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What's for Dinner #234 -- The Dog Days of Summer Edition #4 thru Jul 24, 2013

I'm impressed with everyone on this thread -- you are undaunted by the heat of summer, and continue making the most fabulous and creative summer meals!

How are you continuing to cope with cooking in a kitchen that can only be described as one of Dante's circles of hell? Oh, right. Some of us actually have central air, or are in places where the weather's actually pleasant!

What's for dinner in your neck of the woods?

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  1. (roxlet - this is WFD #234 - not sure if you can fix it or if the Mods need to do so...)

    I'm actually looking forward (finally!) to cooking tonight. For the first time in probably 1-1/2 months, the A/C is off and the windows are open.

    Of course, planning anything is probably not a good idea, as it *is* CSA Monday, and I haven't a clue as to what we're getting. I was actually craving some Mandarin Orange Chicken, so if I get sugar snap peas, I might still keep that on the menu and steam some ss peas. So we shall have to see.

    I still believe that Congress should mandate that Monday be a day OFF after a long party weekend. They should get right on that; after all, they're not doing much, are they? ;-)

    2 Replies
      1. re: LindaWhit

        Well, as expected, the CSA didn't really give me something to work with the Mandarin Orange Chicken. But I made it work anyway. :-)

        2 ears of corn - stripped of kernels.
        1 small onion - chopped
        5 stalks of Swiss chard - stems chopped and leaves chopped small

        The onions, corn and Swiss chard stems were sauteed in butter and olive oil, and sprinkled with salt and Aleppo pepper. The chopped leaves were added and it all finished sautéing.

        Basmati rice was made. And so was a package of BJ's Mandarin Orange chicken, with added hoisin sauce and about a Tbsp. of fresh squeezed lime juice.

        And it was dinner. Along with a glass of wine. Long day at work (and it will be a long week, with our office moving at the end of the week!)

      2. After 11 days, my son is finally headed home from Poland today. I asked him what he wanted for dinner tonight, and his request was veal Milanese and pasta with pesto. The veal is defrosting, and the basil is in the garden waiting to be picked, and turned into the first home-grown batch of the season. Can't wait to see him!

        He described his teammates as a bunch of culinary wusses, so he had very little opportunity to experiment with Polish foods. In fact, the last dinner was at KFC! Ah, American cultural imperialism at its finest!

        1. I pulled a london broil out of the freezer for tonight's dinner. I'll make a marinade with soy sauce, lime juice, tequila, olive oil, garlic, cilantro, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. We'll have grilled corn on the cob and grilled eggplant as sides.

          I'm also planning to make the custard base for vanilla and chocolate ice cream today. Smitten Kitchen has me wanting to make my own ice cream cake.

          2 Replies
            1. re: ChristinaMason

              Ha thanks. I forgot I have a big container of crimini mushrooms in the fridge that need to be used so I will saute them up with some onions to go with the steak.

          1. Yesterday we pulled out roasted chicken, guacamole, crudite, and many types of melon out of the cooler on the lawn at Tanglewood. We munched, we chatted, and we let Bach wash over us. A nice day indeed!

            1. The house is well air-conditioned, but the heat is still getting to me. I feel like a nauseous, swollen mess but last night's dinner was enough to make me forget about all of that yucky weather. This weekend was a nice continuation of my tour of less common beef cuts.

              For brunch on Saturday, we enjoyed a delicious hangar steak topped with blue cheese alongside fried eggs on sauteed mushrooms. This was quite possibly the beefiest steak I have ever had an

              For dinner last night I initially planned to venture to the flank steak but when I went to buy it at the store, they had grass fed flat iron steak which I've never seen in the store before and is on the list of cuts to try so I had to make a decision. Ultimately, I went with the flat iron steak and I'm glad I did. It was so tender and a wonderful beefy flavor. I hope the store continues to have this in stock more often. I think I will use the flank steak next weekend. I'm looking forward to it if it's anything similar to these two.

              6 Replies
              1. re: fldhkybnva

                Flank is not as tender as flat iron but it's a very delicious cut as long as you don't overcook it (no more than medium rare). It also has to be sliced thinly, against the grain, or it will taste like you're chewing rubber bands.

                1. re: biondanonima

                  With all of these cuts the advice seems to be similar. I've loved them all - skirt, flap, flat iron, hanger. I went with the flat iron last night because I worried that I hadn't marinated the flank steak and it seemed that all of the preparations I found online called for a marinade. They also all seemed to marinate the flat iron but I figured it was considered tender enough that it would be OK. I really enjoy my steak pretty simple so usually prefer not to marinate. Do you find that you have to marinate the flank or if you cook it to medium rare and slice thinly it's fine?

                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    No, no need to marinate unless you want to add a flavor to the outside layer of the meat. I cook a flank steak probably twice a week, and I'd say I do nothing but salt it just before cooking 99% of the time. I can then add a sauce if I choose, or enjoy it with a compound butter, etc. - and the leftovers are more versatile. I love to use leftover flank steak in stirfry, for instance - I just throw thin slices into the cooked vegetables and let the heat from the vegetables/pan gently warm the steak.

                    1. re: biondanonima

                      Perfect, I'm looking forward to our favorite Sunday night steak dinner this week. I've been meaning to find a few good compound butters to whip up since we eat steak a lot and variation is nice. So far I'm planning a paprika garlic and an anchovy butter. Thanks for the tips.

                      1. re: biondanonima

                        Thanks for the tips. The flank steak is defrosting for tomorrow night so probably won't be thawed in time for a marinade. I actually whipped up a batch of the anchovy butter last night intending to sear the flank and top it with the butter, but SO is insisting that it will be tough as nails as every thing "he has read" involves marinating. I thought I'd check back with you to get an idea of how thin to avoid rubber bands :)

                  2. re: fldhkybnva

                    I have to agree, perhaps not the most tender cut but it is definitely more flavorful. I use skirt and hanger a lot, I really like the higher fat content, and it tends to make the meat more tender. I use these cuts for anything that I use sliced meat for. Shawarma, tacos and burritos, curries, stir-fry, satay, all kinds of stuff.