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Aug 12, 2013 10:26 AM

What's for Dinner #239 - All Summer Long [Through August 18, 2013]

T-shirts, cut-offs, and a pair of thongs
We've been having fun all summer long


It's not summertime without a Beach Boys song, is it? (Although I think "thongs" means something different than when the Beach Boys wrote about them! LOL)

We've been having LOTS of fun this summer seeing what everyone's been pulling off their grill, puling out of their smoker (I'm talkin' to YOU, rjbh20!), what-am-I-going-to-cook-so-I-can-survive-the-heat, the rain, and what's-up-with-the-cool-weather-in-the-summertime?

What's being put on your dining or picnic table this week?

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  1. Haha, Before I read the whole thing, I was thinking 2 thongs?!?
    Let's get this party started with what some of you have been waiting for: Amy's Baking Company. It was WFD early on Saturday evening. I can sum it up like this--uneventful. The place is impeccably clean, and there were a small handful of other folks eating there as well. I had a small salad to start, and split the 3 cheese pizza with pap. It was decent and not undercooked. Mangator had the carbonara. Once again, decent. Samy was manning the dining room and was pleasant when he greeted us, but I felt watched like a hawk, hence no pictures of the food :( We paid and left, no broken legs, etc...
    Yesteday, I did Trini-Chinese chicken drumsticks on the grill. Oh my god!!! So, so good. I did a foil packet of various veg for the side, but the chicken was so wow.
    Tonight, I'm doing a shrimp recipe I saw on Bobby Flay's BBQ addiction yesterday. Probably over rice.
    Now it's time to go back and see what you've all been eating this weekend!

    17 Replies
    1. re: alliegator

      Allie, you sure look different with glasses on. :-) I keep seeing good things about that trini chicken but i keep hesitating because I really dislike five spice. But i keep edging closer and closer to trying it every time someone writes about how they liked it. I am liking the sound of the shrimp for dinner

      1. re: suzigirl

        I really, really need to get that lip waxed, too.
        Hmmm, I'm really trying to think what you can sub out for the 5 spice. Is there one particular component to it that you don't like? Or does the whole mix just not hit your tongue well?

        1. re: alliegator

          I had a five spice trauma as a child. My mom was not a good cook, bless her heart. She didn't have something that a recipe called for in cookies and subbed five spice. Imagine my horror when i took a bite. She never made homemade cookies(or much of anything homemade) so I choked it down. Cannot STAND five spice to this day.

          1. re: suzigirl

            Holy friggin yuck!
            Ok, I see your problem. I would try the Allspice option mentioned in the thread I linked below. You'll lose some complexity, but I don't think I could recover from something like that, either.

            1. re: alliegator

              Honestly, if i had someone that had five spice that i could barrow a smidge and retry it, I would. But to buy a whole bottle of something I am fairly sure I will hate seems illogical. I have a Penzey's here. Maybe I should go sniff some to see if it still gives me the heebies.

              1. re: suzigirl

                They'll even let you taste it at Penzey's :) What's nice too is you can buy just a little bit for a dollar or two to see if you like it once added to something.

                1. re: juliejulez

                  I didn't know you could buy a small amount there. I have always gotten the pre bottled size spices there. Thanks Julie. I will see if my store does that.

                  1. re: suzigirl

                    Well, I can't speak for Penzey's actually but I go to another spice shop (Savory Spice Shop, looks like there's one in St. Petersburg) and they let you buy small baggies versus the bottles. Worth a look at Penzey's anyway, maybe they'd even let you take a small sample to try. I know I use 5 spice in an asian BBQ sauce and it only requires 1/8th of a teaspoon.

                2. re: suzigirl

                  At risk of sounding too much like an obnoxious chow can make your own 5 spice very easily from spices you probably already have in your cabinet. Maybe it would taste and smell better to you than commercial?

                  I make mine from anise, clove, Szechuan peppercorn, fennel, cinnamon. If you don't have the Szechuan peppercorn in your cupboard, you can sub pink or black pepper (with a little grain of paradise). Maybe you could customize it more to your tastes?

                  1. re: sedimental

                    Obnoxious chow nerd? Aren't we all to some degree? :-) I definately don't have grains of paradise. Not that lucky.

          2. re: suzigirl

            I am with you on the five spice and have been delaying the Trini Chicken as well but it's so raved about around here I feel like it's a mus try.

            1. re: suzigirl

              Here, ladies, this might interest you. I'm not sure how allspice would go with this as I don't use it, well, ever.

              1. re: alliegator

                I use allspice frequently but iirc that will give a jerk flavor to the other ingredients. Five spice is what gives the marinade it's distinctive flavor. I'm not a huge fan of the spice when overused and overproportioned, so I didn't expect to be bowled over by this dish, but I definitely enjoyed it. Trini-Chinese chicken, char siu and Taiwanese pork chops are actually giving me a new appreciation for this spice blend.

            2. re: alliegator

              Yeah, I'll bet Samy was watching you like a hawk. Or more like leering. Didn't he describe himself as a Hugh Hefner type of guy/perv on the show?

              Do you have a link to the recipe for Trini Chinese Chicken? I did a bing search and came up with many but would like to try the one you like so much.

              1. re: Fowler

                it's this one, that lingua originally linked to, that a bunch of us have tried.

                note to lingua: I finally purchased the "correct" brand of hot sauce - Matouk's, scotch bonnet, tho even that brand has different versions, and they were out of the soca one - because of that article! the kid at the counter asked if i had read the NYT recipe! so i got the Salsa Picante version, which i'm sure it will do the trick.

                1. re: Fowler

                  I didn't get a pervy vibe, just a put that phone back in the bag vibe, hehe...
                  I use the original NY Times recipe. I could eat that chicken once a week probably forever and be a happy girl.

                2. re: alliegator

                  Yeah, thongs ain't what they used to be..:)

                3. After our party on Saturday and a full day of bouldering on Sunday, we wanted something low key last night.
                  Grilled corn on the cobb with salted butter
                  Grilled sausages with various types of pickles (I shall win the war with my condiments)
                  thai style watermelon & radish salad

                  Now I'm in Texas. Excuse me while I stuff my face with BBQ.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: gini

                    No excuses need. It's TX BBQ. It's da LAW.

                    1. re: gini


                      Do you think you can proccur for us the recipe for that thai style watermelon salad from your party that you liked so much? Sounds refreshing.... hopefully, we have a month of hot weather left around here in SEA:)

                      And stuff some bbq for me!

                      1. re: gingershelley

                        It's this one!

                        I decided to do a side-by-side comparison of Black's and Kreutz BBQ. I may never eat again.

                        1. re: gini

                          Awesome Gini! You did the 'lockhart tour'!

                          A then-boss and I did that a few years ago when we were in San Antonio for a convention.... went a day early, and drove up to Lockhart and ate at the same two places.... I swear, the black inside of Black's couldn't exist up here in SEA - the Health Dept. would never allow it. Great food in a unique place.

                          I liked them both, for different reasons - how about you?

                          1. re: gingershelley

                            I prefer Black's. Been there a couple of times. I find the crust on Kreutz's brisket to be too crunchy and salty. I prefer Black's fatty moist brisket. Also, while sides don't matter, Black's are better than Kreutz's. For sausages, the jalapeno cheddar at Black's is just awesome.

                            1. re: gini

                              I was a rank amateur when I went; so no wonder I didn't have as much discernment. I will just have to go back until I can form a more nuanced opinion like you have!

                              1. re: gingershelley

                                Naw, as long as you had a good time, that's all that matters:). I've still never been to Smitty's. I just don't seem to have the stomach room whenever I'm out here. Maybe one day....

                    2. Last night rjbh20 made another bunch of fabulous tastes for dinner for us and some friends. This time he made:
                      -seafood sausage with cognac beurre blanc
                      -a kind of boulibaise with a more stewlike sauce and a crisp crouton
                      -duck, liver, & bacon ravioli with a creamy porcini sauce
                      -Vietnamese coconut curry with shrimp
                      -seafood done as ravioli this time, also with the cognac beurre blanc

                      Overall, everyone loved the duck ravioli best-- umami for days -- but everything was fabulous. This is the answer to the question of why we rarely go out to eat!!

                      17 Replies
                      1. re: roxlet

                        I do believe that menu hits absolutely all of my yum spots. Wow!

                        1. re: roxlet

                          "duck, liver, & bacon ravioli with a creamy porcini sauce" -
                          WOW WOW WOW!

                          1. re: mariacarmen

                            The net result was that it tasted like foie gras. It was quite spectacular.

                            1. re: Frizzle

                              Unfortunately, when he does these tasting menus, there's no time to photograph since he's so focused on getting the next one out.

                              1. re: roxlet

                                Does he even get to sit down and enjoy them himself? :-(

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  What he likes is being in the kitchen. It's like his own restaurant. Afterwards, he comes and sits down and talks about what everyone liked or didn't.

                                    1. re: roxlet

                                      He is very much like the person I used to be Kitchen Bitch (a.k.a. a semi-sous chef) for when a group of us cooked and ate together. Actually, he and I did the planning, cooking and plating (him mostly on the planning), everyone ate, although he would continually have the next course on his mind from a timing standpoint. We were lucky in that his wife was great with clearing the dishes (and washing if she wasn't going to be in our way) while we plated the next course.

                              2. re: roxlet

                                You forgot the seared wild salmon with sauce verte.

                                1. re: rjbh20

                                  Oops. Yes, that was no less loved for being simple. And the sauce verte was something that I think our guest would drink.

                                  I also forgot the Vietnamese coffee ice cream with chocolate chips made by our son, and the lime/cornmeal cookies made by me. There's always gotta be dessert...

                                  1. re: roxlet

                                    I could get down with some of that duck, liver and bacon ravioli.... does Mr. Roxlet (rjbh), have a filling recipe he could share with us mere mortals?

                                    1. re: gingershelley

                                      I made it up on the fly. As far as I can remember (this was dish 3 out of six), it was skinned duck breast, bacon, chicken livers (didn't have any duck liver in the house) ground fine in a food processor, browned slightly with some red wine. Reduce until dry, dash of cognac, once more in the Cuisinart with an egg & some cream. Season & stuff your ravs.

                                      1. re: rjbh20

                                        Sounds great - will borrow that idea!

                                  2. Ugh, I'm tired. Drank too much wine and had too many cupcakes at the party last night, and today at work is busy busy busy. While I would prefer to just have a sandwich or some frozen raviolis, I already defrosted some ground turkey so tonight I'll be making the chipotle meatballs from Mexican Everyday. Just going to serve with some brown rice to make it easy.

                                    I also have to do a deep cleaning on my kitchen. I was in a huge rush making my cupcakes yesterday so I made quite the mess that hasn't been cleaned up yet. And, my cupcakes overflowed a bit in the oven so there's that to clean up too. They were really ugly because of the overflow but they tasted delicious, I used Ina Garten's Beatty's Chocolate Cake recipe, it's the one w/ a cup of hot coffee in it and it always turns out so moist and delicious.

                                    1. Tonight is my last night of cooking (at least at home) until the end of the month so I am having a Caribbean-styled dinner for my SO and two other couples.

                                      Rum punch
                                      Grilled jerk chicken
                                      Grilled butter and brown sugar slices of pineapple
                                      Grilled pork with a tamarind, onion, pepper and garlic sauce
                                      Fried plantains
                                      Passion fruit and plum fruit salad
                                      A sparkling off-dry wine for dessert
                                      And more Rum punch!

                                      4 Replies
                                        1. re: Fowler

                                          Wow, that sounds fantastic. Do you use a rub for your jerk chicken?

                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                            Thanks fldhkybnva. For my jerk I use a rub/paste that I make out of scallions, scotch bonnet pepper, chives, thyme, allspice, nutmeg, salt and a little bit of orange juice.