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What's for Dinner? #172 - old

Time to put Superstorm Sandy and the Nor'easter behind us and embrace braises, roasts and squashes.

Risotto with squash is on the menu tonight. The dish is inspired by a meal Deb and I recently had at the Getty Center restaurant (go for the art, stay for the food).

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  1. Steve,
    A light white from a jail in California?

    5 Replies
    1. re: PHREDDY

      Nope. A California pinot noir. A glass of California sparkling wine to start the day, of course.

      Deb's risotto and squash is pretty heady stuff. Pumpkin seeds and fried sage send a traditional dish over the top. The pumpkin risotto at the Getty Center was the inspiration. I'll post chapter and verse on our excellent (and timely) trip real soon now.

      1. re: steve h.

        La Crema? I wonder if you ever made it over to Artesa in Napa, which does lovely pinots. Maybe your next trip thisaway.

        Deb's risotto sounds amazing.

          1. re: mariacarmen

            La Crema? Yes.
            Deb and I have a brief milage run in December. We'll be settling in to Sausalito in August for an extended stay. The purpose is the Louis Vuitton Cup. Artesa is now on the radar.

        1. The day was spent erranding. A lot more driving than I had expected, as I didn't find what I was looking for in my old neighborhood. A quick text to my sister and she gave me another idea to find what I was looking for...which meant driving a bit further out of my way (but where I could still hit up some of the stores I was planning on going to back in my old stomping grounds).

          So a LONG day on the road. Let's just say the stupeyheaded Christmas sales have started, bringing out the stupeyheaded drivers, and the stupeyheaded parking lot bad car parkers, and the stupeyheaded store aisle walkers who also stop with their shopping cart in the middle of the aisle or drive on the wrong side of the aisle. :::::Gritting my teeth::::::

          Took out a couple of b/s chicken breasts (which will require a gentle defrost in the nukerator as they won't be defrosted in time for dinner prep). I had picked up a bag of shallots at Trader Joe's, and wanted to use some of them in tonight's dinner. Luckily, there's this little thing called the Internet that came up with just the right recipe!

          http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/ba...

          I'll probably deglaze the pan with a bit of chicken stock after roasting the chicken and shallots for a bit more of a pan sauce. Sides will be basmati rice and steamed broccoli with toasted cashews.

          8 Replies
          1. re: LindaWhit

            report back, wouldja? i love shallots but i never leave the whole or almost whole, and i don't know why. bet they're delicious like that.

            1. re: mariacarmen

              mc, this dinner was VERY good! I added 1/2 cup of chicken stock to the pan sauces in a small skillet, brought it to a boil, and the turned it to a simmer and reduced it. I mounted it with a pat of butter, and it was an amazing sauce. And I *did* cut the two large shallots I used in half, so they began to separate into layers as they cooked and some of the pieces got all nice and caramelized. Quick and easy to make. One I'll do again.

              1. re: LindaWhit

                yummers. thanks, i'm going to try it too.

                1. re: mariacarmen

                  Just an FYI - in my opinion, it *definitely* needed the add-in of the chicken stock for reduction for a pan sauce. Otherwise, it's just melted butter and a minute bit of chicken juice drippings. Perhaps with the BISO chicken, it would have more juices/fat in the pan, but I liked it with the chicken stock.

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    i would do that, definitely. but yeah, i would use BISO. and prolly thighs. thanks for the tip.

                  2. re: mariacarmen

                    The Frenchman's 2nd cousin taugh me a few years ago (mostly with gestures), that she uses whole shallots both as part of her ratatouille, and as a base to a pork roast dish she made on another visit.

                    I adopted that trick for a number of roast dishes, and love a caramelized roasted shallot as part of my veggie assortment under most roasts now!

              2. re: LindaWhit

                Fine Cooking has some Fine Recipes

                1. re: twodales

                  I was very pleasantly surprised, twodales. Although after signing up for their site so I could drop a review there, I got inundated with Emails. Which promptly got unsubscribed from.

              3. Found some flap meat for burgers tonight. Did the Serious Eats Ultra crispy potatoes as a side

                1. out again tonight. gf cooks herself a fabulous, multicourse birthday dinner party for 15 women every year - always amazing food, lots of cocktails/bubbly, and a good time.

                  whipped together a cottage pie (NB, Mr. H - beef) for El Viejo, with a mashed yam/potato/parm topping. hoping it goes over well. there are less and less things he likes from my repertoire of bland.

                  15 Replies
                  1. re: mariacarmen

                    What fun - happy birthday to your friend, and enjoy the food and bubbly - please report back as to what you had.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        So my friend's bday dinner last night for 14 was: the "official" cocktail - "When Figs Fly" - consisting of fig syrup which she made herself from fresh figs, bourbon, and your choice of heavy cream and/or sparkling water, on the rocks. such an odd combo that totally worked! chased liberally with vino & cava throughout the evening. appetizers: crostini with goat cheese and a blueberry/cranberry/raisin/orange zest chutney; sriracha deviled eggs, smoked salmon puff pastries topped with aioli. then, at table: salad of mixed greens, fennel and persimmons in a honey/lemon vinaigrette with green olives and shaved parm regg; a wild mushroom creamy soup (no cream, just shrooms, onions, garlic and broth) - such earthy goodness; pumpkin gnocchi with a sage browned butter - to DIE for, the standout of the evening, for me (and as i spent the night, it was even better for breakfast this morning!); and roasted salmon filets in a garlicky spinach sauce and andouille sausage slices. dessert: cheese cake balls rolled in a variety of nuts and ground chocolate, with a strawberry/rhubarb compote. She's amazing!

                        1. re: mariacarmen

                          Oh. MY. I want:

                          Crostini
                          Deviled eggs
                          Mushroom soup
                          Gnocchi
                          Salmon filets
                          Cheesecake balls

                          What a wonderful dinner you had, mc!

                            1. re: mariacarmen

                              That sounds all so delish and like a GREAT evening...

                              Do you think you could get us that gnocchi recipe?

                                  1. re: gingershelley

                                    oops, "I'll" ask. so i got it, but it looks like a recipe she copied from somewhere, word for word, but she didn't say from where, so i don't know if i can post it here verbatim. i can send it to you on the OTHER social network....

                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                      Maybe you could Google a phrase in the recipe, and see if it's available online and link it?

                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                          HAH! you're so smart, LW! and funnily enough, it's a Chow recipe!

                                          http://www.chow.com/recipes/30496-pum...

                                          i think my friend did not do the creme fraiche, just a browned butter with sage sauce.... but they were awesome.

                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                              Thanks MC - SO funny it is from Chow...... a tiny world, indeed!

                                              May make these sometime over TD weekend and report:)

                              1. The risotto sounds divine. I am going to try that next weekend. Acorn and butternut seem really good right now.

                                I am making chicken and dumplings. I made the stock today from leftover roasted chicken.

                                1 Reply