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Apr 6, 2013 09:13 AM

What's for Dinner #207 - Are we there yet? [OLD]

Wow - the last thread only took less than 3 days!. Since we are still inching towards spring, I thought I'd find out how many of you are already there! So - what delectable goodies are you making for dinner?

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  1. Tonight I'm making the DOTM Spring Rolls. I'll post details in that thread. To go with, will be Chicken Stir Fry - Diced Chicken, Red/Green/Yellow peppers, onion, yakisoba noodles, celery, mushrooms and bean sprouts. On the side will be Jasmine Rice. We will also have Asian pancakes to wrap up some stir fry in.

    1. Oops, I missed the new thread post by a few minutes so reposting here.

      The cooking parade is on -

      Breakfast/Brunch - Grilled chicken salad with the oh-so-raved-about Whole Foods Garlic Kale dressing

      Lunch - Spinach and cheese stuffed pork tenderloin wrapped in prosciutto

      Dinner - Beef stroganoff - It's my first time making it but I love it and it seems pretty simple. I haven't decided on a recipe yet but I think I'll probably mash together a few with beef, 1/2 cup wine, cup or so of stock, mushrooms, onions, tomato paste, thyme, sour cream. I hear the Cook's Illustrated Recipe is quite good so I'd love to hear any thoughts on that.

      It's a special weekend for SO who just got a promotion so I decided it's a good reason to celebrate like a food crazy once again as if it's Thanksgiving

      7 Replies
      1. re: fldhkybnva

        I'd skip the tomato paste, but otherwise, what you suggested sounds good.

        ETA: you could mash together this one

        with James Beards' recipe on the same site:

        1. re: fldhkybnva

          Take him out and celebrate, then home for desert!

          1. re: fldhkybnva

            Wow, I guess he celebrated by stealing the Garlicky Tahini dressing I left in the fridge and planned to have later so another salad it will be I guess or I'll make him go out for more lemons :) We actually love to celebrate by cooking together and sitting on the couch as we're always running around but I desert is always a must for special occasions!

            1. re: fldhkybnva

              Well tomorrow will be the Garlic Tahini dressing in some dish, instead we enjoyed lovely chicken and mushroom fajita stuffed peppers.

                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    Yrs, congrats! I most have missed it!

              1. Leftovers from last night... meatloaf, roasted sweet potatoes, red rice, maybe a salad.

                4 Replies
                  1. re: gingershelley

                    It was great! Lundberg brand,
                    I cooked it simply in the rice cooker with just butter, salt, and water. I didn't even toast it first. And it was delicious! I have leftover brown basmati, so will combine them tonight, maybe put the leftover diced sweet potato in, saute.

                    1. re: wyogal

                      Wonderful wyo; I love lundberg products. Thanks for the link. I will check this rice out, as have never heard of 'red rice before'. Curious.

                      I like that lundberg finds indigeneous rice and brings them back to market. Good for farmers, and for us! :)

                      Sweet potatoes and rice sounds terrific. Nearly time of year (to me) to turn that into a salad - summery - rather than a bake or side dish item. Getting there,,,,,

                      1. re: gingershelley

                        It is a chewy rice, would be great for salads! If it's toasted, it would be even nuttier tasting, I would imagine.
                        I mixed the red, brown basmati, a little minced onion, the leftover sweet potatoes, and threw in some frozen peas. It looked great all together on the plate. It would probably work with a little dressing, served cold or room temp.

                1. Survived the double header yesterday, had some delicious hot dogs and even had a salad between games to try and be good LOL Dinner is still up in the air. SO has friends in town, they are staying downtown. So, last night there was talk that everyone is going to a piano bar downtown tonight, so if we do that, I'm wanting to go to Biker Jim's, which is a Denver institution I haven't been to yet. It started as a food cart but now has a brick & mortar location. It's known for it's "interesting" hot dogs... I want to try the elk jalapeno cheddar dog. I could also try rattlesnake or wild boar, but I think the elk is a better first option.

                  But, if we end up staying home, I have a recipe for buffalo chicken meatloaf that's been calling my name. All the talk of meatloaf here has had me wanting some, and I have a package of ground chicken in the freezer to use up. So, we'll see.

                  41 Replies
                  1. re: juliejulez

                    Rattlesnake... ha! I go to schools, doing enrichment with elementary kids, and have been using several books, There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly themed...... one is There was a Coyote who Swallowed a Flea. In it, he swallows a rattlesnake. I then tell the kids (while they are going "ewww") that I've had rattlesnake before, and ya know what it tastes like? and they are all saying "What?" and I tell them, "Alligator!"
                    It kind of does, though.
                    Have fun!

                    1. re: wyogal

                      HEY!!!!Alliegator is on this thread!!! (LOL)

                      1. re: PHREDDY

                        I find that if you baste me in Banana Boat SPF 0 and roast me in the sun at 90 degrees for a few hours, I get a nice crispy skin.

                        1. re: alliegator

                          Can I use that advice for my roast chicken?

                      2. re: wyogal

                        I've had rattlesnake and alligator, and y'know, they do taste very similar. At least with bbq sauce!
                        Julez, please report back on either the hot dogs or meatloaf. I've been thinking of giving meatloaf a whirl, and as far as hot dogs go, the man and I plan to head into the city and give Alice Cooper's Big Unit a try soon :)

                        1. re: alliegator

                          I just watched part of a AB re-run yesterday while doing other things on the compooter, and AB was visiting with Alice at his place (SW episode of No Res.).... funny!

                        2. re: juliejulez

                          Piano bars are so much fun! Hopefully the talk will lead to action! Though, the buffalo chicken meatloaf sounds delicious as well.

                          1. re: juliejulez

                            I remember this hot dog place from a Bordain show. Can't wait to hear how it is if you go.

                            And that meatloaf sounds wild.... can you share the recipe JJ?

                            1. re: gingershelley

                              Sure! I found it here: The blog author doesn't like blue cheese (what's wrong with her??) so she used mozzarella and ranch dressing, but I will be using blue cheese.

                              1. re: juliejulez

                                Who eats Mozz with Buffalo Chicken flavors. For shame... I am in your camp JJ. Sonds good. In a couple of days in my house.

                                Also, will probably grind my own chicken, as her loaf really looks to (suspect?) finely ground. I am always aiming for 'American Paté with any meatloaf I make:). It is what it is!

                                And probably stuffed with something blue-cheesy to ooze out on cutting. Celery sticks on the side, please, iced down.

                                1. re: juliejulez

                                  Sounds really good! I think some mozzarella *in* the loaf might add some nice ooziness with no flavor conflict. I find even using ground thighs my chicken meatloaf can taste a little dry so I usually add some kind of melting cheese-cheddar and jack in my Mexican loaf, etc

                                  1. re: foodieX2

                                    Yeah this one wasn't too dry, and I liked having the larger pieces of the blue cheese to add some extra flavor, but bits of melty mozzarella would have been great too. I've actually made a beef meatloaf with the mozzarella in it and it was really good.

                                    1. re: juliejulez

                                      JJ - my favorite beef meatloaf is a spiral roll with a stuffing of fresh basil leaves, smoked mozz, and roasted pepper pieces laid out in layers inside a flattened 'loaf mix' (some pork inthere, but mostly beef), then rolled up, baked jelly-roll on a sheet pan with rim - and prosciutto on top for last 20 minutes. Served with a light tomato-roasted pepper sauce on the side.

                                      Mashed potatoes or polenta on the side.

                                      Very good!

                                      1. re: gingershelley

                                        This sounds great. What a nice spin on comfort food.

                                        1. re: gingershelley

                                          This sounds wonderful. My mom never made meatloaf so I have really missed out and honestly can probably count the number of times I've had it on one hand and most of those have been where you don't want to eat meatloaf...random hospital cafeterias, teenager's first meal experiment..

                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                            My mom never made it either. I don't think I had it until I was well into my 20s. I like making it now though, I've tried 3 varieties in this past year.

                                            1. re: juliejulez

                                              OMG! and, were deprived of as kids....Meat loaf was at least every other week, and back in the 50's early 60's my mom would get a different recipe from it became WFML...or what's for meat loaf?...some were a hit some was a the one she once made, which had Velveta cheese, baked on top , with a package of Liptons onion soup sprinkled on top as a was disgusting!!!!!, what she actually was supposed to do was mix in the soup mix and then fold in chunks of Velveta, then bake it....what we had was a yellow, salty, grey blob of dried out crap!
                                              But then there were some mom will always be a winner though!

                                            2. re: fldhkybnva

                                              My mom was a great cook, but meatloaf was not a favorite growing up - back then, she baked the meat mix in a loaf pan, and it kind of did the 'steaming' thing, and was greasy.

                                              Ever since I did recipe testing for a cookbook years ago, and we worked on a meatloaf recipe that we ended up baking on a sheetpan 'meat log', really - I have always done it that way so you get crispy sides (which take glaze well), and the fat drips off. MUCH better! And stuffed is the best:), IMHO.

                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                i've done it that way too, but i have to admit i love the schmutz that gathers around the edges when it's in a loaf pan. i scrape it up and eat it myself before serving! but i do agree that doing it pan-less makes for crispy sides.

                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                  We cook ours in a cast iron skillet, which works great. You get the schmutz, if that's your thing, and it seems to cook perfectly.

                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                    Do you have a theory on why the free form meatloaf I made in a cookie sheet last night had no crispy sides but plenty of schmutz? I did the typical panade and meat mixture recommended on most sites for turkey meatloaf. Made sure not to use too much egg or overmix. The only difference was I also added a teaspoon of gelatin in the hopes of getting a more consistent texture (didn't work!).

                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                      Perhaps because there's not enough fat built into the meatloaf itself, JM? Ground turkey is very lean, with little fat content to help crisp up the outside when it cooks.

                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                        +1 on LW theory - I think the leanest meat you might use in a meatloaf would be chicken, so crispyness may need to be helped along by brushing outside with oil, or adding a glaze, or bacon or prosciutto to help it along....

                                                        Smutz comes from the meat proteins and water content, so is not based on fat content of included meats. I bet your geletin helped with mouth-feel, if not with actual texture:)

                                                        1. re: gingershelley

                                                          ok, i stand corrected. sadly, i still really don't know much about the science of food. thanks lw and gs!

                                                        2. re: LindaWhit

                                                          I used an 85% mixture so I didn't think the fat would be a problem. Maybe I'll try brushing the outsides with oil if I make a turkey meatloaf again. For the record I baked at 375 so heat could also have been an issue.

                                                        3. re: JungMann

                                                          hmmm, would think the opposite, LW, since it's lean, he had crispiness but no schmutz - i thought schmutz was from fat.

                                                          so, no, i have no theories....maybe you just didn't have the heat on high enough? i usually have it up to 400 degrees. i've never used gelatin.

                                                      2. re: gingershelley

                                                        I always do mine in a loaf pan because I like to make the country gravy with the drippings (I don't do a tomato based topping). Of course, that's what my mom and grandmother did too.

                                                        1. re: boyzoma

                                                          I do love that tradition of meatloaf with gravy and mashed potatoes! Somehow, I grew up with tomato glaze (and if lucky, bacon) on top, and macaroni and cheese was the usual side...

                                                          different families, different traditions. That's what makes this all fun:)

                                                          1. re: gingershelley

                                                            I hear you, GS. We always have Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, gravy on both and Corn as a side (cause it tastes good with the gravy too). I love hearing what other families grew up with. Really opens your eyes.

                                          2. re: juliejulez

                                            BTW....back in college I was a piano bar player/singer....thought I was Billy Joel, but obviously was not...could not make a living at it, but had fun...
                                            Hot dogs sound better than me!

                                            1. re: juliejulez

                                              That buffalo chicken meatloaf sure sounds tasty. Can you post a recipe?

                                              1. re: sedimental

                                                Just did above in response to gingershelley :)

                                                1. re: juliejulez

                                                  Great, thanks. I bought a bunch of breasts and thighs and ground them up! This is perfect!

                                                  1. re: sedimental

                                                    Let me know how it turns out, I still don't know if I'll get to make it tonight.

                                                    1. re: juliejulez

                                                      The buffalo chicken meatloaf is really good! I thought I had blue cheese but discovered it was feta. I used the feta anyway and it was fine. It would really be better to do a layer of blue cheese in the middle or a spiral loaf with the blue cheese. The chicken mix was a bit "sloppy" though, not sure if it would hold together to roll. Really nice spice level, I might have used a bit more Franks than what the recipe called for because I finished up the bottle. The sauce topping was really good. I think I used more Franks again and less ketchup. I like spice.

                                                      I served it with a broccoli slaw mix with ranch dressing (instead of mayo) and diced celery. Perfect with it! Side of asparagus.

                                                      Really a fun dinner....kinda like tavern/bar food....made me want to get up from the table and shoot some pool :) .......the leftovers ( the two chunks that remain!) will be equally good tomorrow with cheese and crackers.

                                                      1. re: sedimental

                                                        Good to hear. Makes sense a chix meatloaf mix might be too loose to roll - may have to make a layered loaf then.

                                                        Thanks for the yum report!

                                                    2. re: sedimental

                                                      With you Sedimental - I will grind my own.... not such a fan of 'mechanically separated chicken' - which is what the recipe pic looks like (too tiny of a grind IMO)

                                                      But I like the idea of it! No mozz, a stronger buffalo glaze, and I am thinking of doing a 'spiral stuffed meatloaf which is my stock-in-trade ML.... pat the mix out flat, add some kind of fun filling, roll up with aid of plastic wrap, and bake on a sheet pan.

                                                      Here, some kind of blue cheese-celery filling, ground fine in the food processor comes to mind.... but just thinking for now - more later, but it get's me going today on ideas!

                                                      1. re: gingershelley

                                                        You and i were on the same page with the spiral meatloaf idea. That is what I was thinking when i read it.

                                                2. re: juliejulez

                                                  We ended up staying home, so buffalo chicken meatloaf it was. The flavor was very good, but as gingershelley noted, I wasn't a huge fan of the texture... I never really am of store-ground chicken.... too mushy. I don't know why I keep buying it... I have a grinder. I'd be interested to hear how it is with home ground. I also think it would be good with turkey.

                                                  I threw in some blue cheese and chopped up bacon into some mashed potatoes, and roasted the last of the Costco asparagus. Very good dinner, and I'm pretty full now.

                                                3. Reposting, since I was typing my last post on the old thread when everyone else moved on :)

                                                  Last night I grabbed a quick bite (salad w/ a burger patty on top) before a concert with a friend. He came over for drinks after and I made him and my husband a pot of spinach-cheese agnolotti made by our local Italian deli. I sauteed some minced shallot in plenty of butter, added (and later removed) a crushed clove of garlic, plus some fresh sage, parsley, cracked black pepper and a sprinkle of aleppo pepper. Finished the sauce with some organic half and half and topped each plate with a dusting of pecorino romano. It was so tasty, even I had some.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                    Followed your lead.. having trouble keeping up!

                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                      Love Pecorino Romano - my favorite Italian cheese even edging out a good Parmigiano Reggiano.

                                                      1. re: littleflower

                                                        Last time I tried to get some Pecorino Romano, I couldn't find it anywhere! :-( I'll just have to keep looking.