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What's for Dinner #231 - the Dog Days of Summer (#1) Edition [Through Jul 15, 2013]

It's hot and humid across a lot of the United States - and even England is getting into some proper summer weather!

So - how are you beating the heat? Grilling? Chilled salads? Saying "forget YOU, hot weather - I'm having whatever I want...after I turn the A/C on High!"?

What's cooking in your neck of the woods?

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  1. As for me? It was an attempt to use up some of the CSA veg. Didn't do as good of a job as I would have liked, but....

    CSA garlic scapes, homegrown marjoram, basil and flat-leaf parsley, olive oil, salt, pepper, a smidge of Dijon mustard were all processed in a food processor. Into a sauce pan, and chicken stock was added, then some heavy cream and Parm-Reg. :::Whisk, whisk, whisk:::: until it thickened.

    Meanwhile, corn pasta fusilli was boiled.

    Second meanwhile, some asparagus, red bell pepper, a carrot sliced on the bias, and the rest of some mushrooms I had in my crisper drawer were sauteed.

    Pasta was drained; veggies were added, then the slightly green sauce, and into a bowl with some additional Parm-Reg sprinkled on top.

    A club roll turned into an open-faced garlic bread, and it was dinner. Not bad, not too garlickly (like that could be a problem with me!) and it removes the scapes from the crisper.

    (And yup, it's Hump Day - there WAS wine!)

    18 Replies
        1. re: LindaWhit

          Linda, next time you get scapes turn them into a pesto and freeze in ice cube trays or jars to enjoy in the dead of winter - into bean soup, pasta sauce, with fried eggs, on a toast - the uses are endless. Just put six jars of "scape pesto" into the freezer for my daughter and family (if she will share!).

          1. re: herby

            THAT'S what i'm going to do with my scape pesto! brilliant!

          2. re: LindaWhit

            I do wish you ladies would stop referring to "hump day". I don't know if "hump" has the same connotations on the western side of the atlantic as the eastern but, whenever I read your posts, I can't help but giggle.

            1. re: Harters

              LMAO Harters!! Is does have the same connotations here in the US but not when used as above. It

              1. re: Harters

                :-D It has that EXACT same meaning in the States when used alone.

                But when called "Hump Day", it means getting over the hump of the middle of the work week, and it's all a slide downhill from here to the weekend.

                It's a muchly anticipated weekly event, Harters. Hey - we take what we can get sometimes, you know? ;-)

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  Have you seen the very funny commercial (for what I couldn't tell you!) with the camel in the office bugging everyone, asking, "What's today? Huh? Huh? What's today?" Finally, one woman replies, resignedly, "Hump day." The camel gets all excited.

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      Right. I remembered after I posted.

                    2. re: roxlet

                      That's funny roxlet, I haven't seen it up here in the great white north but it sounds hilarious!

                  1. re: Harters

                    there is nothing better than imagining Mr. H. giggling. unless it's imagining Mr. H. giggling in a jumper. The American version, of course.

                  2. re: LindaWhit

                    Your sauce sounds good Linda. If you get scapes again, another use that we've come to really enjoy is to steam them along with some fresh or frozen peas then puree them in the blender or food processor with a little bit of broth or cream to loosen the mixture. If we're using it as a sauce, I toss in some fresh basil or whatever herb goes best with the meal. I add less liquid and we've used the puree as a spread for crostini too.

                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                      Bc, my next CSA is tomorrow, so we'll see what I get. Everything I've seen about a sauce made with peas leads me to believe I'd like it. Peas, scapes, and some mint or basil, along with the broth and/or cream. Sounds perfect! I was watching "Food for Thought" in the nail salon yesterday while getting a pedicure, and the pea puree (with mint) was used on a crostini as well (didn't have scapes, however).

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        I so need a pedicure Linda! I'm envious!!

                        You've reminded me that I've also added freshly grated parm to my pea puree when using it for crostini. It's amazing!

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          I like the idea LW, of watching a food show while getting a pedi - awesome way to roll....

                          and the pea/mint/scape pesto sounds good on crostini - now, if we could only get some fava beans around here in the PNW, that would really rock that out!

                    2. Wow, it's been an unexpectedly long day. It was all going well until I arrived home to a lovely letter from Mr. IRS likely pointing out a dumb error that I made 2 years ago. I am hoping, praying, fingers crossed, ritualizing that it wasn't my error and it's just a mistake. In my mad dash to find the tax returns, I discovered a lovely family of flies which were having a wonderful party on the window of the back door. I can't figure out where they are from or if they were coming or going but I literally had to take out 30 or so flies just resting on the window panes. Now my mind is pretty much occupied with all of that madness and I wasn't too motivated to cook dinner, so it's an omelet for me tonight which actually is a great dinner since I love omelets - tonight's combination was black forest ham, Canadian bacon, regular bacon (I went a little crazy with the piggy products), Shiitake mushrooms and a mix of Asiago and Fontina cheese. It was a perfect dinner for a night like tonight and now I hope I can get some rest with my mind which is now running a mile a minute worrying about flies and taxes. The best news of today is that my instrument cluster which pooped out 2 weeks ago has finally been delivered to the dealer so I my speedometer and gas gauge will be back in action :)

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                        I feel your pain when it comes to horrible letters like that. My best advice is to CALL and just explain, as kindly and calmly as possible, what happened and how much you wish to right things ASAP. G'luck!

                        That omelet , meanwhile, sounds very soothing!

                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                          yea, it's in reference to a form for education credits. I was definitely enrolled that year and so I'm going to start with the financial aid office here and see if there is some quick fix, otherwise it's to the IRS I go. I called tonight and it took me 10 calls to figure out how to speak with a real person. I finally gave up and Googled "how to speak with a real person at the IRS" and got great advice - FYI if anyone needs it and I hope you don't, you call and then press your language selection and then continually press 0 even if the voice repeatedly tells you to choose an option. I finally was put on hold but then of course the phone call got disconnected after 30 minutes of waiting so I will attempt perhaps tomorrow morning. Thanks for the advice, and I definitely think that's the way to go as I am a complete idiot with these kinds of things so of course no harm was meant by my possible checking "no" instead of "yes." Thanks for the well wishes, hopefully it'll be sorted out tomorrow one way or another and I can at least stop worrying about the outcome.

                          The omelet was a soothing, massive protein mess, just like I like it.

                        2. re: fldhkybnva

                          I have been on the reciving end of one of those letters. Ugh! Hope it goes well.

                          That omelet sounds heavenly.

                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                            Sounds like a nice comforting meal on the heals of some distressing news fldhky. I'm just catching up on this thread so I'll keep my fingers crossed that you have this sorted by the time I get to the end of the page!!

                          2. Thai take out for me!!! The Kentucky hot brown from last night was a very, um, warm experience, so there will be no cooking tonight. And it was a long errand day. Took pap to get a new and valid passport for our trip to Prague this winter. That place was a zoo!
                            I've tried to post pics and a write up of the KHB, but my net connection is being a turd and it's not posting--I'll try later :)
                            As long as we don't get the haboob (dust storm) that's a possibility. But it's fun to say haboob.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: alliegator

                              Good luck avoiding the dust and Thai sounds wonderful. I also agree, haboob is a great word but not a great occurrence I imagine. I look forward to hearing about the KHB which I keep reading as KGB...I hope you don't have information on the KGB, but that might be interesting as well.

                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                No, no intel on the KGB :) But I have plenty to say about the KHB.
                                And haboob is not that big of a deal for me, because my car is black, I get the garage. Magator and his neutralmobile will be the busy ones tomorrow am.

                              2. re: alliegator

                                I am curious... how did you like the hot brown? I am a huge fan and I think i may be making them soon. That will bulk up my calorie count in a damn tasty way.

                                1. re: alliegator

                                  Ok, The interwebs are more cooperative today, so on with Tuesday's hot brown. I mostly used this recipe with a few tweaks.
                                  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bo...
                                  It was good, but it didn't blow me away. I think because I was dripping in sweat from making the thing. Bacon, the sauce, broiling, ugh. Much better suited to a winter's day.
                                  I did find the French toast-like egg bread to be a good touch, it made it hold up under the cheese sauce. And I use gruyere for that. Photos below...
                                  Argh! no photos, I can't get them to post for some unknown reason.

                                  1. re: alliegator

                                    This looks like the ideal couple-days-after-Thanksgiving-and-we-need-to-use-up-the-turkey meal :) I think suzigirl mentioned she did that last year.

                                    1. re: alliegator

                                      I had to google what a hot brown was--I've never heard of it before! Sounds like a pretty good diner fare....though for rare occasions only!

                                      1. re: alliegator

                                        The best part of Thanksgiving is the Hot Brown which comes a day or two after. Definitely a cool-weather food for me and worth the wait.

                                    2. I'm still craving food from home, and tonight it's busaba eathai I'm missing. I've made pumpkin curry and a cucumber relish. I left them both to sit whilst I took my toddler to try and catch fireflies in the woods behind our house. We got home just before a massive storm, thunder, lightening, huge bouncing raindrops! I think the weather is better at home than it is in DC!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: helen_m

                                        I had to look up busaba eathai, but it looks like it's a restaurant? Either way, pumpking curry sounds wonderful.

                                      2. Tonight we're having turkey paprikas, which DH prepared while I was stuck late at work. Sides will be rice and some pickled cucumbers.

                                        7 Replies
                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                          S is stuck at work still! Glad I made something that gets better for sitting...

                                          1. re: helen_m

                                            That kind of week. Hang in there!

                                            Dinner was great. I should "let" him cook more often.

                                          2. re: ChristinaMason

                                            Sounds great. I love paprika and for some reason never get along to the poultry paprika. I do use it often with shrimp.

                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                              One of my favorite dishes. Give it a try! You don't need a lot of carb to eat it with, necessarily, either.

                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                  It's more stew-like, with sour cream, onions, garlic, and more. Check out this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/743235