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Jul 29, 2013 08:08 AM

What's for Dinner #236 -- Hot Town, Summer in the City Edition [Through July 31, 2013]

Thanks to Berheenia for the title suggestion.

Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck getting burnt and gritty

What's cooking in your hot town or neck of the woods?

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  1. We had mild temperatures in NYC over the weekend so I did a fair bit of cooking.

    Dinner on Friday was soyrizo and pepperjack quesadillas with purslane salad.

    Saturday I made lamb and okra stew using the small, thumb-sized okra that is popular in the Middle East. These okra had been recommended to me by a Palestinian co-worker who held that they have a sweeter flavor than domestic okra. That might be true, but what I found especially compelling was that the little pods retained their shape and texture with nary a slime slick even after cooking for a while. With its lemony tomato sauce, this is a very light and satisfying summer meal.

    Last night was neighborhood movie night and the neighbors came over for orgeat-sweetened piƱa coladas and an impromptu hummus tasting comparing Tribe Everything Bagel hummus versus homemade hummus bi tahini with lashings of Aleppo pepper, sumac and a deliciously assertive olive oil from Lebanon. Tonight, we continue our travels East, this time all the way to Pakistan for a weeknight lamb gosht made with Shan meat masala bolstered by a touch of Bombay biryani masala, cumin and coriander (along with the fresh leaves). There'll be raita on the side to be sure and perhaps another salad of purslane, tomatoes, cucumbers and shallots. Dessert will be ice cream of some sort: debating whether I want to dirty a bunch of vessels by making coffee ice cream or if I should just do saffron rosewater ice cream with pistachio since that requires nothing more than a teaspoon.

    9 Replies
      1. re: mariacarmen

        You sold me. Added a swirl of salted pistachios to add some contast. It tastes like warm saffron rose milk that lulled me to sleep as a child with the fragrance of roses and green cardamom perfuming the background.

      2. re: JungMann

        JM, everything you have just described sounds wonderful to me and I want it all right now! and I just finished lunch....

        1. re: JungMann

          Fantastic sounding meal for tonight. That saffron rosewater ice cream sounds amazing too. I'm glad you chose MC's request.

          1. re: JungMann

            Your meal sounds sensational JungMann. I've never seen that variety of okra before and I love the idea of a virtually slick-free okra. I'll have to keep an eye out for them. Thanks!!

            1. re: Breadcrumbs

              I'm not sure what the variety of okra is called, but the brand I purchased has good pictures on their website.

              An Edible Mosaic also cooks with these small okra and has a recipe for a similar, slick-free stew from Iran:

              1. re: JungMann

                Thanks JM, I've put some photos on my phone to take to the market with me. Much appreciated!!

            2. re: JungMann

              JM; recipe for the lamb and okra stew, and also for the saffron rosewater ice cream please - purty please with sugar on top?):

            3. I've got tomatillos to use so I'm doing Tomatillo-sauced enchiladas with mushrooms and Swiss chard from Rick Bayless' Everyday Mexican. I really liked them when I made them back in May for COTM. I pulled some frozen chicken tinga to put in a couple for my husband. If it doesn't have meat, it isn't dinner in his book. Probably will do the gulf-coast white rice in the same book as a side. I have a bunch of yellow squash from my garden so that will be cooked as well. Maybe he has a recipe for that too.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Njchicaa

                Love those enchiladas too Nj...yum!

                1. re: Njchicaa

                  The traditional prep. for yellow squash in my family growing up was to slice it into rounds and saute w/ browned butter and fresh dill, s&p. I still make it today.

                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                    ooh dill sounds lovely. I usually saute with basil or sage but I have a bunch of dill to use up so I am definitely going to try that!

                2. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend full of good food! I had a busy one. Saturday was dinner out at a wonderful restaurant at the north end of the city with spectacular view and even more spectacular Pork Osso Bucco. And the company was equally nice. We found out through some forwarded mail that pap has an old friend living here in the same city, so we met up with him. What fun!
                  Last night was my standard chicken picatta, with probably too many capers, but I like those little buggers.
                  And the future is here: Beef Box 3000! I'll admit I struggled with the wood pieces, so opted to go the hacked apart Sterlite box direction. I think it'll work just as well. No jerky today, I have a lot of errands to do, so I can't look after it. But, tomorrow---jerky heaven with veggie fried rice!
                  And because the plastic box was so easy, I'll probably make another so I can do a double batch or some peppers or whatever at the same time.

                  18 Replies
                  1. re: alliegator

                    Woohoo, nice work on the box! I can't wait to hear about the jerky.

                    1. re: alliegator

                      Wow, allie, very creative and I can see far easier than a wooden construction!

                      1. re: alliegator

                        Sweet. If it were my house I would be working on that second box. Jerky goes fast around here. Even my kitty Cashmere eats it. Three batches ago James left the bag on the couch when he went to bed and she took it and stashed it in the closet and for almost a week I kept catching her with pieces in her theiving piehole. I found the empty bag when i went to get the laundry basket. Clever little scamp.

                          1. re: GretchenS

                            I do! She eats green olives and lettuce with ranch also. She can hear the lid come off the jar and posts up in the kitchen to get her cut.

                            1. re: suzigirl

                              that is hilarious! how can you begrudge her some jerky??

                              1. re: GretchenS

                                She gets a single piece of pet grade duck jerky every night for her snack and when her daddy makes jerky he puts some plain beef aside for little miss. No, my cats aren't spoiled. :-)

                                1. re: suzigirl

                                  Your cats and bagelman's dogs need to get together to revel in the joys of living with food-lovers.

                        1. re: alliegator

                          NICE! the jerky really doesn't take that much time to dry?

                          1. re: mariacarmen

                            Five full sun hours should do it! Turn once.
                            I'll photograph at intervals tomorrow.

                            1. re: alliegator

                              You must live in a arid climate. I suspect it would take much longer than that in my area.

                              1. re: tcamp

                                tcamp, I live in Phoenix. I could dehydrate just about anything!

                                1. re: alliegator

                                  Ah, I fully understand! I was in Mesa about a month ago during the 100+ temps. I felt like beef jerky after a few minutes outside.

                                  1. re: tcamp

                                    Hehe, I had visitors from Thailand in late spring, and the one girl inquired "why did people decide to make a city here?"

                                    But I think I've found the answer: to make beef jerky, of course:D

                          2. re: alliegator

                            Good job allie! I couldn't make out what was "embossed" on the bottom of the box..."You know you think it's..?" What's that last word?

                          3. A lightish repast at Harters Hall - due to a largish pub lunch.

                            Cooked prawns have been marinating overnight in olive oil, lemon juice, ginger and chopped fennel fronds. All that gunk will be drained off and the prawns mixed into some mayo, to which a little Tabasco will be added.

                            They'll sit on some shredded lettuce and be topped by chopped tomatoes, black olives and spring onions.

                            A Delia Smith recipe that we've been doing for more years that i care to remember.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Harters

                              that pub lunch sounded fantastic Harters, no wonder you went light for dinner!

                            2. The calm of vacation before the storm of work. We are going jet skiing today and making grilled lamburgers with tzatziki sauce for dinner.

                              Then it is off to Charlotte, NC and New York for business. :-|

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: Fowler

                                Wow, sounds like a fun day, and an even better day when I realized that I had misread it as "skiing" without the jet and the memories of hours on my butt in cold snow transitioned to memories of delightful sunshine and white caps.

                                1. re: Fowler

                                  Charlotte's not too bad! I promise! :) Hope you're able to eat well while in our lovely city for business...

                                  1. re: ItalGreyHound

                                    Thanks. If you could recommend some places to eat I would be most grateful. Last night was dinner at the hotel bar because I was beat tired and just plain hungry.

                                      1. re: ItalGreyHound

                                        Hi, ItalGreyHound,

                                        I am staying at a place called The Ballantyne. I would love some good local food recommendations. Maybe something like BBQ because that really is not done so well where I am from. Or on the opposite side of the spectrum a few fancy options as well. Within reason, travel times are not an issue.

                                        1. re: Fowler

                                          Fowler, trying not to go too OT here, but if I had to pick WFD any night it would be 131 Main. Blakeney location. Feel free to message me and I'll be glad to give you some other ideas!

                                          1. re: ItalGreyHound

                                            Thanks ItalGreyHound! I checked their online dinner menu and it looks good and affordable.

                                            I would take you up on your nice offer to message you but I have not figured out how to do that on this board.

                                            I see grilled grouper and brownie a la mode at 131 in my future. :-) Thank you again.

                                            1. re: Fowler

                                              One of you needs to put your Email address in your profile, and then the other can Email that person.

                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                Thanks Linda!

                                                Fowler - don't miss the brownie. Especially if you are stuck in a hotel room (albeit one at the Ballantyne resort - there are worse places in town, trust me :)