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What's for Dinner #247 - the Indian Summer Edition (Through October 6, 2013)

New England seems to having the first of its last gasps of summer weather. By Wednesday, it's supposed to be low 80s - easily swimsuit weather for the hardy souls who live here! (These are folk who are out running in shorts and tee shirts when it climbs to the low 50s in February for a single day! LOL)

So I suspect those grills will continue to be used. What's cooking in your neck of the woods?

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  1. And doesn't it just figure, I told Mom I'd make her beef stew some time this week to bring up to her house....and I was planning on making it on Wednesday. My timing is perfect! (Not)

    I was going to make it in the oven, but now I might try and get up early and prep it to go into the crockpot. I have an older model, so it doesn't get as hot as the newer ones do, so 10 hours should be OK without dissolving the meat. Maybe I'll cut larger chunks of beef to prevent dissolution.

    Otherwise, it's leftovers for me. And perhaps chopping, sealing and freezing more CSA veg that's coming our way this afternoon.

    1. Indian Summer- perfect title! (i was thinking R'October myself but that was earlier before it warmed up so nicely!)
      Can you tell us your super creamy red pepper sauce again? Inquiring minds are wanting to know. I was going to make Vodka sauce but it seems too decadent for a Monday.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Berheenia

        Berheenia - usually it's just freshly roasted and peeled red bell peppers (or jarred, drained as well as you can do so) whirled in small food processor with salt, some Aleppo pepper (or use crushed red pepper if you don't have Aleppo), and some heavy cream or half and half. I don't add a lot of the cream - just enough to turn it a rosy pale creamy red. :-)

        1. re: LindaWhit

          Sounds great, I keep looking for this aleppo pepper and can't seem to find it anywhere.

            1. re: fldhkybnva


              Williams-Sonoma also has it, but at $7.95 for 1.6 oz., it's insane to buy it there, when Penzeys sells a 4 oz. bag for $7.09.

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                I got mine at Savory Spice Shop, which is a smaller chain similar to Penzey's.

          1. Indian summer is quite right! Regardless of the calendar, it feels a ways off from autumn here in NYC, but so long as bright sun and warm temps keep my farmer's markets well-stocked, I can't complain.

            Tonight I'm reaping the bounties of Indian summer with an Indian meal of a different sort. For the main, we have chicken saag. While the bright green saag is usually made with spinach, I'm going with the wild green flavor of stinging nettles. Their season is normally over by midsummer, but fair weather has delivered them into September and their untamed verve promises a bold match for cardamom, garam masala and green chilies. For veg I have pudding-soft slices of graffiti eggplant cooked in an Afghan-spiced tomato sauce to be served with labneh as well as green beans cooked until they're soft as a Georgia drawl with bacon, onions and chili vinegar. Spoons and forks be damned, this is a meal I'm digging into with flatbread, licking the essence of summer from my fingertips while it lasts.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JungMann

              Not only does the food sound fantastic, but what an eloquently written post. Love it.

            2. It's 76 degrees here but weather is going up starting tomorrow to the 80's the rest of the week (supposedly)..I have chicken breast tenders thawed in the fridge I took out of the freezer a couple of days ago but after having chicken two days in a row, that's not what we want tonight.

              I took a chuck roast out last night to make room for some meats we picked up on our way home from the fair yesterday so that's WFD. I'm going to season it up with s & p, cumin, onion & garlic powders, and some thyme then pan sear it on both sides.

              It'll go into the oven with quartered potatoes, onions, carrots, bell peppers & celery. I'll make a gravy to pour over the lot and slow braise. Maybe some oven roasted broccoli on the side. Maybe some biscuits.

              Saturday after the fair, we stopped at this BBQ restaurant that had a buffet with southern classics. OMG, I made a pig out of myself, I confess. Being that it was my first visit here and my BF bragged about the food, I had to try quite a bit so I could give a fair review (yeah right).

              They had smoky pulled pork, bbq pork ribs, fried chicken, bbq chicken, butter beans, field peas w/snaps, collards with pork, potato salad, the best hushpuppies...this is just what I had (head hanging in shame...lol...) oh, and really good honey bun cake. I should be eating a salad today.....

              1. Indian summer always makes me think of the Peanuts cartoon where Lucy explains that Indian Summer is a device wherein the Indians tricked the approaching calvary into thinking that the weather was nice, when in reality it was about to snow.

                Tonight will be a redux of last night's fabulous tuna tartare, and we will probably turn the spicy chicken thighs into tacos. It was all so good, that I'm delighted to have it again.

                1. Not sure if I should say despite the warm weather (93 here today,) or because of the warm weather (okra is still producing like mad, I swear every time I'm in the garden there is more to pick,) we're having seafood and sausage gumbo. I'm planning on a very large batch so some of it can be frozen (pre-seafood being added,) for when the weather turns.

                  Can't say I'm in any hurry for cold weather, though. We're seriously spoiled by all of the fresh produce we're still getting. I'm having trouble getting all of the fall/ winter veggies and greens planted because the summer stuff isn't ready to come out yet. I'm still picking beautiful tomatoes.....

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: weezieduzzit

                    Please enlighten me on your gumbo, do you have a recipe to share?

                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                      I haven't used a recipe for gumbo since probably the first time I made it many years ago, and mine is driven by what is fresh in the garden. Its probably not very traditional anymore, sorry :)

                      Gumbo is one of those foods that there are real purists about so I'd better there's at least one heated "discussion" about what constitutes gumbo with some recipes here on CH somewhere! With the seafood you have available in your area I'd bet you could make a killer gumbo.

                  2. Indian summer here would imply that i was given a repreve from the heat. That didn't happen. It did sink to 89° today if that matters.
                    Tonight is a mixes veggie salad in a garlic marinade. Carrots, mushrooms,red peppers,grape tomatoes, mirliton, celery and garlic dressing. No lettuce, we aren't friends. Wah! Garlic bread and sketti to go with. Peppers, onion, mushrooms,chicken Italian sausage and ground chuck combined along with the frozen herb mix along with some sauce from the braciole and another can of sauce to make the sauce go farther. I would say we were having leftovers but James liked it so much he had me pack him an extra big plate for him and one for his boss. I hope his boss does leftovers. :-)

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: suzigirl

                      I hear you on the heat! Whereabouts in Florida are you again?

                      1. re: speakhandsforme

                        Sunny Sarasota. An hour south of Tampa Bay.

                        1. re: suzigirl

                          Fantastic. I'm a panhandle native, currently languishing in Orlando, going to school. :)

                          1. re: speakhandsforme

                            I am a third generation native. My grandpa's house was the first schoolhouse built here. I may bitch a whine about the heat, but truth be told, you would have to drag me out of FL kicking and screaming. Its a nice place to live and visit.

                            1. re: suzigirl

                              Yeah, visit...
                              I love Florida. And if the gov't doesn't shut down, maybe I could check out the space coast for some help with FoodShooter.

                              1. re: alliegator

                                There have been several menus that I would love that shooter for. Maybe the space coast can help. I am hoping we can get it here soon

                              2. re: suzigirl

                                Wow! Yeah, my mom's family has been here for five generations, I think. I actually want to move away desperately; my plan is to go to UC Berkeley for law school. :)

                                1. re: speakhandsforme

                                  Well if you must leave me, Berkeley is the way to go. You will be forgiven. :-)

                      2. 23 degrees C in southwestern Ontario this afternoon! Beef rouladen with boiled new Sieglinde potatoes and green beans for dinner tonight. Now I just have to dig up those potatoes. :)

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: prima

                          Ah, yes, it's been rather gorgeous here, too. If only I weren't tied to the laptop. Wah.

                          26°C on Wednesday, even -- looks like a few grilling nights coming up!!!!

                        2. An Indian Summer, indeed. It's going to be in the high 80s this week which is crazy considering I pulled out my scarves last week. I'm on my own this week and on call tonight so I decided to finally one of my random purchases from the store. There are lot of random purchases. I've always been a grocery store peruser particularly if I have someone on the phone I can't get rid of but now that I'm forcing myself to clean out the freezer, I seem to buy more random seasonings and veggies which I actually am loving as it forces me to be creative and I discover new things. I need to go to rehab for "ooh that looks interesting" grabaholics.

                          I have no idea why, but I have a bottle of Zahtar I spotted at Whole Foods and decided to give it a try. Not knowing much about it other than it's a Mediterranean region spice mixture I decided to pair it with another "random, let's try it" purchase, the TJs Mediterranean hummus. Well, it worked out great as the random buys usually do. I marinated the chicken breasts for just an hour or so in lemon juice, olive oil and the Zahtar, threw them in the oven and served with a hefty dose of hummus.

                          19 Replies
                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                            Yum. That sounds tasty and healthy.

                            1. re: suzigirl

                              Yea, although if the pager is unkind to me tonight, a snack or two will be in order to balance it all out.

                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                I was having a fieldhawk day today. I had to wander and look at all the new bobbles and shiny things at the butcher today. The sister joined the group and brought in things she likes. So far I like her tastes. Haddon house Spanish caper berries, Jane's krazy mixed up seasonings Greek and her kettle chips, Garlic expressions classic vinaigrette. I like your "stop and smell the roses" shopping style.
                                Here's to hoping the pager is quiet and snacks are plentiful. :-)

                                1. re: suzigirl

                                  Long strolls through grocery stores, usually at strange hours like Friday night and butt crack early on the weekend, are most definitely in my list of weekly highlights. Caper berries, are those different than capers? I tried once again to like capers last week, but alas, we don't get along.

                                  My egg stock is always full as they are my go to snack, I can't get enough of those perfect protein powerhouses. Related to snacks and eggs which perhaps only a person around here would understand - I always buy my eggs at Whole Foods where a local farm brings in fresh pastured, unpastuerized eggs twice a week. Well, the past few weeks they just haven't been there, where they have always been. I'm a creature of habit and this really annoyed me particularly as I love eggs and eat them so often. It's like no Heinz ketchup if you are devoted. The dairy guy just seemed to know that they were out of stock which is odd as they've never been out of stock before. So, I initiated a reconnaissance mission and went straight to the source with an email to the farm owner herself. Alas, she introduced an entire new brood of hens who are apparently having some difficulties...uh, what? Isn't laying eggs just what they do? I feel sorry for the poor girls, hopefully they will have some better success in October, those eggs are like gold to me. My stand in eggs will do for tonight which I think will be mixed with some of that kimchi from TJs.

                                  I do sound quite delirious, and to think I got 7 hours of sleep last night instead of the usual 3 hours. Enjoy your finds, watch out for the sideways mirrors at the store, they'll get you every time and things magically appear in your cart.

                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                    I love strolling the stores. I find it very soothing. Even therapeutic in a way.
                                    Caper berries are just bigger nonpareil capers. They aren't quite as strong to me and the texture of the seeds aren't dissimilar to okra. Not slimy, but the seeds are big and have a pop.
                                    I can actually relate to your egg plight. My store that carries my local organicfarm raised eggs had the packing company burn down. I was egg free for a couple of weeks til they got back on track. I missed my lovely protein powerhouses.
                                    On a seperate but food related note, how was the Med hummus from TJ's?

                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                      Soothing and therapeutic is exactly how I would describe it, I think it's the wife open spaces of it all for me. Ahh, I spotted some yesterday and wondered what those big capers were. Perhaps I'll try them if they are less briny. I just feel like deep inside I want to like capers.

                                      Oh the hummus, I forgot to mention. Lets just say that someone nearly finished the tub while I was sleeping and left the dirty fork on the table...SO is out of town so I'm not sure who :) It was great! It has a nice lemony flavor and is super smooth. It's addicting in that I can't figure out why sort of way. I think it's a nice alternative to other brands as it's not as thick and the tahini flavor is less intense. For me it's a contrast to the think Tahini power of Sabra which I also love, this was lighter and less viscous. A great option overall.

                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                          I really like caper berries but they are rather intense.
                                          Thanks for the info on the hummus. It sounds like a better taste for me than Tribe.

                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                            What don't you like about Tribe, just wondering?

                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                              It was very one note. The Mediterranean style had no real herbal ir citrus notes to wake it up. It was flat

                                          2. re: fldhkybnva

                                            Are you buying salt or brine-packed capers? I find they have very different flavors - I like both, but not everyone does I'm sure. The brine-packed type tend to be very vinegary, and since I know you're a big fan of vinegar, you might try them to see if they work for you (if you've only had the salt-packed kind before, that is).

                                            1. re: biondanonima

                                              They were in liquid, Sun of Italy brand I think, and probably brine-packed then right? I do enjoy salt which is why when I taste the outside I like it, but it's the finish that gets me.

                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                Yes, if they were in liquid then they were brined. Maybe try the salt packed kind instead - they are considered "superior" by many people.

                                2. re: fldhkybnva

                                  Sounds great! Za' atar ( or zaatar, za'tar, zatar, zatr, zattr, zahatar, zaktar or satar depending on where you're getting it or what you're cooking!) is by far one of my favorite spice blends- incredibly flexible.

                                  One of our fave Mediterranean restaurants tops their hummus with wonderful olive oil, za' atar and warm pieces of lamb cooked so the edges are crispy. So good.....

                                  1. re: weezieduzzit

                                    My goodness, that lamb sounds great. It would make a perfect pair. I think it'd be great in a salad dressing as well.

                                    1. re: weezieduzzit

                                      Maybe from now on it should be dubbed "The Z".

                                    2. re: fldhkybnva

                                      i've used home-made zatar in salad dressings, and at middle-eastern restaurants i've had it mixed with olive oil as a dip for pita. yum.

                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                        LOVE za'atar blend! I usually add more ground sumac to the mix I get (at Penzeys, BTW! LOL)



                                        I promise - I don't work for Penzeys. I just love their products.

                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                          Clearly, what's the commission per oz sold? I had never had sumac before so this was a nice introduction.

                                      2. Mr. Speak requested teriyaki chicken and fried rice, so that is what he's getting. Cheat version of the teriyaki chicken, though - Kikkoman bottled was the marinade and sauce, and I used frozen veggies for the stir-fry.

                                        On Mondays I cook the dinner meal in the afternoon as my evenings get rather busy, so I've had a chance to taste it all. I tried a new flavor of the Kikkoman; it seems quite a bit saltier than the one I had before, so I'll go back to the old one.

                                        Fried rice turned out surprisingly well for my first time making it. 4 cups of plain ol' white rice I cooked last night and left in the fridge, onion, egg, a can of peas and carrots, and a little soy sauce. I suspect the takeout-y flavor missing from it is oyster sauce, so I'll pick some of that up before I try this again. Related: anyone know how they manage to turn it that pretty yellow color? Annatto, turmeric, or food coloring?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: speakhandsforme

                                          I like the kikkoman extra ginger teriyaki when I get bottled. It is quite good.

                                        2. Tonight is tex-mex. Chicken quesidillas, black beans and rice along with guac and salsa. Its monday so its need to be easy…

                                          1. Wow, you guys did alot of posting last night and this morning for us to get here so fast!

                                            Don't know WFD for me, as headed to my folks house North an hour for dinner as sister is in town. We shall talk about all things Christmas, as the whole family is decending (by invitation) on South Pasedena to my sister's house for that holiday. She and her hubby are brave!

                                            Dinner will no doubt be delicious, as my stepmom is a great cook. Report tomorrow. Happy Monday to all.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. Hello, dinner friends! I need to go back and look through all the weekend yummies.
                                              My dinners were a friend's bbq out of about 100 miles out of town. Just a hot dog and some snacks, but the company and weather were great. Last night was take out pizza from a wonderful and authentic New York style place near home. As much as I love a real Neapolitan pizza from a reputable place, the New York style is just what you want sometimes.
                                              Edit to add: Mushroom bar plans from Friday did not fly for a couple of reasons, much to my dismay. But it will be here when we come back, and we may give it a lunchtime go for a better chance at success.
                                              Tonight, I'm making linguini alfredo with chicken and spinach. A nice and simple meal.
                                              Seems like a lot of calories, but I've been given the go ahead to work out again after my final xray on Saturday--yay! And just in time, leaving for Portugal late tomorrow evening.

                                              24 Replies
                                              1. re: alliegator

                                                OMG. Please report on your Portuguese exploits here. Well, on the appropriate board, of course. I don't have it saved but will look out for it to live vicariously through you.

                                                Safe travels, allie! Don't work out too much now '-D

                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                  I'll make a full report in the correct place and post a link!
                                                  And worry not, the hotel's gym is not on my to-do list ;)
                                                  I always wondered about those people on the stair climber while vacationing. Sad...

                                                  1. re: alliegator

                                                    I actually love that the gym is empty on vacation and as an early bird who struggles to sleep past 7am, I can dance around like a mad woman pumping some iron while the world sleeps in...I must admit that Pandora combined with a bad singing voice and worse dance moves makes exercise a blast :) Enjoy your vacation! Congratulations on the green light to work out but perhaps we can ignore that until you get back.

                                                  1. re: alliegator

                                                    Have a great time, I look forward to reading when you return!

                                                    1. re: alliegator

                                                      Yay! it's finally happening!! so exciting - good luck, have a great trip!!! eat everything in sight!!!! hope you enjoy the hell out of it!

                                                      1. re: alliegator

                                                        You had better hook us up with an exclusive play by play. Have an amazing time with paps, the ultimate dining companion, I am sure. I will miss you, but the Portuguese in me is jealous.

                                                        1. re: suzigirl

                                                          I didn't realized paps was going, you're going to have a great time!

                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                            Yup, pap is making the trip. I'm currently working out when to give him all of his old dude pills with the time change so I don't get him messed up O_o
                                                            I think he'll do just fine, and he's excited about chowing down on the bounty from the sea, as am I. He's done so well with trying different foods in the last few months, and will make the best of dining partners because he's a fan of ordering lots of stuff and splitting.
                                                            Then he gets 2 months to rest up, because we'll get back on the tin bird for some Christmas shopping and belly stuffing in Prague. The 2 trips to Europe thing is pretty ill designed, but life got in the way of good planning, as it often does ;)

                                                            1. re: alliegator

                                                              Wow, I should go back to medical school, never pondered medicine and time changes...nice to have that thought in my pocket now for the future. I can imagine he must be just as excited and probably more than you for the adventure. And, he's a splitter? I must admit, I am not much of a food sharer though I blame my only-childness...it's not my fault...I would love to take a trip with my grandmother, she's quite amazing and your stories of pap remind me of her. Prague for Christmas? Can I join your family?

                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                Sure! But you have to sleep in the treadmill room :/
                                                                Med timing would never have entered my mind, but his doctor mentioned it so he isn't jetlagged and drowsy at the same time.
                                                                We want to hit the ground hungry, somewhat alert, and oh, hungry :)
                                                                I've already tracked down a place for a No Reservations style shellfish tower :D

                                                                1. re: alliegator

                                                                  shellfish tower...this is trip is destined to be great!

                                                                    1. re: alliegator

                                                                      And by the way fldhky, a trip with your grandmother? Do it while she's here. You ma have to walk slower and explain things along the way, but all worth it.
                                                                      I may revise that statement upon return ;)

                                                                      1. re: alliegator

                                                                        << I may revise that statement upon return>>

                                                                        Giggling wildly

                                                                        1. re: suzigirl

                                                                          Giggle not. His dream trip to Bali next year depends on his "travel performance".
                                                                          I'm harsh like that.

                                                                        2. re: alliegator

                                                                          You guys are cool.

                                                                          I took my in-laws from Connecticut to South Korea for a visit to where Deb and I lived for three years, where their grandson was born and so on. They loved it.

                                                                          Fred and Marge are no longer with us. It was a good trip.

                                                                          1. re: alliegator

                                                                            Oh, she's often faster than me, a spry young 86-year-old. You have a great point and I really should think about this for my next long break from work.

                                                                2. re: alliegator

                                                                  So glad you're finally going! Have tons of fun, and take lots of pictures and copious notes so we can all be jealous! :-)

                                                                    1. re: alliegator

                                                                      Thank you so much for the good trip wishes, everyone :D
                                                                      I'm sure to have a blast once I finally get going. We don't even leave for the airport until 7. I get impatient sitting around all day waiting.
                                                                      Last night's dinner was ok, nothing special since I used Buitoni alfedo. I'll admit that I got my nails done for the trip and didn't want to fug them up.
                                                                      Lunch/dinner today is just going to be some fruit and baguette and baked potato soup from the grocery store deli. And dinner/lunch(?) tomorrow will be some fine dining at Heathrow: http://www.gordonramsay.com/planefood...
                                                                      I'm eyeing up the lemon sole.

                                                                      1. re: alliegator

                                                                        Oh, and one more thing, you absolutely need to try this fabulous sour cherry liquor that they have there. It's called ginga, or maybe jinga. If you ask around everyone knows about it.

                                                                      2. re: alliegator

                                                                        Bon Voyage Allie!

                                                                        Wishing you magical travels and memories in Portugal.... and of course, amazing eating!

                                                                        Can't wait to hear all about it!

                                                                        1. re: alliegator

                                                                          Have a great time in Portugal! I was there this past April and loved it. The aquarium in Lisbon is very impressive. And the fish, oh my, the fish. Deelish!

                                                                        2. It's almost 7pm and I just got back from a game. I'm home alone until Wednesday so I just pulled a pan of baked ziti and popped it into the oven. I wish I had some garlic bread to go with it but I don't and I am not going out to the store to get some.

                                                                          1. Deb poked into the back of the coolerator this evening and pulled out some house-made split pea soup with ham. She added a little cheesy bread for crunch. Wine for her, beer for me. Top Gear BBC is on the plasma.

                                                                            Go 'gators! Have a great trip.

                                                                            Edited to add: I was home today and pulled out some leftover homemade pappardelle with Bolognese sauce for lunch. Goodbye Marcella, you will be missed.

                                                                                1. re: rjbh20

                                                                                  inauthentic be damned - that's gorgeous.

                                                                                2. Well hi. I feel like it's been ages since I posted, but it's really only been since Wednesday. Although I guess in WFD time, that's a long time!

                                                                                  Work was pretty busy before but now it's just insane. Pulled a 12 hour day today, then had to go pick up the pup from the sitter. We were in Las Vegas over the weekend to watch the hockeys at the MGM Grand. The Kings and Rangers played Friday, and the Avalanche and Kings on Saturday night, Avs won, yay! However, we stayed out in SO's folks' condo in Mesquite, so no food of interest in Las Vegas was eaten. Walked wistfully by Craftsteak both nights though. Last Thursday's dinner was McDonald's since I worked late and had to drop pup off at the sitter. Tonight's was from a local chain fast food place, chicken tenders.

                                                                                  I am planning to get back into the kitchen tomorrow night though, just making a simple pasta w/ diced up chicken and a red cream sauce... I use greek yogurt instead of cream.

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                    Please do tell about the cream sauce. A pink marinara is on the menu this weekend (is it too early to think of the weekend?) I've seen a version with Greek yogurt and silken tofu. The tofu idea seemed interesting but I'd love to know your recipe?

                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                      Well there's not much to it... I just use a jarred sauce (or occasionally homemade marinara but let's be honest, it's usually jarred, especially these days) and throw in some greek yogurt until it's the consistency/color I like. Sometimes I add some red pepper flakes or something. Just whatever tickles my fancy at the moment. Also for the yogurt, I know you probably wouldn't use low fat anyway, but I've found the 0% doesn't work great, but 2% or full fat is good.

                                                                                      1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                        "You wouldn't use low fat anyway," you're right! I guess I worry about the tang but perhaps the tomatoes balance it.

                                                                                  2. I really want to cook something delicious, but I'm still working through Sunday's leftovers. I've got a huge amount of zucchini and cabbage left, a big tub of rice, and a decent amount of bulgogi.... I feel like I'll be eating it all week! Hopefully only two days of it left, though. Then I can make broccoli-white bean tacos or something.

                                                                                    1. Volunteering tonight, so dinner is a crock-pot experiment: shortcut beef rendang, using this packet of spice mix http://www.amazon.com/bamboe-Indonesi... , coconut milk, and beef chuck. An onion and shallot were chopped and added to the bottom of the pot before the meat and sauce went in. I didn't brown the meat (no time, and plus I read somewhere that it's typically not pre-browned for certain Asian preps?), and I don't know how much the sauce will reduce, but I imagine it'll be edible over steamed Jasmine rice.

                                                                                      ETA: Like Linda's, my Crock Pot is an older model. Here's hoping again overcooked meat...

                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                          This was good. The meat was, admittedly, a little bit overcooked, but walking in the door to dinner basically DONE is priceless. I drizzled mine with hot chili oil and lime juice. I'm going to try something similar soon with Thai chili paste (and maybe also cubed pork shoulder). The coconut milk did brown a bit around the edges of the pot, but that wasn't a problem.

                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                            Thanks for reporting back. I was wondering how that turned out. I may have to keep that in my back pocket for when I need a crock-pot meal.

                                                                                            1. re: ludmilasdaughter

                                                                                              For me, it really beats overcooked chicken pieces or watery beef stew in the crock pot :)

                                                                                          2. It's finally happened. The yellow squash and zucchini are multiplying in the refrigerator. We grilled up a bunch on Friday and have eaten them 3 times and there are more than we started with- I have proof as I posted a picture on the last WFD. So I threw out the rest last night after we had some with pasta. I had planned to make Linda's red pepper sauce but a large ripe tomato had also appeared in the fridge so we peeled and seeded it and made up some fresh vodka sauce with the heavy cream bought for the red pepper sauce. The rational is we aren't eating anything from a can or a jar while we have fresh produce. There was also leftover ham and broccoli so I made ham salad sandwiches for lunch yesterday and a ham, broccoli and fontina quiche for brunch today. All of these items sprung from the bowels of what Steve calls the coolertor and were a big surprise. I'm going to do cheese burgers on the grill tonight. Not sure what is lurking but I think I'll get a head of iceberg from the supermarket and do a wedge salad on the side. Yesterday we also made the first stock of the season (chicken) so that helped clean up the veggie drawers a bit. The farmers markets will be shutting down in a few weeks and maybe it's a good thing but I'll really miss them.

                                                                                            1. I'm still planning on making the beef stew for Mom, perhaps in the oven tonight, as it can cook and cool while I watch Ziva say farewell to Tony tonight on NCIS.

                                                                                              But I also made a list of the CSA veg I had from the past few weeks (some things keep longer than others) and added what I got yesterday. I'm going to be eating a LOT of vegetables over these next few days!

                                                                                              Dinosaur Kale (between last week and this week, probably 8-9 leaves)
                                                                                              Swiss Chard (1/3 of a small bunch - 3 leaves?)
                                                                                              Amaranth (small handful)
                                                                                              Arugula (small handful)
                                                                                              Green Beans (about a 1/2 lb.)
                                                                                              Broccoli (1 large head)
                                                                                              Zucchini (1 medium)
                                                                                              Beets (about 3 small-to-medium)
                                                                                              Radishes (probably a lb., assorted sizes and colors)
                                                                                              Hakurei turnips (probably a half lb.)
                                                                                              Butternut squash (1 large)
                                                                                              Aji Dulce peppers (1/2 lb.)
                                                                                              Cubanelle pepper (1)
                                                                                              Cherry tomatoes (half dozen)

                                                                                              I'll probably chop up the kale and freeze it tonight. Will most likely sauté the Swiss chard (have some leftover rice pilaf I could mix it with), maybe with some of the Aji Dulce peppers. Guess I'll figure it out when I get home.

                                                                                              24 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                Makes me remember why we opted out of the CSA. It's just impossible to eat it all without having some things go to waste.

                                                                                                But then, we only have the freezer on top of our fridge to work with, so.....

                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                  I'm very thankful for the chest freezer in the garage, and the spare fridge/freezer down there. But yes, I've had some things go to waste (mostly green peppers, which I'm not fond of) and some lettuces.

                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                    Hmm. We may just have to bite the bullet some day and get a chest freezer. Friends of ours keep buying half or whole animals (lamb, pig, cow, etc.), and it's SO much cheaper than buying a freaking shank or steak at the farmers market.

                                                                                                    Same happy animal...... at a much happier price :-)

                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                      I dream of a chest freezer, but with my hoarding tendencies it's probably not the best idea.

                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                        I also have this dream. When our house finally goes up, it'll probably be the first thing I buy. Some people like fancy house number tiles or a "bless our home" sign, but I'll buy a chest freezer.

                                                                                                        1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                          Nana nana boo boo. I have a chest freezer in my laundry room. It absolutely brings out the hoarder in you. Just a warning. Bogos got no chance near me.

                                                                                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                            I'd be bankrupt in less than 12 hours.

                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                              It can be done. I got nuts when i got mine.

                                                                                                      2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                        The SO hunts, and hunting season is coming in a few weeks. I'm hoping his promise from last year stands... if he ends up getting a kill, I get a freezer to put in the garage or basement to store all the elk or deer (i'm hoping more for elk) goodies. I want upright though, so things don't get lost in the bottom.

                                                                                                    2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                      I am more into veggies than I ever have been, and pondered a CSA but not sure I could use all or even a portion of that.

                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                        fieldhawk, check into half-shares in your area. And some CSAs have co-shares - if you have a friend who'd like to split a half-share with you, that might work! I did that with my CFO last season, and it worked out pretty well for both of us.

                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                          Now I have to find some friends who actually eat food that doesn't come in a box :) Baffles the mind really...

                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                            Thats what I did this year because we found it way too big prior Of course due to weather the share was much smaller than usual up until recently. It's a nice way to get the the CSA without feeling like you are wasting it.

                                                                                                            (LW-I usually leave my share of green peppers in the food donation box. Not a fan of those either!)

                                                                                                          2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                            I did an eight week trial of one that I split with my neighbor. It worked out great. We're not continuing for now because both of us will be away a lot, but dividing it up makes it much easier to manage.

                                                                                                        2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                          Wow, quite a haul! I'm sure you'll find plenty of tasty ways to prepare it.

                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                            Seems like they're giving you some weird amounts. What can you do with a small handful of arugula and half a dozen cherry tomatoes?

                                                                                                            I guess that's the nature of the thing, though.

                                                                                                            1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                              Kontxesi, I'm splitting a full CSA with two of my coworkers, so it's usually a 3rd of whatever we get that week. I actually forgot to include 1 ear of corn (there were 4 of them, so one employee got 2 ears).

                                                                                                              And the quantities listed above are several weeks worth. For instance, the turnips and radishes are 3-4 weeks worth, and the Aji Dulce peppers are two weeks worth.

                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                Ah, that makes more sense. I work for a "CSA alternative" so I hear a lot of comments about weird amounts and not being able to use everything, but six cherry tomatoes would have been a new one! :-P

                                                                                                            2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                              Wow! I don't feel so bad about my veg/leftover inventory anymore. You should probably triage yours!

                                                                                                              1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                Hehe. In Linda's shoes, I'd probably roast off the veg., cook the grain, and combine the two with herbs and feta/goat cheese in a cool salad, Ina Garten-style http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                                                                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                  Hmmm....I do have some pignola nuts from Wegmans, and some goat cheese to use up with the rest of the rice pilaf. This would take care of some of the shorter-term veggies (the carrots, turnips and radishes all keep very well). I could probably get the Chard and some of the Aji Dulce peppers out of the way.

                                                                                                                  A coworker has been mincing the Aji Dulce peppers up in her morning eggs. That's an idea - except tomorrow's breakfast will be bagels and fresh fruit, as I won the office football pool for the 2nd time in 4 weeks. :D

                                                                                                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                OK, nothing's been done (yet) with the beef stew. Probably won't be tonight.

                                                                                                                BUT - I made not so bad veggie dinner - and used up the Swiss chard and the ear of corn I forgot to put in my original list.

                                                                                                                Corn - cut off the cob.
                                                                                                                Swiss chard - stemmed, with stems finely chopped and leaves slivered.

                                                                                                                Into a medium-hot sauté pan went some butter and olive oil and the Swiss chard stems. Sauteed that a bit, added some minced garlic and Aleppo pepper. Added the corn kernels, stirred it around a bit, and when the chard stems were beginning to soften and brown along with the corn, added the chard leaves. Sauteed for several more minutes, and then spooned the whole lot over some leftover rice pilaf.

                                                                                                                Just for giggles, I topped it with a Tbsp. of sour cream, stirred that in a bit, and ate. As I said - not too shabby. Probably not as healthy as I could have made, but it still works for me!

                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                  Wow that's a lot! I know you could peel and dice up the butternut squash and freeze it. Or alternatively, puree and freeze it to use in soups or for sauces once cold weather really sets in.

                                                                                                                2. Last night's birfday festivities were mellow-ish. Spent way too much time submerged in nazi work, but finally got my sashimi, chengdu edamame & hibachi fried rice fix. I tend to say I could go the rest of my life without eating rice, but fried is just a whole 'nother animal. Yumboski. A 40s mai tai, a zombi, and a special concoction by the bartender put me in a festive mood.

                                                                                                                  That, and the iphone I am getting soon. Woot. No more threatening to shatter the shit phone I currently own into a million pieces.

                                                                                                                  Anywho. For tonight, I'm thinking marinated Chinese eggplant prepared in the MW (a B. Kafka recipe) and perhaps a roasted chicken, also courtesy of B. Kafka.

                                                                                                                  But I could also see broiled salmon filets with hollandaise, petite peas and/or a nice crisp salad with buttermilk dressing.

                                                                                                                  I guess we'll see what the farmers market and the stupidmarket each have to offer :-)

                                                                                                                  13 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                    Love Ms. Kafka; discovered her in early 80's when she spoke at a food writer's conference here in SEA.

                                                                                                                    Her book "Food For Friends" is one my favorites of all time. Not just for the recipes, but for her very wise advice on entertaining; how many people to have on what occasions, and practical advice about menu planning, etc.

                                                                                                                    1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                      Hey, with your endorsement, I'll *def* give at least one of those recipes a shot tonight. Sadly, whole roasted chicken doesn't agree with us 9 outta 10 times...

                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                        Wow, I didn't know my endorsements carry such weight....

                                                                                                                        I don't do whole roasted chicken so much anymore either; tend to cut it up and have a 'breast meal' or two, and a leg/thigh meal, with the bones in stock when I get whole chicken on sale. Kind of a new trend, as I was finding when I roasted the whole thing, I didn't always use up the boring breasts after.

                                                                                                                        1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                          Now you know :-)

                                                                                                                          I ended up getting BISO chicken thighs and *almost* used your OJ & honey marinade.... but I can't help myself and am once again making the TCC -- I guess I need to have this once a month to be happy or something.

                                                                                                                          Caprese with the last of the summer 'maters from the farmers market & bufflo mozz with lots of basil and cracked pepper for starters, and a couple ears of corn on the side.

                                                                                                                          1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                            I usually use up the boring breasts in this recipe. It's quite tasty: http://caloriecount.about.com/cooks-i...

                                                                                                                      2. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                        Can you tell me a little bit more about the Chengdu edamame? Sounds like something I need to try to make.
                                                                                                                        I don't think you could go wrong with the chicken or salmon. It all sounds fab.

                                                                                                                        1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                          I am guessing they're steamed like their blah counterparts (the regular salted ones), then tossed with dried red chile peppers, some toasted and ground Sichuan peppers, and slivers of garlic and ginger.

                                                                                                                          Maybe they even stir-fry them briefly. They are so good I could never go back to the regular edamame. And probably not too hard to recreate at home, either.

                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                            Thanks! Sounds like a quick stir fry couldn't hurt. I wrote it down and stuck it to the fridge so I remember to try it later on.
                                                                                                                            I like edamame as a general rule, but I need a hell of a lot of dipping sauces to make me happy. This method should work well for me.

                                                                                                                            1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                              It's insanely addictive and a great bar snack to go along with your favorite cocktail.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                      Must be some wacko impersonator. Allie's on her way to Portugal.

                                                                                                                        2. came home exhausted last night. BF made dinner - thin-cut rib steaks (as opposed to rib eye), which we had in the freezer, simply seared quickly. i slathered mine in the sour cream butter from last week. warm potato salad, green salad with his homemade bluecheese dressing. and then to sleep for 3 hours. woke up for about an hour, right back to bed until this morning. better not be getting sick....

                                                                                                                          movie with a friend tonight, dinner/snack first... damn. no more cooking again for a couple nights.

                                                                                                                          1. So we in the Midwest are also enjoying the last gasps of summer (I'm still getting raspberries, peppers, and tomatoes from the garden), but they are saying 62 for Saturday. Which will make sitting at the football game very pleasant!

                                                                                                                            So to continue using up the fresh produce and freezer bounty, I think I'll make Mark Bittman's skillet tamales. Uses up a random 1/2 lb of ground beef, tomatoes and I'll add some fresh jalapenos. Sour cream and salsa to top, green salad on the side. Easy and simple.

                                                                                                                            1. Last night was indeed a delightful and delicious dinner from DSM, Marni....

                                                                                                                              Cheese and crackers with a nice unoaked chard while we all caught up, and then dinner was grilled fillet of beef with a red onion/tarragon/sherry vinegar jam, mashed fingerling potatoes from her farmers market, and hericot vert perfectly steamed.

                                                                                                                              The fillet was excellent - must have been grass fed as it was very flavorful, unlike it's usual dull self. The condiment a perfect counterpoint, and the potatoes and beans fresh and full of earthy bright taste.

                                                                                                                              Then she struck it out of the park with her pear pie for dessert. We are not much of a dessert family, but this is a special fall 'occasion' dessert for her. Only can make it with perfect pears. It's nice and simple, with 1/2'd pears nestled in pastry, with a simple custard poured over that sets on the pears while the pie bakes. Pure, creamy pear flavor.

                                                                                                                              Oh, and of course a delightful red with dinner, though I don't know what it was as it was decanted and I forgot to ask. Good conversation, of course, too. Nice evening!

                                                                                                                              Today, I am headed to an event-planner conference that happens every fall here at convention center to get the latest scoop on new event venues, caterer's, party ideas, etc. Should be fun, and a few tasty nibbles while roaming the halls with a couple collegues.

                                                                                                                              Dinner marinating while I 'work'; reprise of my recent favorte; ginger-orange chicken. A couple of leg/thigh pieces in the marinade, to which I added some gokuchang and extra garlic this time, and I used a raw honey I got at my farmers market, that certainly added some interesting herbal notes.

                                                                                                                              A quick spinach sauté and some emmer simmered in chicken stock and ginger will be sides when I get home while the chicken bakes.

                                                                                                                              And the sun is coming out - yeah!!!!!

                                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                must have missed this the first time - more deets on the ginger orange chicken, please?

                                                                                                                                DSM's dinner sounded wonderful.

                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                  This is really only good (to me) with thighs or whole leg/thighs; they take to the marinade, well, like a fowl to liquid!

                                                                                                                                  Gallon zip lock; put in some OJ - I usually just have jug oj from stupid market. Equal part Soy sauce. Add honey to balance, lot's of crushed fresh ginger slices, a couple smashed cloves of garlic, and maybe gochujang, hot peppers, what have you if you want it spicy. Squish that all in the closed bag to get the honey to disolve into it, then stick in your chicken pieces. I like to marinade all day - 4 hours minumum for sure.

                                                                                                                                  Put it in a baking pan with the marinade. I cook at about 375, and baste a few times while it cooks. Marinade reduces down into a yummy gingery-orange asian sauce. Great over rice!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                    thanks, sounds great! i have all that stuff (well, need to buy the juice) at home.

                                                                                                                                    and, btw, we mostly buy thighs around here.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                      EDIT - MC! I checked my notes from last week...

                                                                                                                                      I should have said 1/2 again as much soy as OJ. Say, 1 cup oj, 1/2 cup soy, 3 tbsp honey (this is the kicker - don't substitute another sweetener, please:)), 2-3 fat garlic cloves, 1 good inch of smashed ginger, and the rest up to you for spice. That is enough marinade for 3 leg/thighs, or 6-8 bone-in thighs if you do the 'ol trick of squeezing the air out of the bag so the marinade is in contact all over the meat.

                                                                                                                                      Leave the skin on ( I know you like chicken skin), as it gets all laquered from the sauce if you baste.

                                                                                                                                      This is extra awesome with fresh oj, but really, ordinary works great too. Let me know what you think. Easy and tasty!

                                                                                                                                2. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                  Any chance of getting that pear pie recipe? Sounds fantastic!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                    CM, I will ask DSM; it is her recipe, and I do have it (tho never ate it till last night!). She was going on about it being a "family" recipe....

                                                                                                                                    I am NOT a believer in secret recipes, so shall implore her for permission to share.

                                                                                                                                    I know I am making it this weekend for a dinner party - it was exceptional, and yet very simple. My favorite kind of dessert!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                      Thanks. Good luck getting her permission!

                                                                                                                                  2. Tonight WFD is cod loins that will be topped with sliced almonds and broiled along with asparagus and wild rice. If motivated I may serve the cod on a bed of sautéed spinach. In the need for a glass wine so there will be a nice chilled chard to go with.

                                                                                                                                    1. I was going to do a quick meat sauce for pasta but I just had baked ziti last night.... so instead it is going to be taco meat served on tostadas with shredded cheddar, sour cream, and sliced avocado. Nothing particularly impressive.

                                                                                                                                      I need to go excavating in the basement freezer tonight to find something to make for tomorrow. I think I might have some beef bourguignon that will make for an easy meal over rice after tomorrow's game.

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                        those tostadas sound great to me right now for some reason.

                                                                                                                                      2. Teriyaki chicken wings, chicken and veg potstickers and broccoli. Yummy.

                                                                                                                                        1. I can't explain and I've stopped trying but I just love deli meat and salami. It's like Lay's for me. Instead of just continuing to reach into the fridge and eat it out of hand I decided to actually make a proper dinner. I haven't been stuffing as many meats recently because my tendency to overstuff and have to fight with raw chunks of animals became frustrating. I just pile it on top now but tonight, since I'm kind of bored in this house alone, I decided to go back to my usual stuffing habit using some cold cuts.

                                                                                                                                          Dinner was a rendition of cordon bleu with hot soppresetta, black forest ham, hard salami and Idiazabal cheese served with a cream cheese pan sauce. I don't eat much cream cheese, but the 2 tbsps I tossed into the pan at the last minute was delicious!

                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                            THAT. SOUNDS. DELICIOUS. No really, yummy yum girl. I bet that was satisfying for dinner.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                              Thanks! It was quite tasty. These days the bobbleheads and shiny things are not just restricted to the butcher, but the deli counter as well. Last week, I came back to get more and the employee commented "oh you're back" to which her lovely co-employee quipped "oh, she always comes back"...really, why am I the crazy woman in the store? :)

                                                                                                                                          2. Windows are open, summer-style leftovers are on the menu.

                                                                                                                                            Pulled pork on lightly toasted potato rolls with cole slaw on top is WFD. Deb's not-so-secret BBQ sauce will liven things up. NCIS will be on the plasma.

                                                                                                                                            1. Marcella's chicken cacciatore with fresh garganelli , green beans and a home made semolina loaf.

                                                                                                                                              I've been reading "The Taste of America", so I'm feeling rather compelled to cook.

                                                                                                                                              1. Spicy peach pork ribs (1/2 Wildly Hot & Spicy BBQ sauce/ 1/2 peach jam), roasted squash with brown sugar and cinnamon, beets and beet greens with evoo and white balsamic, scalloped potatoes. Lots of dishes to wash!

                                                                                                                                                1. The chicken was as wonderful as ever. I love that dish so much. We have 4 thighs leftover and two more ears of corn. That'll be WFD tomorrow before the Billy Bragg show.

                                                                                                                                                  The caprese was a little taste of summer (hopefully not the last) ....

                                                                                                                                                  1. Indian Summer? Are you KIDDING me? It's POURING rain (over an inch/day) and in the low 60's during the day and low 40's at night.

                                                                                                                                                    DH went shopping today and came home with some pasta's that our normal stupid market doesn't carry. So we decided to do dinner with a "riff" of penne a la vodka along with a small caesar side salad. Oh, so good. I always keep him on the look out for something different. We have not had this particular pasta before. Really held up well to the sauce and due to the heaviness of the pasta, the addition of the red pepper flakes and cream was fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                    1. I'm really liking this weather. Supposed to be 80 F today and tomorrow. Putting all fall like foods on hold until Friday when I go to the farmers market. Tonight we are going to do brats on the grill. Off to a new deli in search of good local brats and some potato salad. Will make up some cole slaw here. Next week we are starting construction on the porch so the plan is to hang out on it as much as possible this week, and grill baby grill.

                                                                                                                                                      1. Sigh, So when I went home and told EJ what I was making for dinner and why, he looked all forlorn and said "can't we use the tomatoes to make shakshuka?" So what's a girl to do - it was yet another dinner of tomato pepper sauce and eggs. I did switch it up and served it over polenta, and sprinkled with some shredded mozz. That along with the Blackhawks win made him very happy.

                                                                                                                                                        College stepdaughter asked to come home tonight for "comfort food" so breaded chicken breasts, pasta with creamy pesto and salad is on the menu per her request. Maybe some garlic bread too! I'd love to have time to make her some pumpkin muffins to take back to the dorm with her, but we'll see how long she can stay.

                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: iowagirl

                                                                                                                                                          LOL! Shakshuka can be addictive. That recipe should really come with a warning. :)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jammy

                                                                                                                                                            It got me hooked on Harissa and now I can't stop. I think I've had at least a spoonful everyday since I first made shakshuka 2 weeks ago.

                                                                                                                                                        2. The fish monger has excellent tuna on sale so I am making a version of Wolfgang Puck's Tuna Tataki (recipe link included below). Sugar snap peas sauteed in lemongrass/ginger infused oil for the side and yogurt and blackberries for dessert. Now that I am typing this out it sounds way too healthy. Maybe we will have some beef sticks or something for an appetizer. :-)


                                                                                                                                                            1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                              May we have your imam bayildi recipe/method?

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                Sure! My version is a non-traditional, kitchen sink, less olive oil version. I add other vegetables such as peppers, okra and green beans if I have them on hand. It's a good way to use some small pickings from a vegetable garden that's starting to wind up. Tonight, I'll be adding cilantro, banana peppers and flat green beans, and using 2 types of eggplant.


                                                                                                                                                                2-3  tbsp olive oil

                                                                                                                                                                1 eggplant, chopped, and sprinkled with a little salt, drained in a colander for 30 minutes, liquid squeezed/pressed out

                                                                                                                                                                2 cups diced onions

                                                                                                                                                                4 -6 tomatoes, quartered (sometimes I used canned tomatoes, and sometimes I'll add some leftover tomato sauce or tomato paste)

                                                                                                                                                                1/2 bell pepper, diced

                                                                                                                                                                1 tbsp chopped mint and/or cilantro

                                                                                                                                                                1 tbsp chopped dill

                                                                                                                                                                2 tbsp chopped parsley

                                                                                                                                                                3 tbsp raisins or currants

                                                                                                                                                                1 clove of garlic, minced (or more)

                                                                                                                                                                1 tsp cumin (either ground or crushed seed)

                                                                                                                                                                1 tsp ground coriander seed (optional)

                                                                                                                                                                1/2 tsp sweet paprika

                                                                                                                                                                1/2 tsp aleppo pepper

                                                                                                                                                                1/4 cup dry white wine or sherry (optional)

                                                                                                                                                                2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted

                                                                                                                                                                Freshly ground pepper and salt, to taste


                                                                                                                                                                Saute eggplant in a couple tbsp of evoo until golden, then remove from heat. Meanwhile, in another large pan, saute tomatoes, onions, garlic, and bell pepper, in a tbsp of evoo for a few minutes. Add cumin, paprika, aleppo pepper, ground coriander, currants, mint/cilantro, parsley, and wine. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in reserved cooked eggplant and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in toasted pine nuts, add freshly ground pepper and salt to taste.

                                                                                                                                                                Sometimes, I make a quicker version, with just onions, garlic, tomatoes, eggplant, olive oil, raisins, cumin, aleppo pepper and cilantro.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                                  1 clove of garlic? I always thought the name of the dish "the imam faints" came from the heavy use of garlic in it?


                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                    I thought the imam fainted from the deliciousness of the dish due to the heavy use of olive oil? Ha ha. Mine certainly isn't a traditional recipe (what I make is loosely based on a recipe from a Greek Cdn chef's recipe, and I probably have cut down on the garlic)- it's light on the oil and the apparently the garlic! I tend to be restrained when it comes to garlic, and don't tend to use more than 1 or 2 cloves if I'm making a veg dish to serve 3-4. Still tastes good, even when only using 1 clove of garlic.

                                                                                                                                                                    Here is a 6 clove version (haven't tried it)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                                      I had to look it up...
                                                                                                                                                                      2 Wiki explanations of the name (taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%B0ma... ):

                                                                                                                                                                      "The name supposedly derives from a tale of a Turkish imam, who swooned with pleasure at the flavor when presented with this dish by his wife, although other more humorous accounts suggest that he fainted upon hearing the cost of the ingredients or the amount of oil used to cook the dish.

                                                                                                                                                                      Another folktale relates that an imam married the daughter of an olive oil merchant. Her dowry consisted of twelve jars of the finest olive oil, with which she prepared each evening an eggplant dish with tomatoes and onions. On the thirteenth day, there was no eggplant dish at the table. When informed that there was no more olive oil, the imam fainted."

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                                        Dontcha love it when I pull wrong explanations out of my ass?


                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the clarification, prima!

                                                                                                                                                            2. Unseasonably warm here in CNY as well.I almost wish it would drop just about 10 degrees so that i can start wearing some of my fall sweaters. I guess I shouldn't complain, our winters can be brutal.

                                                                                                                                                              Hubby's out of town in Denver, but my mamacita and one of my girl friends are coming to dinner tonight. I'll put out some nibbles of baguette, brie, and a raspberry/habanero jelly. Dinner will be pan seared salmon, lentils, and sauteed spinach. Some vino to chase it down. I'm sure it will be a fun evening.

                                                                                                                                                              1. Indian Summer? HAH!

                                                                                                                                                                There's a very autumnal air around Casa Harters. Had a big pub lunch so didnt think we'd really want much for dinner. But we do. Must be the chill

                                                                                                                                                                And there's a Spanish feel to the meal. Or, at least, Spanish-ish. In the pan has gone green and red peppers, onion, garlic, a diced chicken breast, several mini cooking chorizos, a tin of chickpeas, a tetrabrik of chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper, pimenton and ground cumin. It'll bubble away for 20 minutes and we'll have it with some bread.

                                                                                                                                                                1. Stuffy nose, scratchy throat, headache. With a cold interrupting my sense of taste, dinner is reduced to two options: nursing myself back to health with bland foods or opening fire on those damned cold germs with a what-for blast of spice. Pugnacious little devil that I am, I've gone with the latter battle plan.

                                                                                                                                                                  I stopped by Whole Foods for the Cava spicy feta dip fldhkybnva mentioned in a previous thread, but I just couldn't pull the trigger at $9.99. Instead I picked up the spicy hummus which has a wallop of the company's harissa for ample heat. It'll stand in lieu of mayo in a garlic-rubbed BLT with green zebra tomatoes. The black princes, cherokee purples and San Marzanos will make a creamy tomato soup that gets its edge from Sriracha and smoked paprika. And if all else fails, there's always Nyquil for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                    Gah. Colds suck. But spiciness can sometimes knock out the worst offenders.

                                                                                                                                                                    Nyquil is one of my favorite "desserts", for such occasions, too.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                      I tend to develop a sweet tooth with colds so dessert turned out to be a little more substantial. Cardamom and white chocolate pudding with crushed pistachios. And now a bacon chocolate bar from my birthday stash. I clearly don't know how to starve a cold.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, or NyQuil with a big whiskey, honey, lemon chaser.... Did I say that out loud? ;)

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                        I'm sorry to hear you're not feeling well. I love spicy food usually but especially when sick. Feel better.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                          So sorry to hear you feel bad. I like your plan of attack though. It sounds great. I will pass on the Nyquil. It gives me insomnia or if I can sleep I have lurid nightmares.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Dinner will be a plate of scrambled eggs - typical yet atypical for me. I eat a lot of eggs, but rarely if ever scramble them for unknown reasons. I think it's the fact that the little curds annoy me and they always seem less cheesy than omelets. Patience should the former issue with fewer turns of the spatula and my cheese gluttony will help the latter. I was lucky to spot my favorite lamb sausage at Whole Foods yesterday which they don't always have and haven't had for weeks but I'm saving that. Instead, I found a roasted red pepper and garlic chicken sausage hiding in the back and will mix that with some Applegate SW turkey breast and top it off with Muenster and Gruyere....hot sauce on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                            I *love* scrambled eggs, but only when I make them. I take the opposite approach: near-constant stirring at a low heat, so I can take them off the heat at exactly the right time and they can set a bit further while cooling on the plate.

                                                                                                                                                                            I also use heavy cream (just a splash); I find it makes them less rubbery than milk does.

                                                                                                                                                                            They're heavenly-creamy and great with cheese. And scallions. :)

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: speakhandsforme

                                                                                                                                                                              We are egg opposites, I've never been too much of a fan of creamy eggs though the heavy cream idea sounds interesting. I've added buttermilk before which was quite nice.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Tonight's dinner is made up: creamed kale (onion, garlic, butter, cream, nutmeg, maybe a touch of flour) with browned crimini mushrooms and seared pork chops nestled in, finished together in the oven. I may shave some Parm. Regg. or aged crumbly gouda over the greens, just to gild the lily. I don't make a lot of casseroley-type dishes, so let's see how it goes.

                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                              Good call on the nutmeg. Highly underrated.

                                                                                                                                                                              The dish sounds good.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks. It was tasty. I was worried I'd used the wrong cut of pork for low and slow, but it turned out just fine. Fork tender. I skipped the cheese but did add some shallots, hot paprika, and herbs (thyme, sage, parsley) to the sauce. Next time I might add a little flour to get the sauce to thicken up a bit more.

                                                                                                                                                                                We had the creamed-kale chops with leftover white rice and some grape tomatoes roasted with olive oil, fresh rosemary, and garlic.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                Creamy kale sounds perfect for tonight's dinner. Thanks for the inspiration!

                                                                                                                                                                              3. I am making a relaxed meal tonight. That means the grocery store is doing the heavy lifting. Mesquite bbq pork center cut filet Ala Hormel,Betty Crocker scalloped potatoes and roasted broccoli with parmesan, olive oil and fresh lemon zest. I cut the broccoli at least.

                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                  I share a secret love of the Betty Crocker boxed potatoes - although my fave is Au Gratin. I can still remember the first time I had these, at a friend's house, for dinner. Went right home and told my mom about the BEST potatoes.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: iowagirl

                                                                                                                                                                                    You should try Trader Joe's boxed Au Gratin Potatoes. I like them even better than BC's.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. A wee bit more of the CSA veg are being used with tonight's dinner - it definitely is NOT beef stew weather!

                                                                                                                                                                                    Roasted in the convection oven were tiny florets of CSA broccoli and Aji Dulce peppers, chopped up. I added a whole shallot that I thinly sliced to the roasting pan - maybe 20 minutes at 400° until the broccoli and shallots were getting caramelized.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Five eggs were whupped up with about 1/3 of a cup of heavy cream and maybe 2/3 of a cup of 1% of milk. I added a healthy pinch of salt, some freshly ground pepper, and some freshly ground nutmeg.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Poured it all into a lightly buttered pie dish, and cut up some goat cheese (no idea how much - maybe 3 Tbsp or more?) and added it to the eggs.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Into a 350° oven to bake for about 30-40 minutes until the eggs are set. Will let it rest, and then cut into it. Dinner tonight; lunch tomorrow. That works.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Yup - there's wine. Still dealing with month-end.....plus it's Hump Daaaaaaaaayyyy, yeeeeaaaaahhhh!

                                                                                                                                                                                    And Top Chef NOLA starts tonight. Something about a little recap....

                                                                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                      ooooh... someone needs to get her TYPING FINGERS ON! enjoy that dinner and that wine, LW!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                        Sounds amazing. Even more so now that goat cheeses and i aren't friends. Savor a big cheesy bite for me, please.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                            Your "Hump Daaaaaaaaayyyy" reminds me of that Geico commercial with the Camel walking through the office! Thanks for the reminder about NOLA too. I think your dinner sounds fantastic. Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                              That was exactly where it came from, boyzoma. I *LOVE* that commercial. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                              And the first recap is done. A bit longer than usual, but I put in a brief tidbit about each cheftestant, as we often have problems remembering names.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                you are so good. i'm not even going to go over there and look, as the show is going to start on this coast in 4 minutes!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love that commercial too! It's one of their best yet! Although I'm getting very tired of all the other stupid Geico ads.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Last minute dinner out of the icebox on a delightful Indian Summer evening.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Frisée salade with haricots verts, grilled shrimp & sea scallops, bacon lardons & a fried egg followed by house made tagliatelle Alfredo with fines herbes & truffle oil.

                                                                                                                                                                                              No complaints were recorded.

                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rjbh20

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The part I had was delicious. Not low cal, so I skipped the egg, and had a little taste of the pasta. Now, I'm Italian, and I'm here to say that rjbh20 makes a mean pasta. It was ethereally light. Just perfection.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Weds are proving to be the most hectic day of the school/work week. I try to be prepared by having something in the crock pot or prepped for when we get home. Well today was not one of those days...
                                                                                                                                                                                                  WFD was take out Chinese-Peking ravioli, spicy wonton soup, mu shu pork and fried rice. I can feel my fingers swelling as I type.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. worked late, came home to snausage-fest. smoked brats, which i love, and something that resembled bocks, but weren't that great. Sauerkraut too, and the BF made another warm potato salad, with extra garlicky goodness, and a green salad. all ready to settle in now with a glass of wine and TOP CHEF!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. We're going out for dinner - a local bistro that used to be really good but, the last couple of times, has not been at all good. It's on its last chance to stay on our "regular places" list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      And, for folk who've been interested to see what we were eating during our trip to the States, reviews are now posted on the Tennessee, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast boards. Please enjoy, y'all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      As a result of weight gain in the three weeks, Mrs H has declared that we're going to try the 5:2 diet. Oh, what fun.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I attempted to bring the 5:2 diet plan into our lives and it was voted down by Mr. Berheenia. I think I could stand a 5:1 diet personally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                          wow - let us know how it works out!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          i can't wait to read your reports. damned work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. So SD was very happy with her comfort food dinner last night and went back to the dorm with the leftover pasta, creamy pesto and breaded chicken. No chance to make her the pumpkin muffins since I had to stay later at work than originally planned. Am now thinking about using up that canned pumpkin in the pumpkin spice cookies from Chow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tonight will be another attempt to make the Mark Bittman Skillet Tamales - I already thawed the ground beef and have a couple of cans of Muir Glen fire-roasted tomatoes to use up ... Will see if EJ turns his nose up again. If so, will just make tacos. Both should be relatively quick and easy, a prereq for tonight since I have Pilates class!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: iowagirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                            You sound like a wonderful stepmother! Dinners at home during college are wonderful. Enjoy Pilates.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Last night was pork spare rib soup. Bak Kut Teh. Perfect for fall. Really tasty made in the pressure cooker. I used the ribs, a really green type of bok choy, shallots, a few little carrots, okinawan sweet potato, diakon. I made the broth really crystal clear with sesame oil floating over the top.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Now I have more soup for lunches! I love soup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I make pork spare rib soup with a sour tamarind broth pretty frequently, but bah kut teh has been on my to-do list as an alternative. What spices do you put in your broth? Did you boil the ribs before putting them in your pressure cooker to clarify the broth?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I made a very light broth with no spices (other than peppercorns) and the shallots... I might have thrown some whole garlic cloves in there too. The clear bone broth for this soup is best left clean tasting IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, to get super clear, clean broth, I boil the ribs until no more scum is left, then wash them under cold water, then proceed with the broth ( shallots, garlic, salt, peppercorns).

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sounds great; I had to look this up. I love soup, too, and will be making this. http://norecipes.com/blog/bak-kut-teh...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. I'm hungry, SO is away so dinner was at 4pm today. I decided to finally dive fully into that TJs Dijon mustard and finally try kale for the first time. I seasoned shrimp with a few dashes of smoked paprika, sauteed in EVOO and mixed in several heaping Tbsps of Dijon and sour cream which was thrown over a bed of kale sauteed with olive oil and garlic. I enjoyed the flavor of the kale, but the texture was somewhat overwhelming. I usually toss in a lot of greens that wilt like spinach and arugula but perhaps this is one which I should use in smaller quantities because the flavor is stronger. I attempted kale chips at the same time, but they didn't seem to crisp well (I followed the suggestions around Chow for 225F for 25 minutes). I think I'll give both another shot as there's potential for us to be friends.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Speaking of smoked paprika, my bottle is now empty. I finally browsed the Penzey's catalog and made a nice list so I will probably put in my order sometime this weekend and join the Penzey's club you all rave about.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'll be interested to hear what you end up ordering from Penzeys, fieldhawk. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And how long did you sauté the kale?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I actually sauteed it for a while probably 15 or so minutes. I threw in some broth and let it sort of braise for a while. Should I cook it longer? I actually think I preferred it raw from the bit I pulled off to nosh on while I was prepping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My list so far includes: Tellicherry peppercorns, smoked paprika, Aleppo pepper (you will elude me no longer), Chipotle pepper, shallot pepper, shallot salt and a few blends. I've heard the blends are hit or miss but on the list are Sunny Paris and Mural of Flavor which I heard are some of the better ones among the bunch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Their Sichuan peppercorns are very good quality. as is their sumac. I don't recall if you make your own pickles, but if you do, their pickling spice is a nice base.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        No, I think 15 minute sautéing and a bit of braising is more than enough. I guess it depends on how you like it. I prefer to use it in soups vs. raw, so we could be on opposite ends of the texture spectrum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And keep in mind that Mural of Flavor is salt-free. And JM is correct - the ground sumac from Penzeys is good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Mural of Flavor actually appealed to me because it's salt-free. I just prefer to add my own salt these days to combat my very active sodium channels. I've read the Foxpoint is great, but the Sunny Paris is a salt-free version so we'll see. I might get both to compare.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Regarding the Penzey blends, in general I have had very good luck with them. The last one I had that I did not care for they refunded 100% of the original purchase price even though I had consumed a significant quantity of it seasoning a rack of ribs before finding I did not like it. And if you do try something and not like it, they will not only cheerfully refund your money but ask you what type of flavor profile, ingredients, etc. that you are looking for and suggest some items that may be more to your liking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I look forward to hearing what you like or did not care for in your order.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Great thanks for all the recommendations. I'm loving all of these places I'm discovering with amazing customer service - TJs, PetSmart, and now Penzey's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Woohoo Penzey's order has been placed. I'm hoping it arrives pretty soon as I've been planning meals as if they are already here. I restricted myself with this first purchase and just bought enough for free shipping though I imagine I'll be a regular - the haul includes Sunny Paris, shallot pepper, smoked paprika, Northwoods seasoning, sandwich sprinkle, Aleppo pepper, and Chipotle pepper. I know they will star in nearly everything I make after they arrive so I'll be sure to report back when they are involved in WFD.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            FYI - LindaWit turned me onto Penzeys a couple of years ago. Slowly weeding out any other spices out of my cupboard except them (unless Penzeys doesn't carry it). I am now a loyal shopper (especially since they opened a location a few miles away).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            BTW - Thanks LW! I'm forever in your debt for that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              :-) You are quite welcome, boyzoma. I had happened to run out of paprika and didn't realize it (thought I had some in the pantry) and actually had to buy some generic stuff from the stupidmarket. It's OK, but it just doesn't have the flavor that the Penzeys brand does. Will have to make a trip to Arlington, MA to re-stock - or order some more online. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. The promised heat wave is over. It's a beautiful 68 F and I think I'll turn on the oven and make some roasted potatoes and fennel. I have a bag of microwave spinach and WFD is chicken Marsala, roughly based on Martha recipe as she uses the most Marsala and adds mushrooms. White wine tonight, I'm getting sick of California red.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Slow-cooker white bean chicken chili.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Well, so much for "lots of cooking at home this week" >cough, cough<

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It's our weekly Sichuan jour fixe, so the kitchen stays cold again today. Tomorrow we're hosting a poker game (hopefully my luck will hold up), and we'll likely provide snacklets like marinated ciliegini and maybe some stuffed shrooms courtesy of TJ's. The actual dinner will likely be delivery. We be lazy folk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Last night was homemade fettuccine with a tomato, eggplant, cremini, and sage sauce. Grated Parm on top. Side of arugula with a sesame dressing I've been making a bunch lately. Making patè at the moment so tonight will either be simple or delivered.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Fusilli col Buco will be cosseted with Marcella Hazan's Bolognese sauce. The pasta and the sauce were made for each other. Quality Parmigiano Reggiano will be at the ready, top-notch pepper, too. Wine TBD.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Lemon basil marinade grilled chicken breasts. I nicked the recipe from lingua's marinade thread. Love that thread, lingua. Thanks chicky! Creamed spinach and my moms cannonball potatoes for my sides.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I love lemon, but EJ is not a big fan. He is out of town a couple of nights next week, so I may just have to try that on some pork chops I've been saving! (he's not a fan of those either!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cannonball potatoes? I do love my taters - would love details on those!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: iowagirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cannonball potatoes are an acquired taste. It is basicly O'Brien potatoes but thick cut into rounds and pan fried in olive oil or bacon fat( I chose piggy of course) til not quite cooked through. My mom was a lousy xook and either burned potatoes or undercooked them. We ate them so often that we named them cannonballs and grew to love the pepper and onion combo with the slightly underdone potatoes. It was much preferred to the burnt taters.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            in another thread i posted about these sichuan potatoes i've had a couple times at restaurants - they are very thin cut fries but also undercooked, and they're super salty and spicy and garlicky and YUM.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There is something appealing about the texture. What are the spices, if you know for those potatoes?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i think sichuan peppercorns and garlic...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                this is what they're called at the a sichuan restaurant we go to: 四川炒土豆丝 Spicy Shoestring Potatoes Sautéed Country-Style

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                here are a couple of recipes/descriptions:



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                this is a good pic of them:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanky, suzi. I'm very happy about the many contributions to the thread, and hope they keep on coming.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Chicken is unjustly underrated, IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Tonight is going to be crispy skinned baked potatoes (loaded). Waiting to dive into the pool will be butter, cheese, diced tomatoes, diced onions, diced honey baked ham, thick chili and sour cream. What can go wrong with that???? Have not had these babies in ages. Maybe a side salad for DH, but I don't think I can handle anything more for me. For the handsome 16 year old "puppy" it is some non-corn based dog food mixed with leftover basmati rice, diced ham and chicken broth (warmed, of course). Somehow he is always done before we are. Go figure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You and the puppy are eating well where you are. Enjoy dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Beef Stew. It's NOT what's for dinner. At least not tonight. But I'm making it anyway so I can put together some freezer meals for Mom to be delivered some time this weekend along with homemade applesauce, baked mac & ham & cheese (not yet baked) and chicken corn chowder. Gotta stock her freezer with some comfort foods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So I made her Oven Beef Goulash, as she always called it. Beef chuck roast cut up and walloped around in a ziplock bag that had flour, salt, pepper, and paprika, and then browned in a Dutch oven in hot oil (browning in several batches). The beef was removed, and about 2 cups of a combination of red wine and water was added to the pan and heated and stirred to get all of the tasty fond off the bottom of the pan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Added the beef back into the pan, and added some Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, minced garlic, dry mustard, and a bay leaf. Sprinkle with the rest of the flour mixture, and put a lid on it. With all of that liquid, it makes its own gravy - a lot of it. Into the oven to bake @ 350 degrees for a couple of hours. WAY too late for me to eat, so Mom will get most of it in small containers, and some of it will be what's for dinner on Friday, most likely. Will boil up some potatoes and carrots to go along with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As for tonight? The leftover quiche from last night. No wine. But it's almost the weekend. I suspect there will be libations of some sort.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I like the sound of that stew. I have never thought about adding vinegar, but that sounds great. Can you give me a loose idea or a recipe? And it is really nice of you to cook for your mom. I bet she loves that. I would.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Edit- just the amounts for the liquids.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Here you go, suzi. I had the recipe available for a friend, so it was an easy copy/paste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oven Beef Stew

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 lbs. stewing beef (or use a boneless chuck roast cut into 1" chunks, taking out the larger pieces of fat)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 tsp. salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1/4 tsp. pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 tsp. paprika (or more)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1/4 cup flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Tbsp. oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 cups water (or 1 cup wine and 1 cup water)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 clove garlic, minced (or 1 tsp. jarred minced garlic)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 tsp. dry mustard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Tbsp. vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 bay leaf

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Put flour, salt, pepper, and paprika into a ziplock bag and jiggle a bit to mix it up. Add the beef, seal the bag, and whump it all around to get the beef dredged.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Heat oil in Dutch oven. Add beef in one layer only (you will probably have to brown the beef in several batches). Let the beef sit, browning for several minutes. (Don't stir - you want to really brown the beef!) Using tongs, turn the beef cubes, adding more oil if needed. When first batch is browned (maybe a total of 4-5 minutes?) remove to a bowl and add more oil to brown the rest of the beef. Reserve flour mixture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Add wine/water to the Dutch oven and stir to get the fond to release. Return beef and its juices to the Dutch oven and sprinkle with remaining flour mixture. Add remaining ingredients, stir lightly, and cover.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Put into a 350 degree oven and bake for 2 hours, stirring occasionally (every 45 minutes or so). Makes its own gravy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am not going to lie, I have never done an oven beef stew. I want to try this since i rarely use my oven and have had a new one since April. Thanks Linda.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think most people make stew in the crockpot or on the stovetop. This one is relatively easy, suzi. Ease off on the liquid ingredients if you don't like TONS of gravy (I'm serious - it makes a lot, but that also helps the meat braise).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Then go with the full 2 cups of liquid. Plus, if you're cooking the veg in with the beef, they'll absorb some of the liquid as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        BTW, the original recipe also calls for some caraway seed, but I leave that out. And it also said add more liquid, 1/4 cup at a time, "as necessary".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I LOVE beef stew. First time, by itself, love the leftovers, but then also love it over rice. Now I'm hungry again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. We've got the opposite. Our last cooler evening for a while before the Santa Anas roll in tomorrow (LA, here - Our weather is weird.) I'm going to make some pork chops over wild rice and caramelized apples, because once those winds pick up, it's gonna feel like summer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: OliviaPacific

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Is it messing with your planing meals, too? I'm inland a bit and we're expecting 98 degrees for Sunday. The wind is supposed to start picking up around 2AM.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. DH is at rehearsal tonight so I was on my own for dinner - so I busted out some nduja that I bought from Salume Beddu in St. Louis when I was there last month. It was lovely - spicy and not at all greasy. Slapped it on some homemade sourdough and called it dinner!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Well, we are getting the weather that plagued the Northwest the past few days. High tomorrow is only in the low 40s, and they're threatening snow on Friday night! I must say though, I'm kind of looking forward to it. Cold weather food is what I'm good at.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Last night I was at the hockeys... it was the Avalanche season home opener. Played the Ducks and won 6-1, saw lots of fight, and had excellent seats 3 rows off the glass. They're looking really good this season so hopefully we'll have a good record this year!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm back in the kitchen tonight since SO is home for the first time in 2 weeks. Making a pasta dish that has a cheese sauce made with some pasta water and greek yogurt. I also mix in broccoli and bacon. Pasta is penne.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tomorrow night is more hockey. I discovered if you ask, many of the food stands have a hot dog and fries kids meal for $5. Pretty much a bargain for arena food, which is what I need since I eat there often. So I'll likely have that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    No plans for Saturday and since it'll be pretty chilly out, I'm hoping to make something delicious. I think it might be beanless chili and cornbread, in honor of DOTM.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. banh mi-ish sandwich with smoked tofu, arugula, cilantro & basil, jalapeño mayo, and a quick apple radish pickle on toasted quinoa bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. over at the Oldster's, i made chicken milanesa. had my meximart butcher slice a b/s breast very thin, dipped in egg, dredged in seasoned bread crumbs. fried til golden, and a good squeeze of lemon... really good. alongside, super ripe plantain slices fried until gooey and caramelized, and a simple diced tomato/avocado/cilantro salad. totally his kind of meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        more chicken slices at home - that may be our dinner tomorrow night, too...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yum to everything. That sounds like my kinda meal. If only i could get good plantains or maduros in a restaurant around here. Bf hates them sadly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            MC; I want to make fried plantains. Have had them out, and LOVE them - do you have to double fry (as I have read) if you start with ripe ones?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I haven't made, as I am not a big 'frying' person, and am confused between starting with ripe or unripe plantains. Both are available in my mexi-market. Help?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i only use ripe, have never used unripe.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              so, some people like those unripe harder fried plantains - tostones - which i think you double-fry. i don't do those, don't like them (to me they're tasteless) so i can't help you there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i get plantains when they are black all over - the outside should look like hell, and it should be quite soft to the touch. inside, you'll find a perfectly yellow, slightly soft plaintain. i make diagonal slices, then fry in a couple tblspoons of oil until browned on each side. the riper they are the more caramelized and gooey they'll become. if your plantain is not all the way black outside, but has spots of yellow, that will still work, but you'll just have to fry them a little longer to get them soft. so it depends on how soft/gooey you want them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                (Hand up. Stupid question here.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Do they taste like bananas?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's similar, but the flavor is much more mellow and deep, and less sweet in my experience. I looooove me some roasted maduros.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: speakhandsforme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    see, if you cook the REALLY ripe ones, they're super sweet. it's only the less ripe ones that are not that sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    the really sweet ones are so good with mexican crema and black beans.... mmmm....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    here are two pics: the first less ripe, a little stiffer, not as sweet. the second, you can see the caramelization happening, and these can be very sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks MC! I will get some of the black ones, fry 'em up and report back. YUM!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. So, Tuesday I cooked some pork neckbones with rice (those of you who remember I like uncommon bits & pieces of animal protein should not be surprised) all in the same pot...the usual chicken stock & bay leaves were used to simmer the bones for a couple of hours before adding in mirepoix, thyme & rice. So good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yesterday, it was leftover from the past two days: neckbones/rice AND leftover chuck roast w/potatoes & carrots from Monday. A side of skillet cabbage served also.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This afternoon, I put a couple of slabs of pork ribs on the grill; also about 5 chicken breasts and a small beef brisket went on as well. Cooked nice & slow. I cooked a pot of Chinese long beans I froze from my garden snapped into bite sized pieces in a combination of chicken stock & tomato broth with bacon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The ribs & chicken were melt in your mouth tender...we were so full, we didn't even cut the brisket. Those of you who grow gardens and like fresh green beans should try growing Chinese long beans; they grow and grow and grow! So tasty!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i saw pork neck bones at my market the other day - i'm goig to get some next time! you make this sound sooooo good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I use them alot! They are great in many different dishes. My Mexican Mart always has them and they are really inexpensive. They make really great stock too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i've never seen them at my meximart, isn't that strange? they're at my stupid-market tho....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Good and simple, which I love....We got two huge family packs, divided them up and used the vacuum sealer for the freezer. The ones we got were nice and meaty and a bargain for .69 per pound.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I have a doctor's appointment this morning so have a day out if the office :) I woke up early to get a quick repair done on my car but they were packed so I guess that means more time for market browsing today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Suzigirl, I found it! The Badia complete so it will be used to season a grass fed sirloin served with sauteed mushrooms and artichokes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I hope you like it. I am a huge fan as you know. It works great with proteins and veggies alike.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It smells delicious! And, it's quite reasonable in the salt department.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      With your salt sensitivity it should be better for you. I would use it to season both the beef and mushrooms, but that's cuz I am an addict.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        that was the plan, well and also the asparagus :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Great. I just realized SO is gone and I have the TJs artichokes in the freezer so I might throw some in with the mushrooms which seem like another good pair with the Badia. Sauteed artichokes and shrooms is a new one for me so we'll see.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Unexpected downpour this morning with promises of more all weekend has nixed cooking out plans so it looks like chili is WFD. If I do make some I should probably chime in on the DOTM thread for October. The only exciting thing about this dinner IMHO is that we are out of bacon fat and will probably have to fry up some strips.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. not sure if we'll get past the appetizer this evening. going to start with a pear, walnut and blue cheese tart - with Champagne. since there's just the 2 of us, we might just eat too much ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. For our poker game tonight I picked up TJ's stuffed mushrooms and spinach & kale bites, both quite tasty niblet options for the lazy lady of casa lingua.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Archer farms sea salt & vinegar and sea salt & cracked pepper chips as well as smoked almonds will be on the table to get our cards all greasy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Takeout/delivery to be determined. Choices are pizza, a variety of Chinese, Thai, and Indian. We'll see how people feel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't care as long as I win :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Happy weekend, y'all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If the Archer Farms sea salt and pepper chips are as good as the cashews you're in for a great snack.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I just wanted to give a big thanks to mariacarmen (I hope my memory serves me correctly that the bacon tomato soup was your idea). Despite 90F weather I am simmering up a pot of soup inspired by you with a Maryland twist - Old Bay chicken sausage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              That was lingua that started the tomato soup wave here I am pretty sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ahh, lingua, ewll thanks to her! Oh yes you're right, mariacarmen was the sour cream butter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  but i DID chime in, as i always do, that bacon would go very well in that soup! i suggested bacon croutons (made of bacon, of course, not bread.) don't you try to give away all my thunder, suzigirl! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  you can count on me to add just a leetle more fat to everthing, whether it be porcine or sour cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sorry about that. I do remember that now that you mention it :-) . I want both now. Bacon in the soup and on it. And a blt on the side. Yes, I am pal of the pig.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's funny you mention your pig love...I was just dicing and chopping all of my shopping goods for the next few weeks and as a pork tenderloin, Canadian bacon, porchetta, good ol' American bacon passed my cutting board I thought of you suzigirl.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Unabashed pal of the pig. ;-O. Mouth wide open for more pork.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well I seem to be having bad luck with rotten produce. I happened upon not one but two packs of mushy slimy crimini so dinner was a shiitake fest. I missed my mushrooms but its ok because because that seasoning is great! Thanks for the recommendation suzi!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Weeee. I am so glad that you like it. I have been a fan for years. It is just a nice blend of spices and herbs to me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That sucks about the crimini. Nothing sucks worse than to plan a meal and find a star ingredient spoiled. :-(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      just bought a new pack of bacon so that could be arranged. To be honest I planned to eat said sausage soup with bacon on top...hmmm. SO is gone and I've let loose.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. BIG glass of wine to start. Like almost a double pour because I wasn't going to put the bottle back in the fridge with a half glass of wine in it. To hopefully assuage my whine I've been dealing with all day due to various things, but starting before I even left for work this morning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm home. I'm in comfy clothes. There's that wine. And there will be beef stew with boiled and buttered baby potatoes and some CSA carrots alongside. And that wine. And it's Friday. Thankfully.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Last night was a lamb shoulder steak on the grill (marinated in red wine, rosemary, garlic, OO), served over a nice spinach salad. Salad had sliced shrooms, marinated red onion, Dijon vinagrette, and little bits of goat cheese. Delish!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tonight, Roomy is busting out her Pizza tile; so we are both making pizza. Sounds great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I am going pretty old school; red sauce, with dots of basil puree for fun, sliced shrooms, pepperoni, good olives, roasted red peppers, perhaps a smattering of spinach leaves. Tops of Mozz and fresh grated parm. Always a good time with the crust being awesome from the tile. Excited!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I may watch a movie to go with my 'pizza night"!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. The butcher had two fresh black peppercorn roasted turkey breasts, so nice turkey breast sandwiches and sharp cheddar for the man and and provolone for me, plus a smear of Maytag blue. A smear of picalilli for him and macaroni salad with celery, carrots, red peppers, mayo, mustard, celery seed, badia complete, relish and dried minced onion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Since we've been eating a lot of meat this week, I took a break tonight and just had a salad of mixed lettuces, cherry tomatoes, scallions, avocado, sliced almonds and some of the curried carrot vinaigrette still in the fridge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Cajun Jambalaya with chicken, shrimp and andouille sausage served with rice. Cleaned odds and ends out of the freezer and have enough left for another full meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. We had dinner out, but I did a lot of cooking today and tonight in preparation for a party I'm throwing tomorrow night. The invitation advertises "heavy apps/snacks" (and tipsy board games!) and I intend to deliver. On both counts ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          On the docket:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -Frizzle's Syrian eggplant w/ garlicky yogurt, to be served w/ toasted lavash (purchased)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -Jamaican beef patties (I cheated and used Goya empanada wrappers, but DH and I made our own spicy curried filling...and it's delish)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -Filipino lumpia w/ duck sauce (have a good 3 dozen to roll and fry tomorrow)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -spinach dip in a bread boule w/ crudite
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -Skyline chili dip w/ Fritos Scoops
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -Chex mix
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -Castelvetrano olives
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -rjbh20's tuna tartare (vaguely Asian variation) served over sliced avocado, with won ton crisps or stoned wheat thins, not sure yet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -Thai red curry wings in the crock pot al la http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/re... with nuoc cham dipping sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -truffled popcorn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -wasabi-soy almonds

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Fresh hop homebrew, lots of whisky cocktails, Brewer's Art Resurrection (Belgian dubbel), Duck-Rabbit Schwartzbier, Aperol Spritzes, Spotted Cow (imported from Minnesota), and more to wash it all down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          What's the theme tying all these disparate foods together, you ask? They're foods *I* like! :-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh, and there will be cake--an olive oil and white wine birthday cake w/ bittersweet chocolate frosting and a layer of apricot jam. http://www.food52.com/recipes/6857_gr...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          24 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            whoa - i know i can make it if leave right now....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It is taking all my willpower right now not to try the patties.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I did dig into the Chex mix for quality control purposes, of course.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Absolutely gorgeous. And BTW, rjbh20 always serves tuna tartare with Stoned Wheat Thins...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Anything I can taste for quality control purposes? Can I, can I, please?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      They look amazing, Christina! Would love the recipe for the Jamaican meat patties whenever you get a chance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sure thing, Linda, although I have to warn you the filling was a "taste and adjust" operation. I used this recipe as a starting point: http://homecooking.about.com/od/beefr...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I used these for the pastry (the type with annato for color): http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5247/5...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Melted a few Tbsp. of butter in a large cast iron pan and sweated a finely minced onion with a bay leaf. Added most of a finely minced habanero and about 2 tsp. mild curry powder (I used S&B). Added around 1 1/2-2 c. of chicken broth, then crumbled in 1.2 lbs. of 90/10 ground beef and whisked until it was a smooth, even texture (I use the same technique for Skyline chili). Added a little allspice (maybe a scant 1/4 tsp.), turmeric (mostly for color), dried crushed thyme, Scotch Bonnet sauce (leftover from Trini-Chinese chicken making), Maggi, a touch of beef Better than Bullion, pinch of red pepper flakes, splash of Worcestershire sauce, and about 1/2 c. of panko bread crumbs. S&P to taste, of course. Also took a pinch of plain gelatin, softened it in a tsp. of cold water, and stirred that in as well. Simmered until thick and the liquid almost totally gone, then chilled. The gelatin helps the filling firm up and hold together.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Rolled the Goya pastry between parchment, spooned a scant 1/4 c. of filling in each center, moistened the edges w/ water, folded over the pastry to seal, and pressed the edges with the tines of a fork. Placed on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, brushed with egg wash, and baked at 370F until very crispy and golden. My yield was 13 patties.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sorry the recipe is not more exacting...this is really how I cook :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I like your subs to the original recipe - those ideas would work for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I can't imagine the time it takes to put these together, along with everything else you made for your party. Lucky, lucky guests!