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Mar 24, 2013 01:00 PM

What's for Dinner #203 - The Week Before Easter Edition, Part 2 [OLD]

Soldiering on with our "spring," and expecting snow and gale force winds tomorrow. I don't care what T.S. Eliot says, for me, March is the cruelest month!

The march to Easter and Passover continues apace. What's on your table for dinner?

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  1. Reposting here since you started a new thread:

    I am kind of glad I held back on Friday with the Indian food and all, because yesterday was a freakin' food orgy: 1/2 lb. bacon-cheeseburgers (grass-fed, 100% organic from TJ's -- nice gamey flavor, but the texture was a bit off-putting.... overground, I thought) and TJ's oven fries with ample amounts of "artisanal" ketchup and mayo :-)

    Lemon bars for dessert. Cheetos. Leftover cuke salad. Lindor balls. Some ciabatta with herbed goat cheese. Let's stop there, since I couldn't, apparently, last night.

    Tonight is another 'dangerous' meal: my man's delightful yuvetsi (braised lamb shanks with orzo, tomatoes and kasseri).

    It's the *perfect* spring meal.... if by "spring" you mean 1-3 inches of snow today, and 3-5 inches tomorrow.

    Healthier meals coming up this week. I hope.

    11 Replies
    1. re: linguafood

      I love lamb but have never had shanks. I'd love to hear what you do with them as I'm looking for a good lamb recipe for Easter.

      1. re: fldhkybnva

        Lamb shanks and half legs of lamb are on sale at my local stupidmarket. I *might* have to pick up some up.

        1. re: LindaWhit

          Wow, around here, the lamb cuts never go on sale just before Easter - only the cheapo spiral cut hams. The markets here figure if you are after a lamb dinner for this holiday - you will PAY.

          The Tuesday after, I am stocking up on lamb!

          1. re: gingershelley

            Oh, I noticed the NZ leg of lamb is on sale at my store for Easter.

              1. re: steve h.

                It was...or rather, is -- we have ample leftovers for dinner tomorrow, enough to feed a friend of ours!

                Those shanks get so tender, and the orzo, tomatoes and especially the kasseri really tie the dish together, to quote the Dude '-)

              2. re: linguafood

                Wow, that looks gorgeous and perfect for this weather. I love yuvetsi but the recipe I use says to use lamb shoulder and the cheese Tessa Kiros suggests is parmesan.

                I've never seen kasseri in the UK but I will look for it in the shops now I've moved stateside.

                1. re: helen_m

                  Parmesan? Dude. That's just wrong '-)

                  We've found kasseri in the (admittedly very well-stocked) Wegmans cheese section. I haven't checked Trader Joe's.

                  I think shoulder would work just as well as shanks, tho the latter seems to be much easier to find around here.

            1. re: linguafood

              God, this sounds stunning, all of it. And the Lindor balls. Actually my favourite chocolate ever. The white chocolate version is delicious; they recently came out with a caramel version but I haven't tried that yet.

              Going to research yuvetsi now...

            2. This weeks meals (especially after my 5 guys disaster) are going to be light. 2 weeks of vacation eating has done me in and with the Easter holiday coming I need to watch it!

              Been working on my Easter menu and trying to finalize the guest list. Blended families can sometimes be a challenge!

              Dug out all the decorations, pulled out all the linens and have got the boy polishing silver.

              Still feeling sicj form 5 guys so everyone is on their own tonight. Tomorrow will be Thai Basil chicken. Excited to try my had at that!

              21 Replies
              1. re: foodieX2

                I used to heart 5 Guys but the last one was "The Last One" - gritty comes to mind.

                1. re: foodieX2

                  All of my coworkers rave about 5 guys. I have never been but it's been on my mind and I'm tempted to drop in when I'm in the area but I keep reading other opinions like this which make me think I should just stay home and grill up a burger. I love holidays and menu planning. I can get so wrapped up in the preparation but it's quite enjoyable for me. It sounds like you are preparing for a wonderful celebration. I am away from my family and will miss them on Easter which has always been a big family gathering, so I think I'll have to plan my own Easter menu for 2 to celebrate in style on Sunday.

                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    Do it!! I find that as wonderful as it is to be surrounded by friends/family on the holidays my husband and I most treasured ones have been when it was just the 3 of us when the babe was small. You can splurge on things for 2 you wouldn't make or buy for 14. Timing isn't as critical of an issue so you can be more relaxed. Go for it and please let us know what wonderful things you concoct!

                    I think I finally figured out what I don't like about 5 guys. I ordered the regular cheese burger with catsup, lettuce and tomato and while the first few bites tasted good it was downhill after the 3rd and 4th bite.

                    I think it' the combination of the grease and american cheese and being cooked on a flat top griddle. I am used to the ground beef I get from our cow share that, while high in fat, I usually cook them grill so lots of fat drains away. The rare times I put cheese on my burgers is usually extra sharp cheddar. Throw in the processed white roll and the mass amount of catsup they added and it was all just too much! I didn't eat anything else the rest of the day. ugh.

                    If you go order the kids burger which is just a single patty and put on your own condiments. They might have other cheese options too, I don't remember.

                    Oh-the fries were great at first as they were piping hot and crispy but they serve them in paper bag so with in minutes they were steamed and soggy so that didn't redeem the experience! Who came up with that idea?

                    1. re: foodieX2

                      With the fries you have to tear open the bag and lay them out so they stay crispy. Not good if you're doing take out. Those I do still like though. And, there's definitely enough for 2, possibly even 3-4 people in one order.

                      You may be onto something w/ the fat content. I'm learning I can't eat the high fat foods like I used to, even though I don't eat a "low fat" diet by any means. Last night I had some pizza that was pretty greasy, and I didn't feel so hot afterwards. I should have at least blotted the pizza before eating it.

                      1. re: juliejulez

                        good tip on the fries. We got it to go so the ones I nibbled on as we were walking out the door were fabulous but then I closed the bags to stop from eating them all, LOL, so by the time we got home they were soggy.

                        Twice in one week I threw away fries. Never thought I I would EVER say that….

                        1. re: juliejulez

                          When I am cooking at home and can control the ingredients (majority grass-fed/organic/natural) that go into my food, I can handle foods with a higher fat content. That is not the case when I am eating out at restaurants where they are using cuts of meat and oils that I would not use at home - "that" kind of fat my stomach has less of a tolerance for.

                        2. re: foodieX2

                          You are right on about the holidays! The past few holidays it has either been me or just me and SO and we have had wonderful celebrations which are just near perfect combinations of spending the day doing my favorite thing - cooking - and then my next favorite thing - eating - while in my PJs on the couch, in the comfort of my own home, with candles burning, watching movies. I will just need to figure out what to make which is an epic task for me as I often have trouble deciding what to eat on a daily basis because the options are all so good. I have the tendency to turn anything into a holiday or a need for something special just because it makes life more fun, even if it's just me. In fact, one of my best birthdays was when I was by myself and decided to take full advantage and celebrate it just the way I wanted and cooked up a spread of all of my favorites, including a full birthday cake with candles and all, and had a lovely time. I appreciate your encouragement. I'm known to be "the crazy girl who always is cooking or reading about food" at work and so I often get discouraged by comments like "why would you cook just for yourself, etc."

                          Yea, soggy fries are not my idea of fun. However, fries are quite possibly the only carb-y food that I ever really really couldn't live without and if they are hot and fresh I could quite possibly eat my weight in them and give that large order a run for it's money.

                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                            "I'm known to be "the crazy girl who always is cooking or reading about food" at work..."

                            You too? :-)

                            As for their comment of "Why would you cook just for yourself?" the response should be, quite simply "Who better to treat to a wonderful homecooked meal than myself?"

                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              Yup, I love cooking and it has become quite the enjoyable creative outlet for me which is unusual as a person who most would describe as the most regimented, uncreative, by the book, rule-following person they know. I am really growing into my own in the kitchen and it's so exciting even if I just have that excitement to share with myself. I regret that I didn't realize the wonderfulness of cooking until recently, but I think I have plenty of time :) I love the stares when I discuss the most fabulous en papillote ginger scallion fish faced with stares of confusion and "uh, that doesn't sound very good." Nevertheless, I will carry on with carefully plating all of my meals and being good to myself. As my grandma says, "always be good to yourself, if you won't no one will."

                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                Your grandma is a very wise woman :D

                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                  You're not just sharing your excitement with yourself - you're sharing with people across the country and world here on WFD. :-)

                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                    Thanks so much it means a lot to me, as do all of you on WFD! I really love this place and it's really helping me to develop this new passion/hobby of mine.

                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                  me three! I am lucky though that I have one co worker who is batty as I am! She and a group of her childhood friends have a cooking club that I so envy!

                                  1. re: foodieX2

                                    Me four! I don't exactly have a job, but I'm known amongst folks I know as "oh, and this is Al, she is like a walking encyclopedia of food". Which is not true, of course, but people just associate me with food.

                                3. re: fldhkybnva

                                  I could quite possibly eat my weight in them...............YOU made me laugh so hard.You are too hilarious@times.

                              2. re: fldhkybnva

                                We have had countless holidays a deux because it's truly what I prefer for all the reasons foodieX2 mentioned! You can buy the best of everything, go at your own pace, and if your socks don't happen to have come from the same pair--who cares?!
                                And I'll add my .02 on Five Guys: the grease is what turns me off. But I find the fries pretty good. Ours come in a paper cup and always seem crispy. Guess I'm just lucky on that one.

                                1. re: alliegator

                                  Do you think the grease is mostly from the cooking method or the beef itself?

                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                    I'd have to vote cooking method. Unlike grilling, it just has nowhere to go except your belly :/

                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                      I think its both but the cooking method is the big culprit

                                  2. re: fldhkybnva

                                    Love a solo or group easter fldhkybnva, I have had a HUGE easter brunch for years (40-50 people sometimes, and just a couple years ago, decided to have a break. Had just a friend over and made artichoke eggs benedict, mimosas, a slice of nice ham, and a quiet girlfriend conversation. It was a nice change!

                                    Sometimes, that can be great. Treat yourself:)

                                2. Tonight will be smoked turkey/cabbage/salsa baked chimichangas in the toaster oven -- starting from a Rachel Ray recipe.

                                  And sometime this week I WILL make our favorite sweet & sour pork - with green pepper & pineapple, served with white rice. That's been on the menu plan for 3 weeks now and kept getting bumped (fortunately before I thawed the meat). The recipe from the older Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, minus all the salt, works well.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                    Care to share the ingredient list, MidwesternerTT? My DH has talked about a dish like the sweet & sour pork you cook. Used to have his Mom's...

                                    1. re: ItalianNana

                                      Sure -
                                      MEAT -
                                      1 ½ lb. meat (pork or chicken), cut into 2 x ½ inch strips
                                      Veg spray for skillet, or small amount of oil
                                      1 chicken bouillon cube (1 tsp granules)
                                      1 cup water

                                      SAUCE -
                                      juice from 1 –20 oz can pineapple chunks
                                      ¼ cup brown sugar
                                      2 Tablespoons cornstarch
                                      ¼ cup vinegar
                                      1 Tablespoon soy sauce

                                      FRUIT&VEG -
                                      20 oz. can pinneapple chunks (juice used above in sauce)
                                      1 medium green pepper, cut in strips
                                      ¼ cup thinly sliced onions

                                      Hot cooked Rice

                                      Cashews or sliced almonds for garnish

                                      Method -
                                      Brown meat Add water, bouillon and cook 30 min 1 hour - until tender.(I like to add green pepper & onion, at this point so it cooks a bit longer)

                                      While meat is cooking, start the rice in a separate pan (prepare per directions on rice package – usually 2 c. water, 1 cup rice, 1 tsp salt, 1 Tablespoon butter, bring to boil, cover & simmer very low for 20 minutes or until done).

                                      While rice is cooking, slice green pepper and onions.

                                      Prepare sauce:

                                      In a separate saucepan, combine brown sugar & cornstarch. Add juice/syrup drained from canned pineapple, vinegar, soy sauce. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly – about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

                                      Add sauce to cooked meat, stir well. Add pineapple, green pepper and onion. Cook over low heat 3- 5 minutes, until vegetables are tender-crisp -- I prefer veggies more cooked, so add them earlier.

                                      Original recipe calls for 1 1/2 teaspoons added salt in meat & sauce -- I omit.

                                    2. re: MidwesternerTT

                                      Oh my goodness.My late mom used to prepare sweet and sour pork from scratch with pineapple... green pepper... chunks of crisp good.She then served it with Uncle Ben's minute rice:) It was still a knock out.

                                    3. Keeping it simple tonight with ginger chicken stir fry, served up with some rice noodles.

                                      1. (Pssttt....roxlet - see if you can maybe fix your subject line! LOL)

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                          funny, I didn't even notice until you said something LW!