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Feb 25, 2013 04:29 AM

What's for Dinner #194 - The Shortest Month Edition [old]

It's hard to believe that February is almost over, and with it, the last full month of winter. Here in the greater NY area, the snowdrops are out and the crocus are poking their noses through the soil. That means outdoor cooking, maybe? Please? My husband was out smoke roasting a salmon side on the grill last night, so he clearly felt inspired. The salmon was served with a beurre rouge on top of a wild rice and mushroom pilaf and topped off with some shallot rings. It was a super delicious and glamorous dinner for Oscar night.

What's up in your kitchen?

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  1. I'm envious of the crocuses being out in your area. No snowdrops for us - just some more snow that came in mostly Sunday morning/afternoon/evening. *Just* enough to shovel this morning, but the roads were fine. And the 40-some-odd degrees we'll be getting for the next few days will help melt it.

    It'll be leftovers for me for a few days. LOVE the sound of that salmon, roxlet!

    1. Warm, but rainy here. Opened up windows for the first time this year--yay!! With 2 dogs, you really look forward to the first open window day.
      I wanted a nice meal to enjoy in front of the Oscars (yours sound lovely, Roxlet), so I made chicken piccata. With angel hair pasta and a small salad. Served on the coffee table.
      All the mention of it in the last thread made me crave it!
      And for a snack later, some parmesan ranch chex mix I'd made earlier.

      2 Replies
      1. re: alliegator

        Sooooo jealous of your open windows - and I totally hear you on the two dogs thing! It's been a loooooong winter!

        All the talk of chicken piccata has made me really crave it - but hubby is not a fan of lemon, so it will have to wait until he is gone. April is not that far away!

        1. re: iowagirl

          I'm so glad my husband likes lemon, because I love it! It's in quite a bit of my cooking. I'm man-free for two weeks, so I'll be having a lot of my favorites :D

      2. Thai coconut milk & squash soup

        Smoke roasted salmon with beurre rouge & crispy shallots on wild rice pilaf

        6 Replies
        1. re: rjbh20

          Absolutely gorgeous and beautifully plated!

          1. re: rjbh20

            Oh, yeah. I forgot the Thai coconut milk and squash soup, and I made that! I kind of winged it.

                1. re: rjbh20

                  Adore beurre rouge, don't know why I don't make it.......

                2. Last night night I made "Duck a l'Orange", utilizing a "Lola" duck (Pekin/Mallard hybrid) from D'Artagnan I had in the freezer, along with Blood Oranges I had in the fridge. While the sauce was absolutely wonderful, I was rather disappointed in the duck itself. Had never had one of these hybrids before, & doubt I will bother again. Small (3 pounds tops maybe?), & with almost NO meat on it whatsoever. So little in fact, that it was difficult to tell the breast side from the back side!! The only saving grace was that 1) it was incredibly lean - very little fat, & 2) what meat there was was very tender, even at the well-done stage, & had nice duck flavor with just a touch of wildness.

                  Served the duck with a side of fresh-off-the-stalk Brussels sprouts & organic carrot coins tossed with butter & chopped fresh Tarragon, & an extremely nice locally-produced (as in right here in our own county local) rose' wine.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Bacardi1

                    That was one of the *first* dinners I ever made, at the tender age of ten, for a birthday meal for my Dad, love duck a l'orange....

                    It's pretty common knowledge though, that ducks have a larger body cavity than other fowl, and therefore yield a lot less meat than one expects for the weight..... Anyway, it's probably next to impossible to determine how much meat a duck will give you.

                    I have got to go out and get some duck breasts, it's just been too long..... Thanks for the inspiration!

                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                      Oh, I know all about cooking duck (& goose). Have been cooking it frequently for decades now.

                      The problem, as I mentioned above, with this particular duck was that it wasn't the usual "White Pekin", which is the duck every supermarket on the planet carries. This was a special hybrid (half Pekin, half Mallard), thus much smaller - as in 3 lbs. versus the usual 5-6 pounds of a regular Pekin - & with much less meat (& fat) vs. bone. I'm used to roasting Pekins, & even Muscovies, both of which have far more meat to bone. And since the "Lola" duck was a specialty item, I paid a pretty penny for it; something I won't be doing again, regardless of the flavor.

                    2. re: Bacardi1

                      This is a dish I've never made Bacardi but is sure does sound incredible with your blood oranges.

                    3. Inspired by others on CH and determined to get the pantry and freezer stockpiles to a single-layer, I've made a lunch/dinner daily menu plan for the week. And now know that the only items I need to get at the grocery store are milk & juice. We'll see whether I can resist temptations offered by store specials and the great meal ideas posted here.

                      Last night's supper was pan-seared cod fillets, TJ Curried Rice (a previous store-special temptation not resisted), and fresh fruit salad - strawberries, pear, plum.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: MidwesternerTT

                        If it is a good deal that you can store somehow, it might be worth going off list. Just include it in your meal plan for the following week.

                        1. re: Musie

                          I've been doing that "it's a good deal, I'll store it for later" routine for months, and it will take me at least another month to get to reasonable levels. So I have to keep reminding myself that the sales are cyclical, and this won't be the last time an item's featured.

                          However, tomorrow's planned lunch was veto'd by my spouse, so I've moved all the lunch menu items up a day and can enjoy the inspirations from here as I decide what to make Friday/Saturday.

                          1. re: MidwesternerTT

                            Midwesterner, I have the same problem, and I went $75 over my grocery budget in February. So the month of March is going to be as much pantry cooking as possible for me too :) I have to keep reminding myself that things ALWAYS go on sale, there's rarely a deal that is totally unheard of and won't come up again.