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What's for Dinner #264 - 2014 Here We Come![through January 3, 2014]

The new year is upon us, and as usual, it seems to sneak up a lot faster than I realize. WFD here is a bit of catch as catch can as we bake and cook for our annual New Year's Day Open House. I've just finished most of the baking, and the thought of cooking dinner is definitely unappealing at this point!

What's going on in your house as the year turns?

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  1. Tonight we are having plain and spinach tortellini topped with homemade alfredo sauce and leftover smoked chicken and Alex Guarnaschelli's Grilled Romaine Salad.

    Tomorrow I am making Rachael Ray's Reuben Mac and Cheese. I made it once before for my husband and brother-in-law and they raved about it so they asked me to make it again for tomorrow night.

    1. tonight is a clean-out-the-fridge skillet. diced up leftover ham, diced veggies from the veggie tray, diced up leftover roasted potatoes, diced onion, sauteed in the cast iron skillet then left until crusty, leftover cheese cubes, couple eggs broken over the whole mess. served with the end of the
      Christmas butter bit rolls. Yum!

      1. We're taking a good friend of ours out to dinner at a small plates place that's hit or miss (hopefully more of a hit today) and possibly a movie afterwards. Yeah, almost a date. Almost.

        Happy old year!

        1 Reply
        1. re: linguafood

          Happy old year to you also. Have fun on your "date".

        2. Finally pea soup after last nights disappointing start. I let it cook in the slow cooker until it was time for bed and the peas were FINALLY tender. I left it in the unheated mudroom to cool over night.

          This afternoon I put it back in the slow cooker and just barely heated it up on low. Once warm and no longer gelatinous I pureed it with my hand blender. I then cooked up a bunch of lardons and diced 6 new potatoes and added them to soup along with a little more thyme, S&P and let that cook for another hour or so.

          Not toot my own horn but damnnnn that was some good soup! You could really tasted the smokiness of the ham and richness of peas. The lardons and the potatoes added texture and richness too. Even my 12 year old who is on an anti-pea kick and has never has liked potatoes (heathen!) loved it.

          I have plenty leftover but since we are having people over for fondue tomorrow I plan on freezing the extra for another day.

          Supposed to be bitterly cold tomorrow so I am glad we are being our regular stay at home selves and forgoing all NYE festivities. It will be fun to enjoy a couple different kinds of fondue, champagne and movies with our friends.

          4 Replies
          1. re: foodieX2

            So glad the soup came out. it sounds really delicious. I love the idea of adding potatoes and lardons. It must have really added texture.

            1. re: foodieX2

              I'm planning to make pea soup with my ham-bone soon but will use a stupid market pack of split peas as they always work for me. Did you use something more upscale? Just wondering ....

              1. re: Berheenia

                I was wondering that too Berheenia as I just made split pea soup last night with the christmas ham bone and ham scraps and it seemed to cook up in no time. I did do it in two parts as I had to run out to the store so the peas got to soak a bit before I added the carrots celery and garlic.

                1. re: Berheenia

                  I just bought a bag of dried split peas from my local grocery store. I think they were Goya? My fear was that they were old which is why they took forever to soften, but the end result was great.

                  On another thread someone suggested adding fresh/frozen peas at end before pureeing to add a freshness. I meant to pick up a bag but forgot.

              2. I'm doing sort of a cassoulet-ish type thing, with du puy lentils instead of beans, because I have so many cooked pinto beans in my freezer I just can't justify cooking another bean. A bit of bacon, some sliced kielbasa and a smoked pork chop were browned in a combo of bacon and duck fat. Onion, carrot, celery, garlic added along with a parsley-bay-thyme bouquet, then everything drowned in duck stock and a bit of red wine and popped into the oven. Crumb topping to be applied in a bit. A little salad with apples, goat cheese and honey-lemon dressing on the side, and a slice of buttered sourdough. I'll probably be the only one eating this, since my boyfriend has been sleeping off the flu all day and can barely stomach peppermint tea, but that's not gonna stop me from pouring myself a glass of red wine and thoroughly enjoying the meal.

                1 Reply
                1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                  Sounds really good.I think I'm getting a cold as I had a flu shot so can't be getting that!