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What's for Dinner #206 - Inching towards a Warm Spring edition [OLD]

So, we're getting there. There's still some wind; there's still some chilly-willyness, but we're all like a little green inchworm on a stick - moving ever so slowly towards the goal. Which is? Warmth, sun, little green shoots coming out of the ground to blossom into flowers, buds on the trees.....SPRING!

So what's cooking on your stovetops or grills or in your ovens?

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  1. I pulled some wild yard onions out of my front yard the other night and added them raw to some buttery mashed potatoes and they were wonderful! The flavor was a mixture of garlic/onion and they were extremely spicy, but much more muted after the hot mashed potatoes softened them slightly.

    I can't believe that more people don't use common green onions from the yard to cook with! I thought they were weeds till a few days ago and just mowed them down. They are a little bit more fibrous than store bought green onions, but not overly so. Go out to your yard and give them a try though and save a lot of money this spring and summer!!!

    18 Replies
    1. re: rcbaughn

      Last year, I discovered that the bottom edge (root) of the bulb of the green onion can be replanted to grow a new one. Who would of thought? (alright, maybe many of you knew, but I didn't). Takes a while, but why not???

      1. re: boyzoma

        If you put it in water after you use the greens it will regrow a bit more so you get more mileage. Store them in a glass in the fridge.

      2. re: rcbaughn

        You have my attention. Where do you live that you get wild onions in your yard? All I have that I can eat is dandilions.

        1. re: suzigirl

          Everything we have growing that can be eaten was planted by us. There's not much to forage here, it's the desert (in disguise.)

          1. re: suzigirl

            I live in Alabama, and they grow randomly in the yard on their own. I would've thought that anywhere that grass can grow well that wild yard onions would grow. Need me to find a picture of what I'm talking about? I figure there might be a lot of varieties of them. Maybe try googling Alabama onions and seeing if that variety grows wherever you live! I hope so, they are delicious.

            1. re: rcbaughn

              I love the idea, just be careful about pesticides...even runoff from other lawns.

                1. re: melpy

                  That and the roaming dogs and cats.

                2. re: ChristinaMason

                  I guess that is the great thing about living in the country away from neighbors or anything. There is no one around to get runoff from, and even still our house is on a huge hill so if we are getting pesticides then they are getting crop dusted on by a bi-plane. :)

                3. re: rcbaughn

                  Don't go out of your way. But if you find a picture, by all means post it

                4. re: suzigirl

                  Yeah, the yard onion thing is really neat! the only thing outside besides what I've grown is pollen :(

                  1. re: suzigirl

                    Central PA has this. Lawn mowing smells like cooking.

                  2. re: rcbaughn

                    I find this fascinating because as a life long New Englander I have never seen anything growing wild on anyone's lawn worth eating, unless you like dandelion greens and I hate them. Once on a camping trip on an island in Maine I found wild chives but I think they were left from a former homestead on the property.

                    1. re: Berheenia

                      Wild asparagus and black raspberries grow on my husband's family farm. It's cool looking. An unseasonal frost last spring killed most of the berry blooms last year, unfortunately.

                      1. re: Berheenia

                        Our yard grows onions and that's about it that for sure. The rest comes from the garden.

                      2. re: rcbaughn

                        I don't use the onions from my lawn as I live in a townhouse community where they spray the weeds. However, I have a garden plot and there is a gigantic field nearby that is not sprayed with any chemicals - I harvest onions and dandelions from there frequently. Not to mention lots of mulberries in the summer.

                        1. re: tcamp

                          I have been having dandelions in many dishes these days - since I don't spray my yard, I on-purpose let the dandelions go for a bit in spring (just pull off the flowers so no re-seeding), so I can have dandelion greens at least through April, then dig them up.

                        2. re: rcbaughn

                          On that note, SO has been eating his iris that started coming up. He thought they were chives.

                        3. Reposting from last thread where I posted as LW was starting this new, oh-so-hopefully-titled thread. :)

                          Dinner tonight was "tapas" aka bits and bobs aka C.O.R.N. (thanks LW).

                          Smoked mackeral pate (leftover peppered smoked mackeral smushed up with cream cheese and lemon juice) on cucumber rounds, devilled egg with capers and paprika, fabulous marinated artichoke from Italian deli. Happy tummy.

                           
                          4 Replies
                                1. re: GretchenS

                                  And I actually got it from an old AOL cooking message board. Like *really* old AOL cooking message board - from 1995 or 1997, I think? LOL

                            1. Last night was sausage pizza and a garden salad

                              This evening, we lit up the grill late after an afternoon of tilling & planting etc. in the garden; cooked chicken and ribs. I partially cooked some potatoes on the stovetop then finished them on the grill, first drizzling them in olive oil and seasoned with a steakhouse onion seasoning and pepper blend. Nice smoky flavor and crispy edges on those. Baked beans seasoned with bacon and molasses as the second side. Leftovers tomorrow...

                              1. Another yummy salad by the BF, this one Cobb-like: grilled chicken breast, moist as can be, with greens, cukes, hard-boiled egg whites, avocados, bacon, and scallions. then he took dijon/red wine vinegar/olive oil and mixed that with blue cheese sprinkles and crumbled egg yolks to make a creamy dressing. really good!

                                 
                                46 Replies
                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                  weird, i can't see the pic. just a blank square.....

                                   
                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                    MC you are lucky that you have a boyfriend who knows his way around a kitchen...there are some nights that I would love to be cooked for instead of being the one who cooks! Don't get me wrong, I thrive on cooking and my true habitat is my kitchen but on some nights it's nice to have dinner - a yummy one at that - prepared for me.

                                    1. re: littleflower

                                      thanks lf! i am really lucky, don't i know it. i do love it, but i too wish i could come home and cook some during the week, but he's too hungry by the time i get there to wait for that. and i can't complain about what he comes up with!

                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                        You are lucky. And I must say, I would eat cheese sauce on a flip flop if my bf made it. Gotta give him props for treating his lady

                                        1. re: suzigirl

                                          Haha...you have quite the sense of humor, suzigirl! I am sure your BF realizes how fortunate that he has a girl who not only wants to cook for him - but one that knows how to cook up some great gourmet dishes!!

                                          1. re: littleflower

                                            He loves my cooking. And his Co workers ask every day what he has for lunch because their wives don't make them a lunch. How sad, they could save a ton. I love a man that can appreciate that he gets home cooking

                                            1. re: suzigirl

                                              Smiling - I agree that feeding a man good homecooked food is one of the best things in the world!

                                              1. re: littleflower

                                                Coming in off the heels of him being a bachelor and eating crap certianly helped me in the kitchen dept.

                                          2. re: suzigirl

                                            I am fond of cheese-sauced flip flops, as long as I didn't have to make the sauce. Always nice to have someone cook for us Hounds.... Haa ha.

                                            It is nice how MC is treated!

                                            1. re: gingershelley

                                              aww thanks! that is sweet!

                                              and yes, cheese-sauced footwear is always welcome.

                                                1. re: gingershelley

                                                  It states better when bf makes flip flops while I sip a cocktail. :-)
                                                  Yes yes, lucky MC. Not only does he cook but he makes low Carb. He gets bonus points in my book

                                          3. re: mariacarmen

                                            BTW - fantastic idea to take the cooked egg yolks out of the hardboiled eggs to make the dressing creamier!! I hope your pics come through- good luck!

                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                Sounds fab and I too love the idea of using the egg yolk in the dressing. Clever BF!

                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                  I love love Cobb salad-ish salads. Did you brine the chicken breasts?

                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                    thanks everyone! no, no brining, he just quickly seared the breast (skin on) and then put them in the oven to finish. i ended up getting home very late so they sat for a good long time. they were sooooo tender!

                                                    trying the picture again...

                                                     
                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                      It worked, and it looks very good! Although avocados don't agree with me.

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                        that is sad to me, LW. are they too fatty?

                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                          I think that is probably the reason, mc. I've found the older I get, the less fatty food products I can eat. I've even noticed that short ribs can sometimes do a number on me. :-(

                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                            Argh. So it's that damn old age thing, huh? Rib-eyes and roast chicken don't agree with me nearly as well as they used to. For shame!

                                                            At least fatty pork shoulder and bacon (or scrambled eggs with a butter/duck fat mix PLUS grated Swiss) don't hurt me. Yet.

                                                            Getting old's a bitch.

                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                              No kidding. Yes, I agree on the pork shoulder/pulled pork and bacon are still all good with me. If I had to give up my beloved bacon? Waaaaahhhhh!!!

                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                  Hadn't thought about it. It's been about 25 years since I last had avocado, so it's no biggie at this point.

                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                    i think if i couldn't process fat i'd try this. good to know, but so far, fingers crossed, i can consume my weight in fatty foods.

                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                      Oh, believe me - I *can* process fat. My belly proves it. I just can't process overly fatty foods.

                                                                2. re: linguafood

                                                                  You said it sister. Getting old is a bitch....damn it. What was I saying?

                                                                  1. re: suzigirl

                                                                    Truer words were never spoken. When a roll of Tums joined my "what's in your bag?" lineup, I knew it was happening:( It wasn't long after that I found a gray in my roots and develop a tricky knee.

                                                                    Sorry you have to pass up some things, LW and Lingua.

                                                                        1. re: alliegator

                                                                          A great rib-eye grilled to med-rare is worth it for me.... mostly. Rotisserie chicken I just don't buy anymore, and most home-roasted chicken will also generally create some, um, internal drama.

                                                                          But then I've had GI issues for most of my life, so I guess I'm just used to it. It'd be nice if it were less random, but at least I *know* about some things that will most definitely destroy me.

                                                                          That said, my body never fails to surprise me. Apparently, it's equally unhappy with pasta w/tomato sauce these days. Wah.

                                                                          1. re: alliegator

                                                                            Haha...nicely said, alliegator! Respect indeed.

                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                      Thank goodness you can still eat pork products...life (at least for me) would be sad without bacon being a part of it.

                                                                      My favorite bacon? Applegate Farms Sunday Bacon - nitrite free and freaking delicious!!

                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                        Scrambled eggs with butter AND duck fat? Um, yes, I want some of that.

                                                                        I am going to wake up tomorrow morning craving this for breakfast. Oh who am I kidding - I am craving this right now!!!

                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                          Mmmm, fatty pork shoulder. Bacon. Scrambled eggs w/ duck fat... no, clearly, fats aren't the issue...

                                                                          Perhaps some kind of peculiar enzyme? :)

                                                                          1. re: gingershelley

                                                                            I'm on a (half-assed) mission to find out :-)

                                                                      2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                        Interesting Linda...my tummy cannot tolerate avocados at all. This is a shame because I realize how good they are health-wise, although to be quite honest I never did acquire a love for the taste of avocados.

                                                                      3. re: mariacarmen

                                                                        Do you know what temp and how long? I just ask as I love chicken and it usually comes out great but sometimes it's a dry dessert but that's probably me just not paying attention to the oven. That looks yummy! The dressing looks amazing too and I think I might give that a try as I'm on the hunt for a new vinaigrette, 3:1 oil:vinegar + some dijon?

                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                          i'm not sure but i'll find out tonight. i know it was bone-in, but he sliced it after the fact. it really was one of the best pieces of chicken breast i've ever had. we're usually dark meat people.

                                                                          i think your guess is as good as his when it comes to the dressing - but that's what i would do - 3:1, and yes, maybe a 1/2 tsp. of dijon.

                                                                          he told me later he actually put a little sugar in the dressing! i didn't know that - that's not no-carb-friendly! poor guy. i'm being a bit high maintenance right now...

                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                            sorry FH, the BF couldn't remember how he made the chicken, temp or length of time. he just kinda watched it. so yeah, you can't not pay attention to chicken breast, it seems, too easy to overcook.

                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                              oh, and my own go-to vinaigrette is dijon-based as well: 1 minced whole smallish shallot, blend with the juice of 2 lemons, s&p to taste, add a tsp. or so of dijon, and then the extra virgin olive oil, whisk until it all comes together. so nice and tart.

                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                Although I do love a wine vinegar-based (partial to red) vinaigrette, probably my all-time favorite is a simple freshly squeezed lemon juice/evoo/sea salt/freshly ground black pepper dressing.

                                                                            2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                              Yay, picture worked and what a beauty of a salad! I can see what great things the hard-coked yolk did to the dressing and can hardly wait to try it myself.

                                                                              1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                My mother 's cousin was in WW2 and married a Frenchwoman who was able to make good food with whatever was available in Arizona in the fifties- so French! Her salad dressing was a hard cooked yolk mashed to a paste with yellow mustard in the bottom of a salad bowl. Then she would wisk in vinegar and finally oil to an emulsion. Then in went the salad greens and it was tossed and served. So good!

                                                                        2. This "inching towards a warm spring" lark? Not here on our small cold island off the coast of northern Europe. Temperatures linger at around 5. And that's before any wind chill consideration. Of which there has to be much consideration!

                                                                          For dinner, quickly fried pigeon breasts. I bought these locally shot ones at the farmers market ages back and they got lost in the freezer. Shouldnt need much more than a couple of minutes in a hot pan with some rapeseed oil and thyme. We'll have them with small new potatoes and steamed sugarsnap peas. A "make it up as I go along" sauce will be based on a glass of red wine being reduced with more thyme and a few crushed juniper berries.

                                                                          Sparkehoe Red Leicester cheese for afters.

                                                                          15 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                            Wish we could get pigeon! Love your game posts Harters.... I live vicariously!

                                                                            1. re: gingershelley

                                                                              It's pretty much always available here, at the farmers market. Regarded as a pest, it can be shot at any time so there's no "out of season". And it's cheap!

                                                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                I think we call it "squab," gingershelley. It is available here, but American's don't like the sound of eating pigeon!
                                                                                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squab_(f...

                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                  I've eaten squab several times in Europe not even knowing what it was! Once I found out, I'm kind of like "eh, good use for a seemingly useless creature". But I would never have ordered it at first had I known ;)

                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                    Ha!!! You are so right about that roxlet - I can see where most people would think that "squab" sounds better than pigeon...funny how we sometimes have to call things other than what they really are.

                                                                                    Regardless - would love to try squab/pigeon...oh there are so many wonderful foods that I still want to try!

                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                      Call it squab or the ol' grey pigeon; I would take it if I could buy it. Roasted nice and rare with a red wine sauce:)

                                                                                      I understand it is available some places, but depending on state regulations, and mostly it is a 'to the trade' bird, and very expensive compared to how it is sold in UK, or EU. Sigh...

                                                                                      1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                        Sure it's expensive, but just think about how much a dinner out would cost!

                                                                                        http://www.dartagnan.com/51194/Squab....

                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                          Thanks for the link. I forget I can have that shipped, just like my duck products.

                                                                                          Wonder what the difference is between 'dressed natural squab', and NY 'dressed natural squab'. I would think I would not want a squab that was a NY pigeon:).. hehehe.

                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                            WOW! That is expensive. Effectively $20 for two pigeon breasts - as that's really all there is to eat on them. Whereas here, I can buy a pack of ten breasts for £10 (about $15)

                                                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                                                              And in Egypt, where it's the national dish, you can get them for $1-2.

                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                Harters.... like I said. I covet the UK pigeon 'n prices!

                                                                                      2. re: Harters

                                                                                        Well, the inching towards a warm spring isn't happening here either (Boston is at about 46° F / 7° C). Which is why we're only inching. :-)

                                                                                        That pan sauce sounds great!

                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                          It started raining last night again here, after several lovely spring days - the rich dinner was very welcome with the drizzle coming down.