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Home Cooking Dish of the Month (February 2013) - Nominations

Welcome to the nomination thread for the February Dish of the Month!

January has been moving right along, and a lot of people are busy making pot pies. You can view January's thread here:

It's time to put some thought into February's dish. What would you like to cook? What dish would you like to see other Chowhounds prepare, and share? Something romantic? Something heart-shaped? Or just a nice winter dish?

We are loosely defining a dish as an ingredient and a cooking method, so try to be specific in your nominations. For example, "Soup" is too broad, but "Chicken Noodle Soup" could work.

Please nominate by replying to this post, and typing your dish in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. You can nominate more than one dish, and the dishes with the most nominations will move on to the voting round. During voting, there's one vote per person.

Nominations will be open until January 25th at 8pm Pacific time (11pm Eastern time, and 3am January 26th GMT). If you have yet to participate in the Dish of the Month, or if you've been reading the threads and have never posted on Chowhound, now is the time to join in. It's a lot of fun, and we all learn new things from each other.

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    1. re: juliejulez

      Would that include short ribs and pot roast or is it just beef stew using small boneless chunks of beef? I would vote for a more inclusive category. Apologies to L.Nightshade who did try to explain in the initial post but I want more clarification on this one. thanks in advance.

      1. re: Berheenia

        To me beef stew is just the small boneless chunks of beef, and has enough variety that people could find something interesting to do with it, other than the basic kind w/ potatoes, carrot, peas etc. I personally have a beef shallot stew and a Guinness beef stew I want to try. I think the others you mentioned would be more like "beef roasts".

        Anyway, someone nominated Stew last month, and when asked to be more specific, Beef Stew became a nomination, so I was just re-nominating it, because beef stew sounds excellent for cold February :)

    2. Well, with the SuperBowl coming up I'm turning my attention to finger food and crowd-pleasers so I'll nominate a couple of things I know I'll be making regardless:



      2 Replies
      1. re: Breadcrumbs

        Seconding the CHICKEN WINGS, something I was considering getting my husband into making instead of buying the processed packaged kind.

        1. re: Musie

          Gosh I would love to do a CHICKEN WING thread! I'm intimidated by them but got a great recipe for a sauce I want to try.

      2. SALSA



        1. Different ways to make hummus. I had edamame hummus today for the first time and when I focused on the cold case realized there were 18 different types of hummus, not flavors, types of unique preparation.

          Different ways to prepare mac n cheese but also ways to use mac and cheese once prepared.

          Stew, all kinds

          22 Replies
          1. re: HillJ

            sorry forgot the capitals

            STEW, ALL KINDS

              1. re: HillJ

                MAC AND CHEESE would be fun. The last time I had it (and hated it) was on a school lunch tray. So I'd like to try some versions that actually taste good!

              2. re: HillJ

                With that do you eat your hummus? An Indian coworker urged me to make roti (Indian flatbread, chapati; whole wheat flour, salt, water, and ghee (you can substitute with butter or olive oil, etc.)) to roll it out) a couple of years ago and I finally just got around to it. It tasted so much fresher than buying the premade pita breads or naan from the supermarkets.

                Are there better types of ethnic breads than roti for serving hummus? I would love to figure out how to make hummus, including the flavored ones like chipotle, from scratch too at home one of these days.

                1. re: amateurcook2

                  Homemade HillJ hummus:

                  First, while you were typing this comment amateurc,I was literally making a batch of hummus. For me it's a two part process: once I have the chick peas cooked and cooled I immediately remove the outer thin casing. Tedious, a few fly out of my fingers but so worth the 10 mins of extra time to get the most fluffy smooth results you could ask for. Then, another rinse and into the food processor bowl they go with the blade attached. I had 2 cloves of garlic, 1 tsp of salt, 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1/2 tahini paste (well stirred in the jar) and whirl until smooth.

                  Once I transfer the hummus to a container and rinse the bowl of the f.p. out I immediately whirl up a batch of roasted pepper. Either red peppers I roasted on the stove, peeled, seeded and diced or right out of the jar. Maybe 2 or 3 large ones. This makes a quick puree I stir on top of the hummus along with some toasted pine nuts.

                  Serving, well roti, lavash, dark rye all work for me. Today I plan to enjoy the hummus with crisp rice crackers and smoked mussels on top. And you are so right about making the bread fresh!

                  If we vote in a hummus in HCD sometime, it will be fun to see what we all come up with!

                  1. re: HillJ

                    Thanks so much for the hummus recipe and suggestion to serve it with the rice crackers and smoked mussels (never knew it existed, but always liked regular mussels). That sounds like one delicious combination. Also I never heard of lavash until your post and will attempt to make it in the future as well too.

                    Store packaged hummus is a far cry from the ones that I've had from ethnic restaurants. Now that I have the hang of how to make fresh roti (just figured out that you can use the dough over a few days without compromised taste), I am more motivated to make my own hummus from scratch.

                    1. re: amateurcook2

                      amateur, would you start a roti OP with the recipe and your method in greater detail. I'd enjoy learning more!

                      1. re: HillJ

                        I don't feel like I'm qualified to start a whole thread on how to make roti because I have just been winging it. Once again, this is one of those things that boils down to preference and people might prefer different types of flour, recipes, thickness of the dough when they roll it out, etc. I figured out that I like a more bready texture so I did not roll mine out too thin in general. I always tried to maintain a slight thickness to it. When it is too thin, it tastes more papery and lacked moisture.

                        I used the online recipe from indianfoodsco.com and needed to add about 1.5 cups water total per 2.5 cups flour. You should start out with the 1 cup water, then gradually add more as needed to end up with a soft dough. I guess firmness of the dough is a debate among Indian cooks, but since I'm a beginner and the way my friend described to me the desired firmness, I aim for a softer dough. The amount of water probably depends a lot on the type and brand of flour you use.

                        Buy the bag of flour from an Indian store to be sure you are doing what Indians do. The one I'm using is from Aashirvaad brand by ITC Limited, whole wheat atta, 0% maida, 100% atta, large 10 kg bag for around $8 because it was on sale. The bag can last for a couple of years unopened, but once you open it, I heard that you should use it quickly. Store it in an airtight container to prevent moths and insects from contaminating it.


                        I got away with using room temp water and rested dough for minimum time of 30 minutes, although the full time is better or use warm water to speed things up.

                        Definitely do the folding steps where you add ghee (clarified butter; you can use melted butter or olive oil as a substitute) to half of the surface before you fold a circle into fourths to form a triangle (see divinetaste.com for better instructions and photos), which puts some nice air pockets in the roti when you cook it. After you form the triangle, you roll it out to the desired thickness.

                        When I cook it, I grease the cast iron griddle (I use lard, from a friend who owns a farm, which does not burn as badly at high heat, although probably not very popular among Hindis; ghee, shortening, butter, or olive oil may be more popular) every time I put on a new roti, but not between flips because it will cause burning (learned from experimenting) maybe due to the fact that the side going down on the griddle is somewhat cooked and now drier. I've seen many comments say that they don't grease the pan at all.

                        Here are photos for how to form the triangle parathas:

                        More supplemental info on how to cook it:

                        I use a little toast stand to put the cooked rotis on to keep them somewhat dry instead of piling them on top of each other. A lot of Indians will use the ghee very generously on the roti, even buttering one side of the roti after it is cooked, but I don't do this when I intend to use it for eating hummus.

                        Finally, it is true that you can store the roti dough in an airtight container for a couple of days in the refrigerator without compromising taste. Just be sure to put a plastic film over the top of the dough to prevent a dry crust from forming. The dough seemed a lot less sticker the next day so this might actually be more preferable for handling.

                        1. re: amateurcook2

                          Your entire post is OP worthy and I hope you will never hesitate to create something as beautiful as what you just wrote on CH and, the links are so helpful too! I'm copying the entire comment in a word doc and going over it in my kitchen this weekend. How very generous of you. Thank you amt!

                          Wouldn't a roti HCD be wonderful!

                          1. re: amateurcook2

                            I have a few general questions about the roti dough itself. You mentioned the dough being less sticker the next day, so is this a dough that's better make one day and prepared the next or would you always make the dough and stove cook it the same day.

                            What about freezing the dough. What preparing roti dough rounds btwn sheets of parchment paper, freeze and then cook a few at a time, like I do with Chinese pancakes. Would that be okay?

                            1. re: HillJ

                              I forgot to write that I don't really do any kneading. It's really funny how I am a minimalist when it comes to cooking and have become anti-kneading. I skip that messy step and have a feeling that kneading may do more harm than good with changing the flour content, elasticity, etc. Mix well is all you need, like mixing the salt with flour well before you add the water, then mix it just enough to make sure everything is well combined and the moisture is evenly distributed through the flour to form a soft, sticky (moist), ball of dough. All the mixing is done in a large wood bowl by hand and I never really do a formal kneading. Next, I place a damp towel over the bowl and set it aside to let rest for at least 30 minutes at room temp. I cooked a couple, then some more about 4 hours later while resting at room temp.

                              After it rests, I don't even knead it after that. I just use a metal tablespoon to scoop out amount of dough that I need, slightly larger than golf ball size (this is the part that is easier when you let it set in the refrigerator overnight), then roll out the 5 inch circle, followed by folding the circle into fourths (with ghee, butter, or olive oil spread along half of the folds, but not on the edges because you preferably want the edges to seal together).

                              Well, the whole thing is the 2.5 cups of flour made about 8 roti, more than I can eat in one day. It works out perfectly that the dough lasts for at least 2 days. I make 4 triangle parathas on the same day, then 4 the next day. Always prepare enough dough for 2 days because you won't be able to get enough of this stuff. I've given up on freezing doughs because for me, I feel like it does not really save me extra time and worry that the quality may be compromised. The only thing I freeze is my homemade pasta noodles (I don't knead that either, LOL!) which take up all the extra freezer space. I would also have no problem with freezing pizza dough because I worked in a pizzeria a long time ago and saw their dough would accidentally (or intentionally?) freeze in the refrigerator which was maybe set too low.

                              I'm planning to experiment with adding some flavor to the roti next time, e.g. cumin, coriander or mustard powders.

                                1. re: HillJ

                                  You got me thinking that if I wanted to knead a soft dough, refrigerating it overnight makes it more kneadable with minimum or no extra flour.

                                  Next time I make roti, I will experiment with different combinations of firmness, kneading and refrigeration. I'm also going to try cooking some extra for the next few days, either store them at room temp or refrigerator, then reheat them in a toaster or gas stovetop low open flame to warm them before eating.

                                  Indians eat roti for breakfast, lunch and dinner and I can see why, because it is an easy-to-make comfort food.

                                  1. re: amateurcook2

                                    I look forward to learning what you discover. I'm going to head to the Indian market a few towns over in my travels tomorrow. If the Manager Lee is in I'm going to pick his brain a bit too. Last time I was at his shop he was going over yogurt making with me. Nice man. I need rose water and a few staples anyway.

                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      There's probably a better brand of wheat flour than what I got for roti or maybe they are all comparable.

                                      I did try my hand at propagating yogurt from an Indian friend's culture, but I realized that I could not eat it all up fast enough. This was before I figured out how to make roti. With roti, you will definitely use up all the yogurt.

                                      American yogurt does not compare to Indian cultured yogurt for use with Indian food. In the summer, I like to grab the gallon bucket of Indian yogurt to make mango lassi smoothie (ripe mango pulp (I prefer the flat yellow ones because they are slightly tart), yogurt, vanilla ice cream, and honey and/or raw sugar, then blended). Now that you know how to make the roti, you can make a tomato onion raita (see link below which looks like a good recipe that you can modify to your taste, although I haven't attempted it myself) which contains yogurt mixed in, then grab this with the roti to eat.

                                      Also look for maybe a yellow squash-based chutney (never had it, just a guess) recipe to eat with it too. You really can't go wrong with a drizzle of good olive oil on roti plus put anything else on it, like hummus, raita, chutney, etc. Don't forget to buy some ghee (clarified butter), even though I've never used it myself, only olive oil as a substitute. Ask what do Indians use to grease the cast iron pan to cook roti.

                                      tomato onion raita

                                      random article about Indian mangoes:

                                      1. re: amateurcook2

                                        wow, lovely links and even more good info, thank you. I really love lassi...and all of your tips have been so helpful and fun to read. Chutney I'm pretty particular about; some I've really loved and others left me flat. http://www.indianfoodforever.com/chut...
                                        this S. Indian chutney I make pretty often.
                                        Indian yogurt goes in nearly every dish. Tonight I'm making an eggplant dish with the yogurt and spices.

                                        1. re: HillJ

                                          What a coincidence! I have a bag of eggplants sitting in my refrigerator because I have no idea how I should cook it. I've tried to improvise in the past, but it did not turn out well. Do you have an easy recipe? It's the long, not fat, eggplant.

                                          1. re: amateurcook2


                                            I'm serving it with jasmine rice and olive naan.

                                            Does this recipe appeal to you?

                                            1. re: HillJ

                                              Thanks for that link. Unfortunately I don't have all of those ingredients on hand. I will use that recipe when I make my next trip to the Indian store.

                                              I always thought that it would be hard to search through all the YouTube recipes. However, when I went to your link, I happened to come across this link for a simple Chinese style of preparing fried eggplant (garlic sauce with eggplant). I already have all those ingredents so I'll give this one a try this weekend.

                                              garlic sauce with eggplant

                                              1. re: amateurcook2

                                                Isn't it great when things work out. Now we both have our weekend menu planned!

                                                1. re: HillJ


                                                  after a lovely hour at the Indian market I came home and made these lentil pancakes for part of our superbowl spread. savory and so easy to pull together!

                2. I'm going to try STEW ALL KINDS [thank you, HillJ]. and see if it pulls some more interest. Beef, veal, pork. there is a new stew book out that has an interesting mushroom ragu!

                  1. For those of you nominating stew, let's try to narrow it down a bit. We've established in prior months that "stews" and "soups" are probably too broad for a dish of the month. It would be hard to compare a lentil stew with a seafood stew or a lamb stew. "stewing" is a cooking method. To work for the dish of the month, you need to also name an ingredient. There is a nomination for beef stew, which is one possibility to fit the definition.

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                      I understand and have enjoyed some limitations to nominating a HCD but I think narrowing too much limits the recipe sharing and participation. How many beef stews are you going to eat in a month? Pot pie is running well outside the traditional chicken pot pie recipes with unique fillings and pastry right now. A beef stew only HCD might be too narrow, LN. Would you reconsider?

                      1. re: HillJ

                        Sorry it took some time to get back to you HillJ, I've been so busy with work!

                        I did exchange a few words with DaveMP on this subject, and I think you make a good point. However, we are going to stick to *trying* to make the criteria a bit more specific than "stews" or "soups." I really do think it's more like working on a project together if we are cooking something with more similarities, and exchanging ideas and tips about that dish.

                        Also, I think that if a category is too broad, it eliminates future threads. If we have a month of "stew," and later people want to do "fish stew," they may not get support if several people have done fish stew during the "stew" month.

                        I think your hummus and mac and cheese ideas are great, and if you can just refine the stew nomination a bit, you'll have three perfectly good nominations!

                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                          Hi LN,

                          I posted this up thread but only to another poster who re her nomination for Beef Stew and she disagreed so let me ask you.

                          Berheenia Jan 20, 2013 02:18 PM wrote

                          Would that include short ribs and pot roast or is it just beef stew using small boneless chunks of beef? I would vote for a more inclusive category.

                          What I am asking about would be Stewed Beef as opposed to beef stew.

                          1. re: Berheenia

                            Keep in mind the ingredient + method = dish. So in the example of beef stew, it would have to be beef cooked in what we all consider a stew. There is a common perception of what beef stew is, and I don't think it serves our purpose to include other dishes. If you sat down in a restaurant and ordered beef stew, and were served a piece of a pot roast, I think you would feel mislead. On the other hand, pot roast would be a perfectly reasonable dish of the month.

                        2. re: HillJ

                          In reply to your thoughts (& thanks to you & Dave for consideration) my third entry would be tweaked by adding the word meat so that anyone participating (should stew be voted on) could use the meat protein they enjoy and from a thread perspective would have a wide range of diverse recipes to try when making stew. For instance, beef stew doesn't appeal to me nearly as much as lamb stew.

                          OTOH, Fish stew is something I could use some new tips on and rarely make at home. PROTEIN would allow for all three types.

                          MEAT or PROTEIN BASED STEWS

                          However it shakes out, I'm enjoying the nominations so far.

                          1. re: HillJ

                            Then again a meatless protein would also be a lovely stew.

                            Okay now I've confused myself!

                            1. re: HillJ

                              Here I think you have to consider what is an ingredient. Would you order a "protein stew" off of a restaurant menu?

                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                No you're right I'd order a lamb stew at a restaurant but for the purposes of learning from each other and learning about new recipes I wouldn't be excited about dozens of lamb stews.

                                So what do you recommend to fix this dilemma I'm having :)

                                In the case of pot pie, the filling and the crust lent itself to a variety in both cases. We didn't vote for CHICKEN POT PIE, we voted for POT PIE. So, my question remains with STEW.

                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                  And, my apologies for hogging the thread-time. I really just want a broader stew category.

                                  When I nominated mac n cheese and hummus it was with the same ideas in mind. If hummus was ever chosen, I wouldn't want every way to whirl a chickpea..or something as common as mac n cheese has to be more than the sum of its parts....to be worthy and interesting as a special thread to Dish of the Month.

                            2. re: L.Nightshade

                              I don't think that "stew" is commonly used to describe a cooking method these days. "Stew" describes a dish of some kind of protein (usually), veggies, liquid, and seasonings, normally cooked low and slow. I would like to see a STEW thread that encompasses, beef, lamb, pork, vegetarian, etc. Enough variety to suit everyone, and not too limiting.

                              1. re: pikawicca

                                Okay, so I'm not alone in my thoughts. pika thank you for expressing yourself so much better than I did.

                            3. POT ROAST
                              PORK ROAST
                              BAKED SHORTRIBS

                              1. CHICKEN WINGS
                                I'm not much of a deep fry person, but I'm really into grilling and baking them, would love to see what other are doing.

                                      1. re: herby

                                        you know count me in for RISOTTO too.

                                          1. re: HillJ

                                            I read it awhile back but never made the risotto bacause the shouting "make it EXACTLY as I say" bugged me. Sounds good though and I should copy it to my PP and try it next time :) Have you made it?

                                            1. re: herby

                                              Not recently but Joe's story was one that just made me what to try it. Very rich recipe for risotto, this one.

                                          2. re: herby

                                            RISOTTO sounds lovely to me too. And different from our current dish, pot pies.

                                                1. I vote for RED MEAT STEW. After all, beef, lamb and veal are almost interchangeable in this type of stew, whereas that is not the case for chicken or fish, to that would allow us to use chicken or fish stew another month.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: ludmilasdaughter

                                                    I'd be OK with this compromise. Does this work for those of you nominating "stew"?

                                                    This way, we're open to fish stews, bean stews, fowl stews, etc. in future wintery months.

                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                        That looks good to me. I didn't nominate stew by itself, but I think that's a very good compromise.

                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                          As I don't eat meat, I'm switching my stew nomination to RISOTTO.

                                                        1. Just a reminder that nominations will be closing tonight at 8pm Pacific time. Get your suggestions in while you can!

                                                          1. February =

                                                            in all forms and incantations
                                                            to eat, to drink, to lick
                                                            Happy Valentine's Day!

                                                            savory or sweet or bittersweet
                                                            dark or milk but not white

                                                            mole? black pepper? flourless?
                                                            just chocolate or more

                                                            what will you do with it?
                                                            on top, on the side, inside/outside, marbled
                                                            hot or cold, frozen or melted
                                                            stirred or shaken
                                                            ground, chunks, shaved, ribbons, leaves, molded
                                                            or gold-flecked

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Cynsa

                                                              We've had a chocolate nomination before, but it's not really a dish, just an ingredient. We can't really compare notes when someone is cooking molé and someone is making chocolate truffles. Molé would work as a dish nomination. Another dish that is more specific, such as chocolate cake, would also work. Please return and nominate a dish!

                                                              1. re: Cynsa

                                                                Please share a recipe for Paczki.

                                                              2. Nominations are now closed for the February Home Cooking Dish of the Month.

                                                                I will be posting the voting thread tomorrow, January 26th.

                                                                1. The voting thread for the February Dish of the Month is now up here: