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What's for Dinner #245 - the Harvest Moon Edition [Sept. 24, 2013]

Cool at night, warm and dry by day, with bright blue skies and lots of sunshine. This is New England's best season and my favorite time of year. :-)

Look up tonight for that big Harvest moon as well.

So, are you going apple and pumpkin picking? Or are you still slogging through (or enjoying, for that matter!) heat and humidity? Would love to know what's on your table.

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  1. As for me, I'm having pork tenderloin - not quite sure how I'll be cooking it up, but I'm looking to use some small Macoun apples, minced rosemary and some mustard, and probably some of the pork stock in the freezer.

    Green beans will definitely be the side dish - completely forgetting that I would be getting my CSA this past Monday, I bought some at the farm stand on Sunday. Oops. (I'm thinking I might blanch most of them and freeze them in a ziploc vacuum bag for later use.)

    9 Replies
    1. re: LindaWhit

      Have you ever roasted them before? Pardon me if I'm late to the game, but I'd never even considered roasting green beans until a friend of mine brought a dish of roasted green beans to a potluck. Love at first sight!

      I love them just blanched briefly and tossed with a light vinaigrette, or sautéed with lemon butter & zest & toasted almonds..... BUT roasting them is a whole 'nother animal.

      Give it a try if you haven't. Toss with olive oil & sea salt, roast for 15-20 min. @425 or until nice and crispy.

      1. re: linguafood

        I have but hadn't thought about it in awhile - and that sounds like a good idea - I can put them in the convection oven to make sure the heat is high enough - thanks for the idea!

        1. re: linguafood

          Oh yes, roasted green beans are great. After cooking, I just sprinkle them with some parmesan cheese, salt & pepper.

          1. re: linguafood

            sounds delish, gotta try it. Love roasted veggies but never tried string beans.

          2. re: LindaWhit

            OK, so I seared the half pork tenderloin after seasoning with olive oil, salt, pepper, minced fresh rosemary and parsley. Removed it from the pan, added 1 cup of pork stock, 1-1/2 Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar. Let that reduce until about 2/3 gone, then whisked in about 1/2 Tbsp or a bit more of Dijon mustard and 1/2 Tbsp. of maple syrup. Added 2 very small Macoun apples, peeled, cored and quartered and spooned the sauce over top. Poured everything over top the pork tenderloin a small baking dish and into the oven to roast. I'll spoon the sauce over top a couple of times.

            The green beans were seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper and dried thyme and will be roasted in the convection toaster oven at 400° (425° in a regular oven) adding some fresh corn kernels halfway through.

            We'll see how it turns out!

            1. re: LindaWhit

              It sounds seriously delicious. Enjoy.

              1. re: suzigirl

                I could have used a bit more apple cider vinegar for a bit more oomph, but it was very nice!

              2. re: LindaWhit

                Sounds wonderful and perfectly early-fall-y:)!

            2. Tonight it's grilled beefburgers because it is cool enough outside for me to grill.

              Yesterday my wife got creative. There was left over roast chicken in the fridge along with a tube of Pillsbury biscuits that she said need to be used due to expiration date. She whipped up chicken pot pie filling with aromatic vegetables. Poured the filling into a high sided pie dish, placed the biscuits on top of the filling and baked the concoction. I told her that I hope she prepares that combo again sometime.

              My wife is a good cook, but she doesn't like to cook anymore. She had enough while we were raising kids. We've had an empty nest for 23 years.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ChiliDude

                i've made that biscuit pot pie before! it's yummy.

              2. we're right in the middle somewhere - blue skies, temps in the low to mid-70s, lovely. not quite summer, but not fall yet.

                no cooking again for me - i'll be overindulging in happy hour bar food - including this debauchery - Totchos (tater tots slathered in the usual nachos yummery.) I. Can't. Wait.

                Tomorrow night we'll be having some thin-cut porterhouse steaks - here's hoping the BF doesn't overcook them. my new favorite salad/side is olive oil and lemon-rubbed kale, with garbanzos and marinated artichoke hearts. soooo good, and healthy!

                28 Replies
                1. re: mariacarmen

                  Loaded tots are a favorite at happy hour among my colleagues but I think I should definitely introduce the word "totchos."

                  1. re: mariacarmen

                    All I can say is Oh. My. Totchos. I want these NOW.

                    1. re: mariacarmen

                      I'm going to have to inquire at the bar we're going to tomorrow... they offer tots instead of fries and they do offer them loaded... wondering if they could put a nacho spin on them. Damn, that sounds good.

                      1. re: mariacarmen

                        ok, kids, indulge me. WFD were the totchos, for the win, and some fried eggroll reuben things, that were good but not totchos, and, spicy crab fries - all good. washed down with several (ok, 3) spicy cucumber margaritas. lovely outdoor patio in a sportsbar venue (shudder) i'd never ventured into, 2 blocks from my house. old dog, new tricks.

                        and, further indulgence, please? recently went to a favorite alley full of euro style restos that i've frequented over many years, and local PBS program, called Check Please, Bay Area, was filming, while me and a few co-workers were at lunch. i'm on t.v.! for about 1.5 seconds. the BF helped me take a screen shot. i only really care because i actually "auditioned" to be on this show for a restaurant we loved that went defunct (the owner moved back to his homeland) so i never got to be on it - so, at least i got to be on as an eater - really, my true calling. fun!

                        ETA: Well, the pics won't post, i'll try again tomorrow.

                          1. re: mariacarmen

                            You look so elegant dining, all you ladies!

                          2. re: mariacarmen

                            All the food sounds gluttonously wonderful and congrats on your tv debut :) Hope we get to see it at some point.

                            1. re: alliegator

                              twist my arm...
                              http://blogs.kqed.org/checkplease/201...

                              second restaurant reviewed. it's literally only a couple seconds of my table.

                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                I have no way of knowing which lovely lady is you, but that quite and enjoyable show!! Wish they did something like that in Phoenix.
                                Looks like you had quite a nice lunch :)

                                1. re: alliegator

                                  i'm the one still eating bread (of course), facing the camera, dark hair, right side.

                                  it's a good show - i've tried several new restaurants because of seeing them featured there. not always great, but it's fun to try things i might not have. this place, Tiramisu, is an old friend,however.

                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                    It looks like a great old friend to have.
                                    In my experience, most girls named mariacarmen will be dark haired, so my pick was correct!
                                    Your television debut has happened! *applause!*

                                  2. re: alliegator

                                    They do have a Phx version - it's on PBS Channel 8 on Thursday nights, hosted by Robert McGrath - I DVR it b/c it's one of my favorite shows :)

                                    1. re: HeyImBack

                                      Hey thanks! I'm still kinda new here and haven't found it--but I will :)

                                  3. re: mariacarmen

                                    Cue up to 15:14 and look on the right :-). I've never watched this show though I knew about it. Neat idea and excellent food porn shots.

                                    1. re: grayelf

                                      oh, you were just referring to where we show up. thx.

                                2. re: mariacarmen

                                  Oh - that's sooooo cool! I auditioned for Check Please! SEA, and may get to be on this season..... tho I think I was cooler when I had a French BF in tow.

                                  You should try again, now that you've had a 'cameo!

                                  1. re: gingershelley

                                    i totally would. i have to find one restaurant i go to again and again - hard to do here, when i have so many new to try, always.

                                    good luck getting on, and let us know! they told me here that sometimes they don't pick someone based on the fact that their restaurant doesn't "go with" the other restaurants they have slated, so it's not personal if you don't get picked.

                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                      I agree, you have to have a place you really like. Tho I don't see why they don't overview all the people/resto's that are interesting in the possible's, and then match the one you like with a good slate - rather than thinking of 'one-at-a-time' or episode by episode? I shall have to ask my friend who is an unpaid intern on the show... and maybe she can get me an 'insider' to look at your application too?!).

                                      Anyhoo, nice cameo:)

                                    2. re: gingershelley

                                      ok, i think the Mods have indulged my ego enough for one day. Thanks everyone!

                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                        Hope the mods don't mind one more post. How yummy does that place look? What a great bunch of places that you have to nosh at. Lucky girl.

                                  2. re: mariacarmen

                                    Totchos and a kale salad. It's all about balance, eh MC? '}

                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                      You guys look like you're having a great time.

                                      Cheers!

                                      1. re: steve h.

                                        if you look closely, there is no wine on the table. nor wine glasses. lunchtime on a work day. phooey - how much fun could we have been having? good acting! :)

                                    2. A co-worker brought in a bucket of ripe Romas yesterday and I scored enough to make another batch of shakshuka. Which will make hubby very happy, especially with our CSA eggs and toasted sesame semolina bread from our Co-op.

                                      Althought in my heart of hearts (and stomach!) I am very jealous of mc's Totchos.

                                      15 Replies
                                      1. re: iowagirl

                                        haha!

                                        and i have been wanting to make shakshuka for ages - the idea thrills me, but in practice, i don't always ADORE a peppery tomato sauce - i know, blasphemy!

                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                          Not blasphemy at all - I'm actually right there with you. But hubby REALLY loves it, and the Romas are perfect right now, so ...

                                          But tomorrow is Friday - and while I don't know of anywhere I can get those heavenly sounding Totchos, there will be something cheesy and not made by me in my future. With cocktails!

                                        2. re: iowagirl

                                          Shakshuka is the plan for Saturday breakfast! I've never had it but it seems great. I plan to just season to taste, do you have a favorite blend of spices or peppers? I was hoping to use fresh tomatoes but if not I guess San Marzano will do.

                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                            I visited CH-er L.Nightshade a few months ago and she made a fabulous brunch one morning that was a take on shakshuka - with ground lamb - and it was SO FABULOUS. i'd make that if the stupid BF wasn't so lamb-averse. i just need to let some time pass. every few months he can stomach a bit.

                                            anyway, i think it was an ottolenghi recipe, and it was fanastic, if you want to google it.

                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                              Mmmmm - shakshuka with lamb! Alas, my hubby is also lamb-averse.

                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                I was actually going to mix in some of my favorite lamb merguez sausage from Whole Foods.

                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                    I'll lend y'all my SO, since I am the lamb averse one. Now to figure out the postage on one able-bodied mechanical engineer :-).

                                              2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                So I just use fresh jalapeno (my plants are going crazy!) lots of garlic and cumin to taste. Lets the tomato flavor really shine - but I also do take the very unconventional approach and sprinkle some chopped kalamatas on top - just cuz I love the briny! And since hubby is not a huge fan of fresh parsley, I chop some fresh oregano pretty finely and use that as the green herby bits.

                                                1. re: iowagirl

                                                  Your version sounds wonderful Iowagirl. I like the olive addition.... and I would like the lamb murguez flky is going to add too - gild that lilly!

                                                2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                  The plan went well!! This weekend I had Shakshuka on my mind and my serendipitous finds at the grocery store made it a shoe-in! While at Whole Foods Friday night, a local company who sells hummus I love was tasting their Harissa and it was so delicious I wanted to eat it out of the tub. Then in the cheese section, they were tasting the Greek feta which I tried knowing that I usually am not very whelmed by it but this was delicious as well. I roasted a few Anaheim and Yellow Wax peppers sauteed with garlic and onions and a hefty dose of Harissa. For our low-carb table, I served with chicken breasts crusted with Harissa and Feta.

                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                    Would the local company be Cava Mezze? I sampled their dips at Whole Foods and was especially taken with the spicy feta and harissa. Their harissa did not bear a strong resemblance to any North African harissa I've encountered before, but I am not one to turn up my nose at anything spicy that can be eaten with chips. I just wish it was a little cheaper. Those little $9 tubs add up quickly when you crave a spicy snack as often as I do!

                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                      Indeed! It's delicious, the Harissa is great but not particularly spicy but very tasty. I've never had any other Harissa so I have nothing to compare it to but this tub will certainly be used up. I agree, it was quite expensive. But whoa, $9? You must have bought the large tub. I bought two tubs of the small hummus on sale last week 2/$7 and the Harissa this week not on sale was $5 I think.

                                                    2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                      Sounds delicious! I really need to find some harissa around here ...

                                                      1. re: iowagirl

                                                        I have heard that Mina brand is pretty good and I've seen it in Whole Foods, Safeway and Wegmans.

                                                3. Tonight I'm going to try out a stuffed pork tenderloin. I got the idea from fldhkybnva. I'm going to use my mixture I usually use for chicken that I got from Kalyn's Kitchen... sour cream, some shredded mozzarella, and pesto. Might roll the pork in some breadcrumbs too, we'll see. Some sauteed zucchini on the side.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: juliejulez

                                                    Sounds delicious! I've done pesto stuffed before and it's great and since it's not a "chunky" filling the tenderloin rolls quite easily (vs. my usual overstuffing with fatter things like mushrooms, etc.) There is also a wee bit of ooze which is fun to sop up especially if bread crumbs are around to soak it up. I hope you like it. I like the addition of sour cream as well.