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Oct 21, 2012 06:45 AM

What's for Dinner #169 [old]

Yo-yo weather. That's what we're getting in New England. We've had temps down to 32°F last week, but yesterday's temp hit 75°F! It's rather whackadoodle. :-)

But today's weather dawned bright and sunny, with temps to be in the lower 60s. Good football weather. So what's cooking in your kitchen?

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  1. As for me, while I still have a container or two in the freezer, I figured I might as well make more meat sauce.

    Ground beef, sweet sausage, diced onions, red and green bell peppers, sliced mushrooms - all will be browned/sauteed as it's supposed to be, and to it I'll add a can of crushed tomatoes, a cup of fresh tomato sauce, a bag of roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, basil and oregano, bay leaf, and a healthy pinch of salt and pepper. I'll let that simmer on the flame tamer this afternoon while I (hopefully!) do my Honey Do's around the house. I have a list. Let's see how much I can cross off it. :-)

    Spaghetti topped with some meat sauce and grated Parm-Reg, some garlic bread, a salad, some wine, and the Pats whomping on the Jets in Foxboro, and it'll be a nice Sunday dinner.

    7 Replies
    1. re: LindaWhit

      I love the smell of simmering sauce. Sounds wonderful. Now if I only had "smell-a-net", that would make my day!

      1. re: boyzoma

        I know! It's why I love slow braises and long-cooking foods...makes the house smell really good!

        1. re: LindaWhit

          +1! I LOVE fall and winter Sunday's, when I am cooking things (mostly long-simmering), and popping in and out of the house cleaning up leaves, etc. outside and the whole house smells delicious - just love the smell and the cozy feeling. :)

            1. re: steve h.

              I've been vacuuming, dusting, changing the bed, doing laundry, straightening up, etc., before the game started, and every once in awhile I headed downstairs to stir the sauce. Smells SO good in here!

              1. re: LindaWhit

                That is so cool. Autumn in New England, to me, is all about colorful leaves, chilly nights (quilt season), football and the heady smell of stews and braises on the weekend stove.

                1. re: steve h.

                  Bingo. The quintessential New England autumn weekend. Note *quite* as cool in the evening as I'd like, but still nice.

    2. Last night was a good old fashioned Beef Stew. The meat literally fell apart and was really moist. My stew contained potatoes, baby carrots, celery, onion, green beans, corn and peas. Nice and chunky. It also smelled of allspice and cloves and had a small can of tomato sauce stirred in. Delicious. Can't wait for leftovers.

      Tonight will be Fried Chicken, mashed potatoes and peas on the side. A good country gravy will be on top of the potatoes, too!

      1. My husband is off in search of a pork loin, which we will have tonight in advance of some Egyptian house guests. For them, I am stirring up a big pot of Bolognese sauce...without the pork component. They will arrive tomorrow, so I want to have something ready to go because I won't know how exhausted they are until they arrive. With our pork loin, I am hoping for some potato pancakes and apple sauce. It's really the only time I like fruit with a protein meal. My husband turns his nose up at this, but I got to turn my nose up at his Kippers and eggs this morning. Literally.

        Edit: No pork loin that fit his expectations of what a pork loin should be, so WFD will be salmon, but the preparation hasn't been decided upon. I like it when we have it two ways: he uses the tail meat to make a ceviche served over guacamole, and then smoke roasts the rest and serves with a red wine butter sauce. I'll see if I can convince him :)

        1 Reply
        1. re: roxlet

          "It's really the only time I like fruit with a protein meal."

          No dried apricots or fresh dates with lamb or pork? This makes me sad. Salmon sounds amazing though!

        2. Last night, I was FORCED by Steve's description of Carbonara at the resto off the Campo Fiori to make that for dinner. I was flying solo, so a perfectly easy meal for one.

          And I had the good fortune to shop at the store that carries 'jowl bacon' - for 1/2 the price of bacon! Thank God someone hasn't figured out that this is actually guanciale, or the price would triple and I would have to go to the butcher counter for it. Haahaa!

          Thank you Steve - it was delish, and the little bit of pasta water really does make a difference!

          5 Replies
          1. re: gingershelley

            Sounds like you hit it out of the park.
            Spaghetti carbonara can be pretty special. It's a simple dish that requires top-notch ingredients and solid technique. When it's right, it's really right. Well done!

            1. re: steve h.

              OK, now you both have me drooling. I already have a pasta dish on the menu for this week, but this is DEFINITELY going on the menu next week. You guys shouldn't have twisted my arm so badly. Now it hurts!

              1. re: steve h.

                Grazie, prego.... it was truly delish Steve! Your right, when it works, it works. Well done is true.:)

              2. re: gingershelley

                GS---are you keeping this "jowl bacon" source secret? Don't blame you if you are...

                I've actually been thinking about hitting up Rain Shadow for fresh jowl to try making my own guanciale.

                1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                  Oh, 8 - inch! This stuff is the funniest find around - at Fred Meyer of all places, It is Fall's Brand (Brand is capitalized as part of the name) 'Hog Jowl Bacon". Guanciale by other names. Sure this isn't some wonderful pasture raised product - more like industrial bacon, but the taste is not like most bacon, IMO, it is fattier and not all tasting of commercial smoke. I like it diced for Carbonara, or to season greens. I can grind the really fatty parts into my paté mixture....

                  If I need super artisanal guanciale, there is someone at Ballard FM, and at the Edmond's FM that has it for sale, tho I don't remember the vendor's name.

              3. Today, in the spirit of a perfect fall/Autumnal Sunday crisp and cool with mixed sun and clouds (nod's to Harters and LW), I am making several things today....

                A course country pate, since I have ground pork, jowly bacon, some dark ground chicken, pork liver, etc. all in the fridge - even some ham for interior garnish.

                There will also be a chicken brining (probably for dinner tomorrow), a batch of homemade hummus made, to go with lamb steaks for tonights dinner - with a greek salad - to satisfy my mediterannean cravings that you all have stirred up.

                Also making some Haitian black beans; these will be bubbling on the stove since I soaked them yesterday(to go over rice) - my mom's recipe from a month long trip she and my dad made there when I was in my early teens - "Duriz Col I". says the index card I pulled from her old shelf-paper covered recipe box:). This is for weekday lunches.

                That should do for today!

                3 Replies
                1. re: gingershelley

                  The country pate sounds wonderful. I really need to do some homework and get busy.

                  1. re: steve h.

                    Well, I more than "kind of" mashed together a couple of Micheal Ruhlman recipes for country pate - thinking that I remembered my riff's of last time (which were - not to be bold - pretty superlative). but so far, something seems to be amiss, as it has allready taken 20 minutes more for the pate in it's water bath to come to temp and be cooked. It also does not have that amazing smell' that I am used to....

                    So we shall see on that after it is weighted and cooled. Not expecting much other than a great meatloaf sandwich at this point...

                    1. re: gingershelley

                      I never get things right the first time. I'm looking forward to the challenge.