, RT dressed asparagus, perhaps with chopped HB egg, cold roast chicken with mustard/mayo on the side...ratatouille.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I do tend to go more Italian in summer; grilled veg, cold Tuna tonatto sauce over poached chicken breast or cold roast pork loin - a hot weather fave for sure! - RT frittata with herbs and veggies, and all kinds of salads of course.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              nomadchowwoman Jul 17, 2012 03:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lots of Bastille celebrating went on down here, gs, but it was so nasty out we stayed in--and had Thai-style *moules*.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                gingershelley Jul 17, 2012 04:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well, that sounds delish too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. mariacarmen Jul 16, 2012 12:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            arggh. had a workshop today that i THOUGHT was supposed to be over at 2:00, but actually went until 5:40, and then i had to drop someone off, so by the time i got home the BF was starving and begged me not to make him wait the hour+ it would take to make the roasted bbq chicken, slaw and Bittman's Israeli couscous salad i was so excited about. so we went out for cheap chinese/sushi (yes, a combo) that pretty much sucked but it was fast so the BF didn't keel over (he goes practically all day without eating and then is starving at 5:30 - drives me crazy. of course, none of HIS jeans have left home).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            i just got done roasting the chicken, and basting it with the sauce. i slightly undercooked it so that when we finish it tomorrow it won't dry out. i hope it turns out ok, having sat in the fridge overnight, and then reheating, with a new slathering of bbq sauce....??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I also made the dressing for the thousand island slaw, and Bittman's salad (tasted that - it's FRICKEN' AMAZING - i can't wait), so all we have to deal with tomorrow after work is shredding veggies for the slaw and heating the chicken. anticipaaaaa-aaa-tion....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              GretchenS Jul 16, 2012 06:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              mc, is that the salad with the preserved lemon in it? your dinner tonight sounds fantastic!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                mariacarmen Jul 16, 2012 10:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                no, it's this one: http://content.markbittman.com/node/211

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't think my preserved lemons are ready yet....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                PHREDDY Jul 16, 2012 07:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                MC ... I have made Bittman's slaw, but varied the initial prep of the cabbage with a tip I got from my g-ma when I was a kid.... After cutting the cabbage to the desired size, place in a bowl and sprinkle with about 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar, then I place it in a plastic bag, seal it and put it on the side for about an hour. Open the bag and wash the cabbage. I find this removes the bitterness of the cabbage. I then forego any sugar in the dressing. But.......I love this slaw on hot boigur!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: PHREDDY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  mariacarmen Jul 16, 2012 10:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Phreddy, it's not Bittman's slaw, it's his barley cucumber salad (above) but i used couscous instead. the slaw is a CHer's - innaplasticcup - and i posted it in the previous thread. good tip, but i really don't mind the bite of cabbage! i was, however, planning on doing that exact treatment with the red onions i planned on using in the slaw, as i don't love the bite of raw onion. now, however, i probably won't have time after work - i have a friend's show to be at by 7:00., so dinner will be gulped down. it's a shame.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    gingershelley Jul 16, 2012 07:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I always soak red onions in a cup of iced water with a bit of white vinegar, pinch sugar, kosher salt for at least 20 minutes. Improves texture, makes them palatable to most all, softens the sting, etc. A most improved product over fresh, raw red onion, IMO, for most recipes, if not cooked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      mariacarmen Jul 16, 2012 09:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i sliced them super thin and in the dressing they were not bite-y at all tonight. i also added thin slivers of jalapeno.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        PHREDDY Jul 17, 2012 07:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I do that prep as well, especially with red onions

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    gingershelley Jul 16, 2012 10:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wow, your anticipation for this menu must be out-of-sight by now MC! I am sure reheating the chicken will be no problem, and the salads will be delicious. Getting your preserved lemon on!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      mariacarmen Jul 16, 2012 10:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      it is! and i hope it lives up to expectations. no preserved lemon yet, though...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      in fact, i made a little similar side salad for myself for lunch - herbed yogurt (granulated garlic, dry dill, s&p), fresh mint and, dill, chopped scallaions and english cucumbers. all that's missing is the couscous, but we'll have that salad tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mariacarmen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        gingershelley Jul 16, 2012 07:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        DON'T rush those lemons, MC.... I find 3 months to be the 'sweet spot' for them to be very lemony-salt sharp, but not dulled out or old, or soft. Just sharing with you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The salads sound SO good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gingershelley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mariacarmen Jul 16, 2012 09:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          good to know, thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. BananaBirkLarsen Jul 15, 2012 10:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Roast chicken breast with garlic and thyme, baked potato with sour cream, corn on the cob and the season premier of Breaking Bad. It doesn't get much better than that (except that I have a huge craving for mint-chocolate chip ice cream, and no way to get it at 11pm).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. ChristinaMason Jul 15, 2012 07:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Many delicious summery meals y'all are cooking, here. My oh my.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We were both lazy after a day touristing at Mount Vernon. I made Mai Tai's after Trader Vic's recipe. DH whipped up some portobello mushroom ravioli from frozen, which he draped in a butter-sour cream-sage sauce before topping with diced balcony tomatoes and fresh basil. It was not bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A pointlessly gory film to go with ("Drive"). Ryan Gosling for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        steve h. Jul 15, 2012 07:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Authentic mai tais?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Somewhere, someplace, Victor Bergron is smiling. Very cool.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          twodales Jul 16, 2012 12:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mai Tais are def a favorite of mine. They go down much too easily. Now you've got me missing "Don the Beachcomber", long gone from the Chicago scene. Great place to go in the middle of Winter. Instant transformation to some kitschy South Pacific fantasy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Does this sound about right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Trader Vic’s Mai Tai
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Serves 1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ingredients :
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 lime (fresh)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1/2 oz orange Curacao (not blue)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1/4 oz simple syrup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1/4 oz Orgeat syrup (almond syrup.. Amaretto syrup)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1.0 oz DARK JAMAICA rum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1.0 oz Martinique rum (very bold taste)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          fresh mint Garnish
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          fruit Stick Garnish

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          How to make it :
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In a Double Old Fashion Glass...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cut LIme in 1/2 and squeeze over SHAVED ice.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Add spent lime shell to glass (this adds oils from the skin..important.. and common with many Trader Vic drinks)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Add remaining ingredients... and fill glass up with enough Shaved ice to fill
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mix well
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Garnish with mint spring and a fruit stick
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sit back.. enjoy the real thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: twodales
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            steve h. Jul 16, 2012 04:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Victor's smile just got bigger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. GretchenS Jul 15, 2012 06:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To hot to even consider cooking in my very hot kitchen. I went to the very posh deli today to lay in supplies for the next few days. Tonight I had chicken liver mousse and a very funky goat cheese on crackers, sided with some very good celeriac remoulade and washed down with an icy cold Provençal rose. Last night I had an excellent BLT salad with radishes and garlic buttermilk dressing, cooked the bacon very early before it got too hot and very briefly reheated. I never get tired of that salad...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GretchenS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mariacarmen Jul 16, 2012 12:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          it's not hot here at all but that's the kind of dinner i'd be having a couple times a week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. roxlet Jul 15, 2012 06:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We started with a Greek-ish salad, and then on to some terrific hot-smoked salmon on top of a lentil salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. tiffeecanoe Jul 15, 2012 02:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            just boiling some homemade (not by me!) bratwurst and will serve with some spatzle and sauerkraut. Not sure why on this 90 something degree day, but that Oktoberfest post made it impossible for me to go any other direction tonight with dinner!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            No beer soaked brats tonight!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Berheenia Jul 15, 2012 01:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hitching a ride here on an unsecured network- ours does not work - we went into Ptown and picked up some linguica (They have a SELECTION!!) and some bone-in chicken breasts to grill on charcoal. Very exciting. Also have some pre assembled veggie kabobs from the TJ's in Hyannis to throw on.- always stop there on our way to vacation land. Lobster Reef Sauvignon blanc from NZ is chilling in the fridge for me- hubby is a LaBatts man. There is Jack Daniels too but alas it is a barbeque sauce not a whiskey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Uncle Bob Jul 15, 2012 12:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In the heat and rain....Garden is muddy to say the least.......Anyway from the Sub Tropics...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Chicken Sauce Piquant......
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                String Bean Casserole.......
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Fried Green Tomatoes.....(just because I love them!!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Slices of Vidalia onion, cucumber, ripe tomato, pods of Cayenne pepper, and B&B pickles.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Fresh Peach Cobbler of D-Zert

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Supper tonight will be very light............

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. steve h. Jul 15, 2012 11:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A frittata with goat cheese and asparagus was on today's brunch menu. Green salad dressed with lemon and olive oil was on the side. There was fresh-squeezed orange juice and chilled prosecco to wash things down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Its been pretty dry here in lower Fairfield County. I've been forced to water the tomato and herb beds with some regularity. The lawn is next but only if I have to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Stay thirsty my friends.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LindaWhit Jul 15, 2012 12:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nice brunch menu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      tiffeecanoe Jul 15, 2012 02:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yum, sounds delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        twodales Jul 15, 2012 03:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This sounds so good. Since we are having another hot week, this might have to be on the menu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Just not hungry but the sailor will be returning soon from a guy's weekend on the Big Pond so probably will make the rib-eye I have in the fridge and a nice baker with a healthy salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am churning some vanilla ice cream at the moment...even though I must confess, I still have some lemon sherbet in the freezer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: twodales
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          steve h. Jul 15, 2012 05:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Churning the vanilla brings a smile to my face. Late August brings peaches to the table. Home-made peach ice cream is my favorite.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            twodales Jul 16, 2012 01:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hmmmm...peach? Tonight it was vanilla with lovely, fragrant raspberries over the top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              nomadchowwoman Jul 17, 2012 03:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Bought peaches today with precisely that in mind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                steve h. Jul 17, 2012 03:43 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  twodales Jul 17, 2012 04:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So Steve, is it basically vanilla with peaches or do you puree some peaches and then add some chunks?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: twodales
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    steve h. Jul 17, 2012 04:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Peaches parts. They should be just overripe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      MamaGoat Jul 19, 2012 09:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Lori Anne peaches are so good right now if you can get them. I've been making peach cobbler at least once a week!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MamaGoat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        steve h. Jul 19, 2012 11:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Peach cobbler, peach ice cream, peach juice dribbling down my chin. Peaches are great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. LindaWhit Jul 15, 2012 11:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As for me, I'm thankful for central air. I've done a whole lot of nothing today. A shameful slacker, I am. I *did* start the makings of a crockpot of chicken stock. Of course, I should have started it yesterday so it would have been done today, but...well, you know. Slacker. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dinner tonight will be a monstrous (and I mean MONSTROUS!) bone-in/skin-on Frankenchicken breast. This will give me several meals, it's that big. Poor chickie. It's marinating in some olive oil, freshly squoze lemon juice, lemon zest, minced garlic, and minced rosemary, as well as some salt and Aleppo pepper. It'll be roasted (in the convection oven to keep the heat down in the house).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'll make rice or orzo alongside, as well as an adaptation of ChristinaMason's grilled zucchini she mentioned last thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8577... as I don't think that the maple syrup/soy version would go well with the lemon/rosemary roasted chicken. I think I'll use some olive oil and see what spice/herb blends are in my spice cabinet and wing it - zucchini planks will be done on my grill pan on the stovetop.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            steve h. Jul 15, 2012 12:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I loves me the orzo.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Your monster chicken dish is tailor-made for a slacker Sunday. Wash it down with something good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: steve h.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LindaWhit Jul 15, 2012 12:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Slacker Sunday. I like that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And I think I'll combine the best of both worlds - I'll make an Orzo-Rice pilaf with some minced onions and garlic stirred into the browned orzo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And the washer-downer will most likely be some white wine.

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